If you walk into the Bellagio Conservatory, you'll see it decked out for Chinese New Year with red lanterns and a field of gold flowers. The exhibits change for seasons and major holidays. With flying reindeer, human-sized snails and ants, and snowball-throwing penguins, the Conservatory attracts locals and tourists alike. But who stages this giant production? Who designs it, and arranges every flower down to the last petal? We talk to the man behind the Bellagio's magic.
Andres "Andy" Garcia, Dir of Horticulture, Bellagio Conservatory
Listening to the story of Mr. Garcia's personal success, realizing his version of the American dream, literally brought me to tears. I was so moved that I have sent Mr. Garcia a personal letter expressing appreciation and congratulations on his success.David Berman –Feb 3, 2011 13:45:19 PM
All of our conservatory plans go through many departments for approval but none go through as many as the plans for Chinese New Year. Each year the plans for this particular show are sent to the team in our Far East marketing department to review for authenticity and sensitivities. While the terracotta warriors (not hallow warriors as mentioned below) does relate to the death of First Quin Emperor the terracotta army was created to honor and watch over him in the afterlife. The warriors are not seen as symbols of luck but rather reflect China's enduring heritage of national pride, power and strength.Sara –Feb 3, 2011 17:23:02 PM
I enjoyed hearing Mr Garcias' description of his process in creating the Conservatory. However, my wife who's Taiwanese & works @ Bellagio noted a problem; the design included the Chinese "hollow warriors" used in graves of emperors. These are associated with death & funerals & Yin energy - very bad luck for Chinese New Year. It seemed obvious to her that no Chinese were consulted in the design process. Oops! Coby –Feb 3, 2011 10:53:57 AM
So, wait a second, the director of Horticulture at the Bellagio has the SAME NAME as Andy Garcia, the actor who played Terry Benedict (Bellagio's casino manager in the film) in 2001's "Ocean's Eleven"? That's hilarious!
I shouted, "WHAT?" when I read this line in my KNPR email:
"Thursday on KNPR's State of Nevada we talk with the man behind the Bellagio's magic, Andy Garcia. Listen at 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. on News 88.9 KNPR."James Vignale II –Feb 2, 2011 16:16:51 PM