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