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Nevada, United States
Bellagio ( bə-LAH-zhi-oh) is a resort, luxury hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada. It is owned by The Blackstone Group and operated by MGM Resorts International. Bellagio was conceived by casino owner Steve Wynn, and was built on the former site of the Dunes hotel-casino. Wynn's company, Mirage Resorts, purchased the Dunes in 1992. Plans were announced in 1994 to replace it with Beau Rivage, a French-themed resort. However, Wynn changed the project plans in 1995, instead theming it after the village of Bellagio, near Lake Como. The resort was designed by Jon Jerde. Construction began on November 1, 1995, with Marnell Corrao Associates as general contractor. Bellagio opened on October 15, 1998, with 3,005 rooms in a 36-story tower. Built at a cost of $1.6 billion, it was the world's most expensive resort up to that point. Early revenue was less than expected, and Wynn departed the resort in May 2000, when Mirage Resorts merged with MGM Grand Inc. Profits improved under the ownership of the newly formed MGM Mirage (later MGM Resorts). A 33-story hotel tower, with 928 rooms, was opened in 2004. MGM owned the Bellagio until 2019, when it sold the resort to The Blackstone Group for $4.25 billion. MGM continues to operate the property under a lease arrangement. Bellagio is located on 77 acres (31 ha). It includes a 156,000 sq ft (14,500 m2) casino and 3,933 rooms. The resort's signature attraction is the Fountains of Bellagio, a dancing water fountain synchronized to music. It is performed in an 8.5-acre man-made lake, located in front of the resort. Other attractions include the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, and a conservatory and botanical gardens. The hotel lobby features Fiori di Como, a sculpture by glass artist Dale Chihuly. It is the world's largest glass sculpture. Bellagio has numerous restaurants, including Le Cirque and Picasso, the latter by chef Julian Serrano. Other chefs at the resort have included Todd English, Michael Mina, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and Wolfgang Puck. Bellagio includes an 1,800 seat theater for performances of O, a water-themed show by Cirque du Soleil. The property also has a high-end retail area which introduced several luxury brands to Las Vegas, including Chanel, Gucci, and Prada.