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Dan Ippolito

As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and he writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports.

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Top 10 fun facts about Bellagio

22 Oct 2018

By Dan Ippolito
Bellagio, located on the Strip in Las Vegas, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month. The casino opened on 15 October 1998 and is one of the most iconic venues in Las Vegas.

To help commemorate the anniversary, here are 10 fun facts about the resort-casino, which is owned and operated by MGM Resorts:

10. Picasso
Picasso, Bellagio's French and Spanish-influenced restaurant, has won the AAA Five-Diamond Award every year since 1998. It has a wine cellar with over 1,500 choices exclusively from many European vineyards. Picasso also has a patio that can hold 56 guests, with 16 tables overlooking the Fountains of Bellagio.

The restaurant is listed as Las Vegas’ most artistic restaurant in Forbes Travel Guide.

9. $1.6 billion
Construction began on Bellagio back in May 1996. The cost of construction was $1.6 billion, making it the most expensive hotel ever built at the time. The Spa Tower of Bellagio opened on 23 December 2004 with a cost of $375 million. The hotel was remodeled in March 2015 for $165 million.

8. $88 million
Back on its opening day, Bellagio hosted an opening ceremony that had a reported cost of $88 million. The Las Vegas hotel’s opening night kicked off with a speech from Steve Wynn, which was followed by the Cirque du Soleil production “O.”

7. 3,950
This is the number of rooms Bellagio contains, making it the 14th largest hotel in the world by number of rooms. The original tower, which is 508 feet tall, contains 3,015 rooms throughout its 36 floors. The Spa Tower, standing 392 feet high, has 33 floors and adds another 915 rooms. Bellagio has 512 suites located throughout the towers.

6. 159,760
This is Bellagio's amount of square footage, making it the fourth largest property in Las Vegas, behind The Venetian Las Vegas, Wynn Las Vegas and Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

There is more than 100,000 square feet of gaming at the resort, and it features 2,400 slot machines, a racebook, a sportsbook and a poker room. In the gaming space, there are 15 different types of table games to pick from.

The Bellagio Cup XIV was held in the poker room on 10-17 July.

5. Bellagio’s chocolate fountain
Jean-Philippe Patisserie, located in the Spa Tower, is home to the world’s tallest chocolate fountain. The floor to ceiling sculpture circulates more than 2,100 pounds of melted milk, dark and white chocolate through 500 feet of pipes 24 hours a day.

The fountain isn’t the only thing offered at Jean-Philippe Patisserie. Breakfast pastries, omelets, crepes, coffee and more are served inside.

4. Bobby’s Room
This is a separate, glassed-in poker room inside Bellagio and is named after Bobby Baldwin, the 1978 WSOP Main Event champion and four-time WSOP bracelet winner, who recently left his executive position at MGM.

There are two tables located in Bobby’s Room, where the high-stakes games take place. The regulars who play in Bobby's Room include the likes of Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Eli Elezra and Barry Greenstein.

Bobby’s Room is open 24 hours a day and has a $20,000 minimum buy-in. It is known for hosting the highest limit poker action in the world.

3. Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
The spectacular 14,000 square-foot space showcases the sights and colors of the season and is open 24 hours a day. When the seasons turn and the displays rotate, 90% of the trees, flowers and plants in the conservatory are recycled. It is free to enter, and there is no age restriction for those looking to take in what it has to offer.

2. 22 million
This is the number of gallons of water that the Bellagio fountains hold in the 8.5 acres they take up. The lake tends to lose water due to evaporation and other causes, so 12 million gallons are supplemented for the fountains each year.

The lake also contains sensors to detect wind strength. If the wind becomes too strong, the fountains are shut down to prevent from water going over the boundaries.

The fountains have been seen in many videos and popular movies. For example, in Ocean’s Eleven, the final scene of the movie takes places as all of the main characters are seen taking in and enjoying the fountains.

1. Beau Rivage
Steve Wynn, who designed the Bellagio, intended for it to be Beau Rivage in the beginning. His vision was having a place to host water competitions such as windsurfing and waterskiing and call it Beau Rivage, which means "beautiful shore." According to the book Winner Takes All by Christina Binkley, Wynn and his wife went on a vacation with Paul Anka and his wife to Lake Como in Italy. While on a boat there, they went by the village called Bellagio, which means a place of elegant relaxation. After finding out the meaning of Bellagio, Wynn decided that the Las Vegas hotel to be built on the Dunes site would be named Bellagio.

"Ten months' worth of architectural drawings hit the trash can," Baldwin is quoted as saying in the book.

In 1999, Wynn's new casino on the Gulf Coast in Biloxi, Mississippi, would take the name Beau Rivage Resort & Casino.

Wynn’s goal was to create a building that will be remembered and will not make people want to leave, and it is safe to say that his goal has been met.
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