Thanks to reader Aaron_B for providing this write up and photos from his recent trip to Bellagio.
His report follows after the jump and the photos, available at the link below, show off some of the recent construction work. You'll also see some comments on the new car rental facility at LAS.
Quick note on the balustrade damage: I remember seeing some of that way back in May 1999, just after opening. I looked out my window and was surprised that it was already cracked.
I’m I just had a brief two day stay in Vegas Monday and Tuesday at Bellagio.
Arriving at McCarran Monday for the first time since December I had my first experience with the new “McCarran Rent a Car Center.” The new car rental facility opened recently and is served by it’s own shuttle buses instead of the old system with each rental company having their own buses. There was a huge line for the “Rent a Car Center” shuttle buses on the center island outside the terminal. After getting close to the front of the line one of the rent a car center bus people let people from further back in the line get on an empty bus leaving the people at the front of the line waiting for another bus which did little to impress those of us at the front of the line. They end up cramming as many people as possible on each bus and there is barely enough room for everyone’s bags. In all it took about 25 minutes from the time I got my bags to the time I got off the shuttle bus at the new car rental facility. I had arrived at 11:00am I can only imagine what the wait would have been if I had landed at a peak arrival time. The new facility itself is nice though it’s location on the far side of the airport seems less convenient than the old location.
My overall experience at Bellagio was excellent. Bellagio has some of the highest quality hotel staff I have encountered anywhere. Ironically they put me in the suite right next door to the suite I had in December. I have seen no signs of MGM’s promised renovations to Bellagio’s suites. I recall hearing Bobby Baldwin promise Bellagio would get their suite renovations this year during one of MGM’s conference calls. While the Bellagio suites have held up well, been well maintained and are still quite nice, the furniture in particular now makes them dated. One of the members of my party got a good laugh at a very tacky looking cheap fake plant that is in the suite sitting on the table just off the foyer which definitely seems out of place at Bellagio as it seems to say WalMart rather than Bellagio. Sometime since December either the window washers or electricians servicing the building’s accent lighting have managed to ram the window washing rig into the back side of the building. In several places two inch long chunks of the building façade have been ripped off by a window wash rig exposing the mesh and foam backing behind the stucco finish leaving it to flap in the breeze. Outside the bedroom of the suite there is a hole knocked in the ledge outside the window also exposing the mesh embedded in the stucco finish. As Mike_ch mentioned in a recent post the roof drainage system has left large stains on the back side of the building and the decorative balustrades that circle the 29th and 33rd floors are falling apart and need to be replaced. The small dome on top of the big dome on top of Bellagio is still missing a large chunk of it’s outer finish exposing a white backing. MGM needs to finally spend some money on the exterior upkeep of the main Bellagio tower. On another note I think that with it’s recent renovations the casino at Bellagio now looks the best it has ever looked. Bellagio has repaired and repainted a number of the speaker grills in the sound system built into the balustrade surrounding the lake.
Being on the south side of the west wing of Bellagio once again afforded me a good view of the City Center site which has progressed quite a bit since December. I’m amazed by just how close the Vdara tower is to the new parking garage behind the Bellagio Spa Tower as it appears to be only inches away. Just today they have added several sections of the glass and metal curtain wall sections to the Pelli tower. The foundations for the Veer towers have been laid. Several tall piers have been built around the front of the Pelli tower which I assume will support the tram.
It looks like the center core for the Cosmopolitan is rising now. A few pieces of steel are also visible in the Cosmo pit behind Jockey Club. The Cosmopolitan has progressed the least of any of the current construction projects.
Palazzo looks like it has doubled in height since December. Palazzo has it’s curtain wall applied almost half way up.
The Trump condo tower is also coming along quickly. Trump now towers over Treasure Island as you look north up the strip from Bellagio. Myself I’m not so crazy about the gold curtain wall on Trump as I think it’s already overdone on the strip with Mandalay Bay and THEHotel.
All in all this has been too short of a Vegas trip for me. Fortunately I’ll be back soon!
Sorry I ended up being long winded again!