Bellagio changes the display in the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens five times a year. Most of the displays are similar to prior years. The current display may be similar to previous years but the overall theme changes annually with the calendar. Guests can now experience “A Season of Love” at the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. The Lunar New Year display is open through Saturday, March 6.
Each piece in the Year of the Ox display is designed to represent prosperity, strength, and tenacity in the new year. The exhibit honors the year taking inspiration from Asian art, architecture, and culture.
“This beautiful Lunar New Year display is specially designed to honor the Year of the Ox, focus on love and evoke inspiration in the new year,” said Designer Ed Libby. “This year, perhaps more than ever, we can all use an added dose of inspiration and love.”
The Lunar New Year display features four scenes. Each section of the Conservatory is layered with meaningful floral creations that convey messages of love for nature, commitment, tradition, children, and travel. The “A Season of Love” display was detailed and designed with Feng Shui. If you’re not familiar this is the art of using surroundings to attract harmony, balance, and positive life energy.
Let’s take a tour of the “A Season of Love” Lunar New Year display at the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.
This is where guests will enter the Conservatory. Visitors will be greeted by two large Chinese Foo Dog water fountains. These are designed to ward off negative energy and welcome a positive new year.
This section of the garden features a colorful bird perched on top of a new peony sculpture sitting next to a wooden gazebo. There are large jade medallions that were created with 3D printers. These medallions are suspended over the flower bed symbolizing prosperity, good luck, and success.
The West Bed is the centerpiece of the Lunar New Year presentation. This section features a majestic Jade Pavilion that has a Bonsai tree and a graceful willow tree to either side. Both tower over a flower bed filled with a selection of shrubs, dozens of metallic cattail plants, and copper Bonsai tree rain fountains. Each feature here has individually hand-stamped leaves.
Don’t forget to look up! There are two magpie birds above the bed’s floral arrangements. All of this is illuminated by the Ox symbol in the moon.
The East Bed is the ¾ mark of the walk through the Lunar New Year display at Bellagio. While not the “centerpiece” this may be the highlight for many visitors. There are two golden Oxen standing atop a red and gold bridge running the length of the bed.
Traditionally, the Ox is known to be diligent, trustworthy, and strong. This symbolizes the strength to overcome any challenges in the new year. We could all use this in our lives right now.
There are oversized gold cherry blossom branches above the East Bed. These represent durability as well as rebirth. Bamboo trees placed at each end of the bridge and a pond filled with beautiful oversized Lotus flowers complete the scene.
We all have different tastes but this is probably my favorite part of the Lunar New Year display.
The North Bed pays tribute to children and travel. Guests will find a tall flower Pagoda before exiting the display. This is a temple iconic to east and southeast Asian cultures. It sits at the center of the bed surrounded by Banyan trees and flowing water.
There are red lanterns hang from the ceiling while children created from fresh-cut flowers celebrate the blessings of the new year below. The highlight of this section might be the oversized Koi fish that leaps from the water. This represents the promise of good fortune in the coming year.
If you have ever wondered what goes into setting up the display, this video should help:
The #YearoftheOx has made its way to our Conservatory! Watch as the sights, colors and sounds of a #LunarNewYear celebration come together in "A Season of Love." https://t.co/IiUhmyTrO5 pic.twitter.com/fVpSPHO8Qv
— Bellagio Las Vegas (@Bellagio) January 20, 2021
In December, MGM Resorts announced a unique partnership for visitors driving to its casinos from Arizona, California, and elsewhere. The Vegas Strip casino operator has a multi-year agreement with a company called Fuelster. If you’re not familiar with Fuelster, it’s a company that provides contactless fuel delivery to automobiles.
Wynn Resorts recently announced the debut of Wynn Rewards in Las Vegas. The loyalty rewards program replaces Wynn’s Red Card loyalty program. While this is new to Las Vegas, Wynn Rewards was rolled out earlier in 2020 at Encore Boston Harbor. The program now works at casinos on both sides of the country. In a press release, the company says that Wynn Rewards “offers the finest rewards at the world’s largest Five-Star resort, presenting members with an unmatched level of personalized offers and experiences.”
I was recently speaking with some friends considering a trip to Las Vegas in 2021. They’re generally a little cautious about spending a lot of time inside public places. With that in mind, I’m going to look at some things they, or someone like them, can enjoy in Las Vegas.
The Block 16 Food Hall at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas continues to evolve. Pok Pok Chicken recently closed all of its locations in the US. It will be replaced by Bāng Bar from chef David Chang. More on that shortly. I want to look at the food hall as a whole because it offers some of the most affordable dining options at the Cosmopolitan.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed Las Vegas in many ways this year. One of the most noticeable differences for visitors is the lack of entertainment. Sure, visiting a casino that isn’t full of people enjoying the gaming, drinking, and dining isn’t the optimal experience but those parts of Las Vegas can still be fun – albeit a different kind of fun.
