The Fountains of Bellagio have been one of the most iconic and romantic scenes on the Las Vegas Strip for a little over two decades, since they first dazzled Vegas visitors and locals in 1998.
Since the Strip was effectively shut down on March 17, due to Gov. Sisolak’s mandated closure of casinos as a result of COVID-19, the fountains went dark along with it.
For over two months, the free daily show, which runs every 30 minutes throughout the day and every 15 minutes beginning at 7 pm through midnight, has gone dry.
More than a thousand, lit-up fountains soar through the Vegas night sky, reaching heights of up to 460 feet, dancing to musical works ranging from classical, operatic pieces, to old-school crooner favorites from Rat Pack legends like Frank Sinatra, all the way to today’s pop hits and even soundtracks from new cult TV shows like Game of Thrones.
The Bellagio Fountains were created to express the romantic spirit of the Bellagio resort, but they’ve evolved to highlight the essence of the luxurious Las Vegas experience as a whole. Without them, the city hasn’t dazzled as brightly.
But, with casinos tentatively reopening on June 4, per Gov. Sisolak’s official decision, the Bellagio Fountains will once again welcome back visitors to a new song.
Iconic Bellagio Fountain Moments Over the Years
Throughout Vegas history, the Bellagio Fountains have become more than just a beautiful backdrop for those passing by, it’s transferred over to the digital space, being used in music videos, in performances for the Billboard Music Awards, and of course in films like the Vegas classics “Ocean’s Eleven” and “The Hangover.”
In 2001, Britney Spears took it to the water for her 2001 Billboard Music Awards (BMA) performance. Drake took a page from her playbook 16 years later and performed the lake during his 2017 BMA segment.
Bruno Mars, who was in the middle of his Vegas residency when the coronavirus shut down happened, rode jet skis across the lake for his “24K Magic” music video.
For the National Hockey League’s playoffs promo in June 2018, Vegas’ own Panic! At the Disco performed live on the lake, and even got doused by the waterfalls while doing so.
Spoiled Fountain Plans for 2020 NFL Draft
This year, the Bellagio Fountains were supposed to see its most exciting scene yet. Before the COVID-19 shutdown changed the plan, Las Vegas was crowned as the host city for the 2020 NFL Draft (it since became a digital-event). This was a huge deal.
With the city getting their first professional football league back in January, the Las Vegas Raiders, Vegas was determined as the perfect place to kick things off.
The plan was to boat draft prospects across the Bellagio lake to a red-carpet stage, in a suspenseful, elaborate set-up. But not to worry, Las Vegas will still get a chance to wow football fans with this memorable scene in 2022, as they’ve been named at hosts of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Bellagio Will Be One of MGM Resorts Two Properties to Reopen
When Las Vegas resorts finally get the green light to open their doors back up, visitors can expect to see only a selected handful of casinos opening up on the Strip to boot.
Earlier this month, MGM Resorts International revealed that they would only be opening up two of its 10 Strip properties initially, the Bellagio and New-York New-York. The idea was to not open them all up at once to gauge tourism levels, the state of the COVID-19 outbreak, and to provide at least two options to accommodate different traveler’s budgets.
MGM Resort’s acting CEO, Bill Hornbuckle, also announced on the Today Show that the two properties that will be reopening initially will only be operating at 25 percent capacity.
The reopening plan includes employee temperature screenings, requiring employees to wear masks at all times, social distancing to be followed by staff and guests, optimizing properties’ HVAC systems, COVID-19 incident protocols, increased hand sanitizer dispenser stations placed throughout high-traffic areas on the property, and more.
Last Thursday, Las Vegas began running its largest COVID-19 testing site at the Las Vegas Convention Center for the tens of thousands of casino employees who will be returning to work once the shutdown is lifted.
We can’t wait to see the Bellagio Fountains soar through the Vegas sky again. It’ll be the proper “Welcome back!” signal for guests, staff, and locals who will finally get to visit the Las Vegas Strip once it reopens.
Hopefully, if coronavirus cases remain steady and the Nevada Gaming Control Board provides enough promising data to give Gov. Sisolak confidence in his decision to reopen, it will be next Thursday, June 4.
Are you excited to return to Las Vegas and see the Bellagio Fountains dance once more? We sure are.
We know that for a while, Vegas is going to look a lot different than the Vegas we’re used to, but it will still be Vegas, and more importantly, it will be open for all to enjoy again. Now that’s something to celebrate about.