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Q&A: Behind the scenes of a Las Vegas fountain show

TTG sat down with Loni Singer, lead front feature engineer at Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas to get some insights into his day job. 

TRFBLI
Loni Singer, front feature engineer at Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas
Loni Singer, front feature engineer at Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas

How did you land this job?

In the early 1990s, I learnt of an opportunity to help build Treasure Island’s pirate show.

 

I worked on the show for seven years and was in charge of maintaining the show technology.

 

I heard Bellagio was going to build the biggest fountain show in the world and there was an opening to help build and work on that project.

 

Luckily, because I’m a diver and had experience working with water features, I was a great fit.


How long have you been a diver?

I’ve been dive certified since 1994 and worked at Bellagio for more than 20 years. I started there as a dive mechanic on the fountains and worked my way up the ranks. I’ve been in my current role as lead front feature engineer for four years.


What does your day-to-day job involve?

I work on lake operations, co-ordinate and execute event logistics and manage a team who work on the front feature.

 

Our team performs daily cleaning and maintenance on the fountains, and we handle the rigging and water features at the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens.


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How many divers work at Bellagio?

It takes a team of 30 to maintain the fountains, including engineers, pool specialists and maintenance divers.


Do you often have to retrieve items from the fountains for guests?

Since we perform daily cleaning and maintenance, we often retrieve debris and other items from the lake.

 

Many times we retrieve coins, which we donate to charity, but people accidentally drop mobile phones or sunglasses.

 

One time someone lost a wedding ring and after two days of searching we retrieved it for the guest.


What’s the best thing about your job?

Seeing the fountains go off every night.

Any challenges?

Cold water in winter. The water in the lake isn’t heated and it’s usually around 4°C in winter and feels freezing each time we dive in.

 

Sometimes we have to cancel shows due to poor weather or high winds. It’s disappointing because I know many visitors look forward to it every day.


What’s your best fact about the fountains?

The fountains have more than 1,200 water-emitting devices, including 208 oarsmen, which spray water in a moveable stream 23 metres high, and a series of shooters that fire water straight into the air.

 

Mini shooters can throw water 30m high, super shooters 73m high and extreme shooters 140m.


When can people catch the fountain show?

Every 30 minutes from Monday to Friday between 3pm and 8pm, and every 15 minutes from 8pm to midnight.

 

On Saturdays and holidays, it’s every 30 minutes from noon to 8pm and 15 minutes from 8pm to midnight.
How long have you lived in Las Vegas for?


Since 1980. I love Vegas – it’s home and I’d never want to change that.


As exciting as it is working on the Strip every day, I also enjoy living 20 minutes away, where I can get away and have that small-town feeling.

Singer maintains this fountain in front of Bellagio Resort & Casino of Las Vegas
Singer maintains this fountain in front of Bellagio Resort & Casino of Las Vegas

What’s your favourite thing about Bellagio Resort & Casino?

The passion employees have for our guests and the many ways we’re able to make an impression on them during their stay.


Any top tips for people visiting the hotel?

View the fountains from the patio of one of Bellagio’s restaurants or book a hotel room facing the fountains – it is truly a memorable view.


What else is a must-do on a Vegas trip?

Everyone must experience at least one meal at a fine-dining restaurant – especially at Bellagio.


Any insider tips?

Bellagio is home to some of the best free attractions on the Strip. As well as the fountains show, I recommend strolling through Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens.

TRFBLI
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