LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Bellagio fountains are on just about everyone’s list of top Instagrammable spots on the Las Vegas Strip, but they are just a supporting act when Formula One rolls into town.
Construction on grandstands at the lake in front of Bellagio is under way, and the fountains will be blocked from view soon. A rendering released in February shows the grand plan for the “Fountain Club” boxes along the raceway.
8 News Now has asked MGM Resorts about its schedule for operating the fountains during construction, but we have not received a response yet. The show was seen operating every half-hour as of Tuesday evening.
The fountains are just one of the attractions along the Strip affected by the enormous project to produce the F1’s Las Vegas Grand Prix, Nov. 16-18. The Mirage confirmed Wednesday that it has shut down operations at the famous volcano in front of the resort. It is expected to resume operations on Dec. 8.
Just as trees were removed in front of the fountains, plans at The Mirage call for more trees to come down.
Construction in front of Bellagio has brought cranes and barriers to pedestrian access. The two right lanes are currently blocked on southbound Las Vegas Boulevard.
The traffic and pedestrian dilemmas will likely persist through racing week: overnight road work near Sands Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard – plus repaving work around the Sphere, Paddock Building and Koval Lane – is scheduled through early October. Pedestrian and vehicular bridges that will take spectators and hotel guests inside the circuit during the race are being installed until early November.
This, on top of grandstand installation – enough for 105,000 spectators, according to Terry Miller, the project manager for Las Vegas Grand Prix construction. They’re currently being installed across 11 “activation zones,” including in front of The Bellagio and along Koval Lane.
“It’s exciting to have Formula One here, but no one knew what this could possibly require of us,” Clark County Commission Chair Jim Gibson said during a Tuesday meeting where F1 provided an update on construction.
“The majority of the work that we are doing from this point now will be nighttime work,” Miller said, speaking to the board on Tuesday.
Although the changes were foreshadowed months ago, they are a surprise to tourists and some locals who know the Strip.
Jennifer Gay — aka @VegasStarfish with 1.4 million TikTok fans — posted a video on Sunday bemoaning the changes. “… And while I am super excited about the money F1 will bring in to Las Vegas I hate the way things look right now and I’m anxious for things to return to normal,” she said.
Gay, a former journalist who now specializes in travel subjects, calls the scene “a little shocking.”
8 News Now has reached out to Caesars Entertainment and The Venetian for information about how F1 might affect tourist amenities at their properties. We will include their comments when we receive them.
More grandstands are under construction along Koval Lane.
Estimates earlier this year put the economic impact of the Las Vegas Grand Prix at nearly $1.3 billion. Miller said the tear-down timeline after the race is still being developed.