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Behind the scenes of the Bellagio water show

January 26, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
It's a show that stops traffic on the Las Vegas Strip.

Take a stroll down the strip and it's almost impossible to miss the fountains at the Bellagio.

There are 30 different choreographed fountain shows, seven days a week.

It's a complex mix of machinery and manpower. There are 29 engineers in all and everyone on staff is scuba dive certified.

"And we also have rescue certifications," said Gene Bowling, who manages the fountains. "People do tend to hop in the lake from time to time."

The lake itself is 8.5 acres and filled with 22.5 million gallons of water.

But off to the side is an area referred to as the bat cave. Inside are more than 1,000 so-called "water shooters," the daddy of them all is what they call the "extreme shooter."

"It'll go 480 feet, which if you're standing on the top of the Bellagio, you would be eye level, so almost to the top of the building," Bowling said.

Some viewers feel emotional after seeing the show.

"It's just gorgeous," said tourist Ann Smith. "It actually brought tears to my eyes."


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