Bellagio Conservatory’s Chinese New Year Display Sidesteps Asian Elephant in the Room
The Bellagio Conservatory has rolled out yet another crowd-pleaser with its Chinese New Year display.
This year’s Chinese New Year display was all the more impressive because it faced a couple of challenges.
First, it’s the Year of the Rat.
Designing a visually appealing display around a much-maligned rodent is no mean feat. The Conservatory’s horticulture team has, not surprisingly, delivered the goods with their usual flair.
The other challenge, of course, is it’s not just the Year of the Rat. It’s the Year of the Coronavirus. Awkward.
The freak-out about the coronavirus (which originated in Wuhan, China) is ongoing, with some concerned we could be in the midst of a full-blown pandemic. We don’t entirely know what a pandemic is, but it doesn’t sound like something we’d want to find in our salad.
While others might be inclined to shy away from a Chinese-themed attraction at this juncture, Bellagio has defiantly decided to stay the course and do a top-notch Chinese New Year display, anyway. And we love them for it.
Because if Vegas stops doing spectacle, the bug has already won.
The Conservatory not only manages to make us forget about the elephant(s) in the room, it pulls out all the stops by including just about every lucky symbol imaginable in the display.
There are lucky coins and birds and lions (no, they’re not dragons, rube) and lanterns and ding pots and jade medallions (shout-out to the pun in that last photo caption) and gold ingots and citrus trees and cherry blossoms and, yes, even koi fish.
The Bellagio Conservatory is currently home to about 75 koi.
Naturally, there are metric ass-ton of flowers. We counted 31,980, although the official news release says there are 32,000. It’s possible Bellagio rounded up.
It’s worth noting they said the 2019 Chinese New Year display used 32,000. Somebody in Bellagio’s P.R. department is clearly tired of counting flowers.
In 2018, it was 22,000 flowers. You know, inflation. Oh, and in 2017, it was 22,000. Starting to see a pattern here? We should probably start following these flower counts from the Bellagio Conservatory with “ish.”
Here are some stats from the aforementioned news release:
Number of team members involved in building the display: 115-ish.
Height of the jade medallions: 20 feet-ish.
Height of the aforementioned rat: 14 feet-ish.
Number of changing Chinese lanterns: 6-ish.
Number of items included in this list to see if you’re still paying attention: 1-ish.
Number of cherry blossom trees: 6-ish.
Number of rats in the display: 5-ish.
The Bellagio Conservatory always draws a great crowd, despite the fact most of those people don’t spend a dime at Bellagio.
That’s probably the third elephant in the room.
And while we’re on the subject, China’s zodiac chart really could use an elephant. They could dump the goat. Goats can be jerks.
Not to be a buzzkill, but we recently reported Bellagio will have one fewer displays in 2020. Rather than the usual spring and summer displays, there will be a consolidated one with a Japanese theme.
The Chinese New Year display runs through March 14, 2020. The Japanese-themed “Japan Journey: Magical Kansai” runs from March 21 to Sep. 12, 2020.
Let us not dwell upon vermin or contagions or cost-cutting measures, though. Let us revel unabashedly in the boundless creativity of the geniuses at famed Bellagio Conservatory, photo gallerywise.