Circa Resort and Casino in downtown Las Vegas is completely open. We’ve covered the progress of this new downtown Vegas casino from the initial announcement to the halfway point of construction to the casino opening in October. Now the hotel tower and Legacy Club openings. After two years entire Circa Resort and Casino is available for guests to stay, play, eat, and drink.
Downtown Las Vegas will continue to evolve next year. This part of town was considered “Old Vegas” when I first started visiting Sin City. The old casinos in the area were in a bit of disrepair. Playing blackjack on tables with cigarette burns was charming but it wasn’t the kind of experience most people are looking for on vacation.
The next big sporting event that should happen in the US is the 2021 Super Bowl. The Big Game is currently scheduled for Feb. 7, 2021. The NFL is trying to keep on schedule but nobody knows if that will remain intact.
The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino is reopening on December 22. Once the Rio opens, all of Caesars’ properties in Las Vegas and around the country will be open. The Rio will be completely open seven days a week from Dec. 23, 2020, through Jan. 3, 2021. After this period, the property will have hours similar to other Caesars Las Vegas casino-hotels.
Donny Osmond will return to Las Vegas next year with his first solo residency at Harrah’s. The announcement by Caesars Entertainment comes less than a year after Donny and Marie ended their 11-year residency at Flamingo. The new show will be the first time guests can get up close and personal with one of the most famous names to grace the Vegas Strip.
The holiday season is upon us! While many things are different in the world, there are more than a few things that remain intact in Las Vegas. The Cosmopolitan Ice Rink has returned for its ninth consecutive year. Another Las Vegas tradition is returning to suburban Las Vegas. The Glittering Lights at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is returning for its 20th year.
We normally share places to dine outside in Las Vegas during the spring and summer. However, this isn’t a normal year. With coronavirus spiking around the country there are plenty of people who would rather eat al fresco even as we head into the winter. There are plenty of places to eat outside in Las Vegas. However, few of those restaurants are fine dining experiences.
We all know that things are different in 2020 due to the global coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, since large gatherings in Nevada are being discouraged, one of the most festive annual celebrations has been canceled. In a move that will surprise nobody, there won’t be a fireworks show on the Vegas Strip for New Year’s Eve this year.
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority President and CEO Steve Hill released the following statement:
“Las Vegas has always been a bucket list New Year’s Eve destination and we are going to make sure that remains the case — celebrating putting 2020 in the rear-view mirror in an ‘Only Vegas’ way.”
“But as we have said throughout the year, the safety and security of our guests and employees is our top priority, and with that in mind, we will not have a fireworks show on Dec. 31. Stay tuned, as we have some special things planned to welcome 2021 with the hope and promise it brings.”
This is a big deal for Las Vegas and visitors to Sin City. There are typically 300,000 people or more visiting Las Vegas to see the fireworks and enjoy the parties and concerts on New Year’s Eve. Businesses on the Vegas Strip will miss the visitors for the long weekend. Likewise, visitors won’t see the fireworks they’ve come to love so much over the years.
However, there’s an option for those who want to visit Las Vegas for the holiday. Downtown Las Vegas might become the destination of choice for those who still want to see fireworks on New Year’s Eve.
Downtown Las Vegas Fireworks
The show will go on in downtown Las Vegas. Once again, the Plaza will celebrate New Year’s Eve with downtown Las Vegas’ only live New Year’s Eve fireworks show on Thursday, Dec. 31.
The fireworks will take off from multiple locations on the Plaza’s roofs and towers. Much like other fireworks shows in Las Vegas, this display will be visible for miles beyond downtown Las Vegas.
The Plaza plans to offer different viewing options on the property. Of course, the property will be observing all necessary health and safety protocols as directed by the government officials. Additionally, the Plaza is also working with the city of Las Vegas to close a portion of Main Street to vehicular traffic for a limited time. This will allow for additional space for anyone who wants to watch the fireworks while remaining socially distant from others. This worked well for the July 4th fireworks show.
“Hosting an amazing fireworks show that lights up the downtown sky on New Year’s Eve is a tradition for the Plaza,” said Jonathan Jossel, CEO of the Plaza Hotel & Casino. “We can’t wait to ring in the new year in classic Vegas style. Whether you are a downtown resident at home, having dinner at Oscar’s steakhouse, or staying with us in the hotel to enjoy the holiday safely, our fireworks show will be one for our city to remember.”
Station Casinos usually has New Year’s Eve fireworks at some of its properties. The company hasn’t announced if they will join the party once again.
Viva Las Vegas!
The Ice Rink at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas will return for its ninth year in a row. The rink opens to the public on Wednesday, November 18. Once again, the Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan will transform into a rooftop winter wonderland. If you’re not familiar with the outdoor attraction it features a 4,200-square-foot skating rink made of real ice overlooking the Vegas Strip.
