Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Vegas Series & Bellagio Fountains

Today I’m going to start a series of posts on Las Vegas. This will be a collection of things to see and do around Vegas that don’t involve a lot of money (most will be free). The purpose of this series will be to build a guide to Vegas for the non-gambler or poker player. For the reader of this blog, this will give the spouse or companion of the player something to do besides shop or complain.

For me, it will be a chance to score a few minor points with the employer. My department is hosting a meeting of a third of its employees in Vegas in mid-March. I suspect many of the attendees will not playing the casino games for more than a few hours so they will want to see the best of Vegas without wasting a lot of time. I sure don’t want them bugging me while I’m sitting at the poker tables.

I’m starting with a must see for any visitor to the strip: The Fountains at the Bellagio. The Bellagio web site (www.bellagio.com) bills the fountains as the “most ambitious, commanding water feature ever conceived! Bellagio's world-famous fountains will speak to your heart with opera, classical and whimsical music while flirting with your playful nature through their carefully choreographed movements.”

To say that the fountains are just a lake with water jets beneath the surface of the water would be accurate but grossly understated. The water jumps, shoots, sways, and explodes as it jumps from the lake in time with the music. Water can shoot 200’ into the air in some shows. Every show is different. They are a breathtaking union of water, music and light to be sure.

Show times are as follows:

Monday – Friday
3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Show every 1/2 hour
8:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. Show every 15 minutes

Saturday & Sunday
12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Show every 1/2 hour
8:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. Show every 15 minutes

Most tourists watch the show from the sidewalk along Las Vegas Blvd (the strip) which is fine. But the best viewing is from the balcony of the Fontana Bar where you can get close to the show and the audio is excellent, not to mention that you can enjoy drinks while the shows are playing. My favorite show is “Time to Say Goodbye” by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman. Any of the Vegas Classics (songs by Elvis, Bobby Darin or a member of the Rat Pack) are also great.

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