BREAKING: Shopping Plaza Could Replace Bellagio Fountains in Five Years


A Shopping Plaza Envisioned to Replace Bellagio Fountains. How a Good Deed Unlocked the Five Year Plan

U P D A T E: This was our April Fool’s joke which we launched one day early (March 31). It served as a cautionary tale. The moral of the story is in the last paragraph.

I don’t know why people use 123456 has a passcode for a phone, but they shouldn’t. A few days ago I was at Baccarat Lounge at the Bellagio; enjoying the atmosphere and the drinks. Before I headed out for the night, I decided to hit the head. Afterward, as I was washing my hands, I noticed a smartphone was left on the bathroom sink. Having once lost my phone on vacation only for it to be gone forever, I didn’t want the same thing to happen to some unlucky fellow. My first thought was to take it to lost and found, but then I thought it would be best to have the phone owner paged over the sound system. I’m old school like that. I picked up the phone to switch it on, but it was locked. A six digit combo. So, I used the most popular one: 1,2,3,4,5,6 — blammo! It worked. What I saw next on the screen stopped me in my tracksuit. The plans to replace the Bellagio Fountains with mid to high tier shopping.

Bellagio Fountains

At first, I thought it was a far-fetched idea someone drew up. However, as I scrolled through the email, I was surprised to see the name of one of the executives agreeing to some things and making suggestions. The conversation appeared to involve the executive, the architect and their trusted PR firm. My heart started pounding. On one hand, I accidentally let myself in on a big secret that could change Las Vegas forever. On the other hand, I was pissed. The Bellagio fountains, to me, have always been the very heart of the strip…and it would be replaced by a shopping plaza? From the pics, it looks like a Starbucks, a Walgreen’s and some sort of theater. However, the email chain explained that the theater was a placeholder model, what would take its place is ‘high-end clearance outlets”.

Bellagio Fountains Bellagio Fountains Bellagio Fountains Bellagio Fountains

The fountains would be reduced to a little stream that hugs Jasmine, Hyde, Prime, Lago, etc.

Bellagio Fountains Bellagio Fountains

I was reading as the PR firm was working on their spin with the executive. Tossing around phrases like

“Although the Bellagio Fountains are a beloved piece of Las Vegas, it is prime real estate closer to the strip that simply wasn’t making any money. We’re sure in time you will love the new Bellagio Walk-Through Center.”

I was infuriated, “love it” they say. I simply will not! I had to get this news out there. What could I do? If I email it to myself, they know who I am. If I tweet it from their phone, they simply delete the tweet saying “we got hacked” or something. Then I remembered a trick my nephew showed me, “Airdrop.” I turned on the Airdrop feature on my phone and enabled it in the exec’s; I immediately began transferring the files, I started to sweat, but that may have been from an earlier meal at Prime.

What if I got caught? I waited as the files transferred. Not as fast as I hoped, the files were large. I started looking around with my heart pounding even more furiously as if it were banging out the rhythm to “Down with the Sickness”. Transfers, complete! I took a deep breath and quickly locked the phone again. For some reason, I washed my hands for the second time, and I was drying off when in walks a worried looking man in his fifties. He hurries over to the phone and picks it up, mumbling something as he left. I purposely made sure not to stare, or glare, for the demise of the fountains.

Bellagio Fountains

But would it have even mattered? Probably not. Because the thing is, well, APRIL FOOLS! Relieved yet pissed? Understandable, but perhaps when you saw the title there was a part of you that said: “I knew this was going to happen!” Because let’s face it, it already has. Facades have been replaced by shopping, as well as free attractions. Free attractions operate at a loss. So before you say “You’re giving them ideas!” Bear in mind they see Bally’s Grand Bazaar Shops right across the street; they already have ideas. Why else would they replace Palio Pronto with a Starbucks?

The moral of this story is simple, do not take the things you love in Vegas for granted. You never know when they could be gone. What I said in the title is true; a shopping plaza could replace the Bellagio Fountains one day. Doesn’t mean it will. You never know. So see the fountains and the conservatory at Bellagio, go and see that wonky Fall of Atlantis show at the Caesars Forum shops. Do the things you love as often as possible and make memories that outlast the moments. While you’re at it, check out my segment “Vegas Gone By” on the Vegas Bright Podcast!

[Images by April Fools….and by Michael Movestro with Google Sketchup]

39 Comments on "BREAKING: Shopping Plaza Could Replace Bellagio Fountains in Five Years"

  1. I almost had a heart attack … totally forgot about april fools day lol.

  2. Good one! Gotta confess you had my blood pressure going up.

  3. OMG you got me. IMA gonna punch you when I see you!

  4. That was mean! LOL

  5. (shakes index finger) Oh, you scamp.

