Nope, I can’t stay away. Visiting the Italian-themed Bellagio Las Vegas at the holidays is one of the “musts” for Las Vegas locals and visitors. This time, however, I didn’t just visit the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, I walked the circumference of the establishment — looking at shops, restaurants, etc. My walk is documented on the attached video.
One observation: Steve Wynn, who built the Bellagio 19 years ago, knows how to market, and current owner, MGM Resorts International, has followed his lead. Wynn builds an attraction so spectacular that every visitor is compelled to take photos. In the digital age, we see not just one camera per family, but often one camera per person. Everywhere I turned in the Bellagio’s lobby area and beyond, I saw folks with cameras, phones, iPads, etc. pointed at something. And for videos, is anything better than the city’s number one tourist attraction, the Bellagio fountains?
All those visitor photos and videos then go on emails and Facebook pages and scrapbooks around the world. I notice the same thing at the Wynn Las Vegas where the all-flower merry-go-round, which made its debut last year at the holidays, is busy year-round with photographers. Yes, the special attractions at the Bellagio and the Wynn are expensive…but the return in terms of marketing, surely, more than pays the bills.
One thing I missed on my visit, but discovered in a Bellagio press release seen after my visit, is that adjacent to the conservatory is the Jean Phillippe Patisserie which features a five-foot tall chocolate Santa Claus, hand-carved from 230 pounds of dark chocolate and 50 pounds of fondant. Wow! That means, of course, a return visit.
Below is the video taken during my walk through the Bellagio, and below that are some of the still photos. AND, I refer you to Gerri Faher’s blog on this site which has still more details about the Bellagio’s holiday display.