The Cosmopolitan also offers seasonal culinary cocktails, food, and firepits to roast marshmallows and make s’mores. This year, the Cosmopolitan will also show classic holiday films projected on the resort’s 65-foot marquee.
Cosmopolitan Ice Rink Hours
The Cosmopolitan Ice Rink will be open during the following hours:
- November 18 – December 17, 2020: 3 – 11PM (Mon – Fri) and Noon – 11PM (Sat & Sun)
- November 26 & 27, 2020: Noon – Midnight
- December 18, 2020 – January 3, 2021: Noon – 11PM
- December 24 & 25, 2020: Noon – Midnight
- Closed New Year’s Eve
Cosmopolitan Ice Rink Entry Fees
The Ice Rink at the Cosmopolitan will be open to the public daily beginning Wednesday, Nov. 18 through Sunday, January 3. The Cosmopolitan Ice Rink is free for anyone to visit. To be clear, there is no cost to enter the Boulevard Pool and enjoy the Ice Rink area.
Skating is another story. There are fees, even if you bring your own skates. Here are the prices for anyone who wants to skate:
- $30: Daily for non-hotel guests
- $20: Locals, military with valid ID and hotel guests (limit 4 per room) | Mon – Thurs
- $15: Skate-aid (60-minute rental)
The Ice Rink is open to guests ages two and up. Minors must have a liability waiver signed and be accompanied by an adult over the age of 18. You can see the waiver here.
Much like everything in Las Vegas nowadays, advanced ticket purchases and reservations are strongly encouraged. The Cosmopolitan also recommends large groups and anyone interested in a fire pit to email email@example.com or call 702.698.6797.
Movie Time at The Cosmopolitan Ice Rink
“Date Skate” at the Cosmopolitan Ice Rink will feature classic holiday movies on select nights from Monday, November 3 through Tuesday, December 29.
November 23: The Nightmare Before Christmas
November 24: The Holiday
November 30: Christmas with The Kranks
December 1: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
December 7: A Christmas Story
December 8: The Santa Clause
December 14: How the Grinch Stole Christmas
December 15: Elf
December 21: Frozen
December 22: The Polar Express
December 28: The Muppet Christmas Carol
December 29: Jack Frost
Cosmopolitan Ice Rink Health and Safety
As you’d imagine, enjoying the Ice Rink at the Cosmopolitan will be a little different this year. All visitors to the Ice Rink are required to wear a mask at all times unless eating or drinking while seated. This is the same policy as the casino so it shouldn’t be too different for anyone visiting Las Vegas right now.
Additionally, social distancing and reduced capacity will be enforced. The maximum skating rink occupancy is 60 guests at a time. This will be a change and it could impact the experience – especially on weekends when Las Vegas is still pretty busy. The ice rink may get crowded and the capacity limit could cause delays.
You can see the Cosmopolitans health and safety plan here.
Venues and attractions inside Las Vegas casinos are slowly reopening. Bellagio was one of the first Vegas Strip casinos to reopen. The center-strip property continues to lead the way forward for Sin City. The latest reopening is the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art.
There could be a new underground transportation system in Las Vegas called the “Vegas Loop.” It hasn’t even been a year since we shared information about the people mover at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Construction on that underground system created by Elon Musk’s Boring Company is just about finished. Earlier this year, Resorts World announced plans to connect to the people mover were approved. Now Musk and the Boring Company are looking to expand the transportation tunnel system all around Las Vegas.
The slow road for Las Vegas to return to the destination so many people love continues. Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak recently increased the 50 person limit on gatherings to 250 people. Additionally, some larger venues can petition to have even more people in attendance. Venues can be approved to allow to sell 10% of the seats available in the venue. For example, T-Mobile Arena might be allowed to have 2,000 of the 20,000 seats available for an event if their plan is approved.
Las Vegas casinos closed in mid-March to help slow the spread of coronavirus. Many properties reopened on June 4. Visitation is slowly continuing to rise but Sin City isn’t back yet. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority recently released a report that shows that regional visitors are driving more to Las Vegas than previous months this year. The executive summary also shows that weekend hotel occupancy is 66% while weekdays are only 38.5%. While both are increases, the slow weekdays leave a lot to be desired for Las Vegas casino operators.
A few weeks ago I contemplated the Work From Vegas promotions. Like most of you, I’ve been cooped up and a change of scenery sounded nice. After weighing options for a week or so I decided where to work in Las Vegas (that isn’t at my house). After looking at a variety of hotel options inside and outside of a casino complex I made a choice on a place to work and think for a couple of days outside of my apartment.
Bellagio changes the display in
In December, MGM Resorts announced
Wynn Resorts recently announced the
I was recently speaking with
The Block 16 Food Hall