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Bellagio’s Curtis Briggs guides iconic Vegas experiences

Curtis Briggs is the man behind the Bellagio fountains.
Photo: Christopher DeVargas

Spend 10 minutes with Curtis Briggs and one thing becomes obvious: He loves his job. As the manager of the fountains at Bellagio, Briggs oversees a crew of 29 guys whose job is to make sure the show goes off without a hitch, night after night.

Briggs has worked at the fountains since Bellagio’s 1998 opening—first working on the install as an employee of Wet Design, and then serving as a maintenance engineer before becoming manager. But it was his background in construction and pouring concrete for O at Bellagio that paved the way.

“I tried to pick something that was the hardest thing I could find,” Briggs says. “My way of thinking was, if I can master the hardest thing, then the rest of life should come easier.”

When he was finally hired to work on the fountains, Briggs had some doubts, he says. But he powered through it. “I thought, ‘Am I going to be able to do this?’ I wasn’t sure. No one had done this before. It was a new show, so everyone was going to have to learn at the same pace, and I thought I can learn just as quick as everyone else. So I did.”

Briggs worked as a maintenance engineer for more than a decade, diving and working on the massive water shooters embedded more than 10 feet under the lake’s surface—the ones that launch dancing streams of water 460 feet into the air.

Now, most of Briggs’ job is on land, and in addition to overseeing the fountains, he and his crew are tasked with building and assembling structures for the Bellagio’s conservatory.

“When it comes to the hotel, I am super proud to work on the fountains and the conservatory—two things that are free to the public,” Briggs says. “The other thing I really like is working as a team and achieving a goal like the conservatory and being able to see it when it’s finished. The satisfaction that you get from watching it, and the joy it puts on people’s faces—for me, there’s nothing like that.”

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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