Known worldwide as a luxury hotel/resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Bellagio was conceived by Steve Wynn and built by his company, Mirage Resorts, Inc. following the purchase and demolition of the legendary Dunes Hotel and casino in 1993. Construction began in May 1996 with an original cost of $1.6 billion. Wynn's inspiration for the Bellagio stemmed from the Lake Como town of Bellagio, Italy and modeled the resort with one of its most notable features: an 8-acre lake between the building and the Strip which houses the famous;Fountains of Bellagio, a large dancing water fountain synchronized to various types of music.
The Fountains are visible from numerous vantage points on The Strip, both from the street and neighboring structures. Fountain performances take place every 30 minutes in the afternoons and early evenings, and every 15 minutes from 8 pm to midnight. Before a water show starts, the nozzles break the water surface and the lights illuminating the hotel tower turn to a purple hue, or red-white-and-blue for certain music. Out of all the luxury hotels on the Las Vegas Strip, Bellagio is most famed for its elegance. Inside, Dale Chihuly's Fiori di Como, composed of over 2,000 hand-blown glass flowers, covers 2,000 sq. ft. of the lobby ceiling, Nevada's largest sculpture. The main (original) tower of Bellagio stands 508 feet, with 36 floors and 3,015 rooms. The Spa Tower, which stands to the south of the main tower, has 33 floors and contains 935 rooms. Since its opening on October 15, 1998, Bellagio employs approximately 8,000 people and its elegant, ritzy theme has turned it into one of the most popular casinos in the world. In the fall of 2006, the casino floor was remodeled and new uniforms were issued to match its grand aspect. Since then, Bellagio has won the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award for its lodging and high-end restaurants a whopping 11 times. In terms of gaming, the Bellagio attracts primarily High Rollers due to the casino floor's numerous Baccarat tables and Poker rooms. In fact, many professional poker players prefer to play at the Bellagio poker room, calling it their home base (or more commonly "The Office") due to the high table limits. See "Bobby's Room."