LAS VEGAS -- The Bellagio, one of Sin City's
largest resorts, went dark for more than 13 hours on Easter Sunday,
leaving at least 5,000 guests unable to use most of the property's
While the cause remained unclear last night, a spokeswoman
acknowledged that the problem was with the failure of the property's
generators. No injuries were reported.
Normal operations were largely halted on the 116,000-square-foot
casino floor. All slot machines were shut off, and, without
power to operate surveillance cameras, extra security was called
in to watch over a handful of table games still operating.
"This is a big deal," said Jenn Michaels, vice president for
public relations for MGM Mirage, which owns Bellagio. "We don't
know yet what the exact cause is. Our main goal right now is
making sure all the guests are comfortable."
Michaels said technicians were working with the Nevada Power
Co. to get the generators back up. A Nevada Power spokeswoman
said its equipment had not failed and that they were "on standby"
to help but were not primarily responsible.
The only power on the main property was coming from an emergency
generator able to operate elevators, some hallway lighting,
and the mechanisms for the electronic room keys. By yesterday
afternoon, guests at the sold-out 3,005-room resort who hadn't
asked to be relocated to other Las Vegas Strip hotels were issued
flashlights, according to a hotel employee inside the resort.
Security guards were posted at every entrance to keep out
visitors who could not prove they were hotel guests, Michaels
All restaurants were closed, and the hotel's special Easter
brunch buffet was canceled, as were last night's performances
of the Cirque du Soleil production "O." Guests were permitted
to sunbathe by the pool but were not allowed to go in the water,
which was not filtered. Restaurateurs were moving some of the
perishable food to refrigerators in the hotel's conference center
area, which, inexplicably, continued to retain power, a hotel
Also off were the hotel's signature dancing waters, which
move to Elton John and Frank Sinatra tunes on the property's
streetside three-acre lake.
Conflicting reports have left in question the cause of the
outage, which began about 2:30 a.m. yesterday and continued
last night. A spokeswoman for MGM Mirage originally said the
blackout followed a car crash on a nearby thoroughfare, which
also knocked out power to the neighboring Monte Carlo Resort
& Casino and Paris Las Vegas across the street.
Yet a spokeswoman for Paris said it had no blackout. Nobody
from Monte Carlo could be reached for comment. The Las Vegas
police, Nevada Highway Patrol, and regional ambulance services
were unable to confirm that a significant auto accident had
occurred near the Bellagio early yesterday.
The hotel is the crown jewel of the MGM Mirage presence on
the Strip. It was the stylish setting of the 2001 casino-robbery
film "Ocean's Eleven," a remake of the 1960 Rat Pack classic.
The cost to MGM Mirage in lost gaming revenue, reimbursed
hotel costs, and canceled meals and shows could reach into the
millions of dollars. Michaels would not speculate on the cost,
insisting, "Nobody's really concerned with revenues right now."
Michaels said there's no indication the incident was related