    Had me going there for a moment. Love the P.R.-corporate-speak ““Although the Bellagio Fountains are a beloved piece of Las Vegas…. We’re sure in time you will love the new Bellagio Walk-Through Center.”

    Sadly, it +could+ happen.

    • Michael Movestro | April 1, 2017 at 2:56 pm |

      Similar PR-Corporate speak was used by Steve Wynn when announcing the new Wynn Shopping Plaza, so I borrowed from that.

      • EnuffBull | April 3, 2017 at 6:38 am |

        Nice ones! And you can read the corporate-speak from MANY casinos justifying their “worry-free and for your consideration” resort fees, parking fees, and bend-over-and-kiss-yourself fees! :-)

  6. You may have tipped it off on some of the sketches when you made them look like the Grand Bazaar Shops.

    Nice job (not as good as SVOTEELVUVVISBPETE, but a very good attempt) :o)

  7. I wasn’t aware April Fool’s Day was being extended like Black Friday

  8. Haha, I work in design and not to insult you, I’m sure the renderings for the new shops would’ve been a little more impressive… esp if they’re trying to convince the board.

    But hey if this was preliminary then I guess it works. Had me fooled for a second.

  9. About halfway through I wondered if it was an April Fool’s joke because as exhibit drawings these are pretty basic, and yes, tomorrow is April 1, but I’ll be damned if you didn’t have the bean counter-speak down. Well done!

    • Michael Movestro | April 1, 2017 at 3:06 pm |

      Thanks Brendon, yeah I only had so much time to use/learn Google Sketchup before posting the article, should’ve started a lot earlier. Fun program though but working in 3D space is confusing as all hell for me lol

  10. Chris in Nashville | March 31, 2017 at 12:14 pm |

    About lost my lunch until I remember Vegas Chatter doing a good Fools about the Lions Share a few years ago (searched but couldn’t find the link). Whoever took the time to do these renderings, nice job and nice joke. Viva!

  11. I caught on when I realized the Walgreens was not on a corner, theyre always on a corner

  12. Crikey! That was elaborate and perfectly timed for Oz

  13. Robert Berry | March 31, 2017 at 12:51 pm |

    That was a great joke! It was just plausible enough to be believable.

    • Michael Movestro | April 1, 2017 at 2:58 pm |

      That was part of the plan, to be plausible just enough to be convincing.

  14. sailordude | March 31, 2017 at 4:08 pm |

    Aren’t you a day early for April Fools?

  15. Buckeyefan614 | March 31, 2017 at 6:53 pm |

    You SUCK! :)

  16. BigAZMarty | March 31, 2017 at 8:27 pm |

    Excellent…then they could sell the buildings for (Dr. Evil here) “A Billion Dollars” to some strip mall company and lease the land via MGM Resort Properties to double the profit and still retain land lease cash flow. Although it would have to include a Walgreen’s luxury subsidiary, maybe Boot’s out of UK or New York’s DuaneReade pharmacy? Something exclusive and upscale but not CVS or Walgreen’s itself. Think what this would do to all the Fountain facing rooms prime priced rooms that face the fountains now. So really fun April Fools prank. Or maybe Bellagio/MGM can start charging Caesars Properties and The Cosmopolitan a new Fountain Viewing Fee?

    • Michael Movestro | April 1, 2017 at 3:00 pm |

      It’s funny you should say that, I considered using a Duane Reade and a Dunkin’ Donuts!

  17. Michele Di Palma | March 31, 2017 at 10:03 pm |

    Ahhhh!!! I was dying! Nicely done and thank goodness not real!

  18. Good one! Really had me going for a bit.

  19. must admit had me going for a bit

  20. Lisa Reay | April 1, 2017 at 2:08 pm |

    You got me!!!! Rofl! I was like WTF????? NO WAY!

    • Michael Movestro | April 1, 2017 at 3:04 pm |

      You’d be surprised how many people voiced their disgust and shared across Facebook without even reading the article, a great example of how –actual– fake news spreads, not to be confused with news that doesn’t agree with one’s beliefs/agenda. This turned into a rather interesting social experiment!

      • gennadius | April 2, 2017 at 9:41 pm |

        Definitely a great pseudo-article/April Fool’s Day joke, and also quite a sad indictment of the current state of affairs when it comes to people thinking critically for themselves and fact-checking things.

  21. John Homes | April 3, 2017 at 4:14 am |

    Oh please make this a reality! It will cut down on all the traffic in front of Bellagio!

  22. The ability to read is a lost art apparently!!!!

  23. Not that I was fooled by this, but please, don’t give anyone any ideas. I can see some of the mucky-mucks thinking you might be on to something here….

    • Michael Movestro | April 3, 2017 at 3:30 pm |

      From the article “So before you say “You’re giving them ideas!” Bear in mind they see Bally’s Grand Bazaar Shops right across the street; they already have ideas. Why else would they replace Palio Pronto with a Starbucks?”

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