As guests walk through The Venetian and The Palazzo, most notice the grandeur and luxury that can be seen as you walk through either lobby. What they may not know is that there are hidden secrets and unknown facts about how the properties were built. In November, Sands Academy hosted the annual Team Member Arts and Architecture Tour to showcase and highlight architectural secrets from The Palazzo Porte Cochere to The Venetian Lobby.
“These are really interesting facts that not a lot of people know about, even most of our Team Members,” Cecilia Darr, Supervisor of Concierge Services said. “It’s fascinating to walk through our properties and learn about the details that go into building an Integrated Resort and how much thought is put into it.”
The tour began at The Rococo Fountain in the Porte Cochere at The Palazzo, where Darr pointed out the unique central basin filled with reclaimed water from the entire campus, given in part to the properties Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification, making it the largest LEED certified building in the nation. Moving into center of The Palazzo lobby, Darr explained the significance of the main fountain, which stands at 36 feet tall, spanning two floors and weighing in at 1500 pounds per piece.
“The fountain is called ‘Acqua di Cristallo,’ which means Crystal Waters in Italian, which uses reclaimed water from the entire campus,” Darr said. “It was designed by Sam Bocchicchio and he wanted the sculpture to depict the struggles women have between being mothers and having careers. The women in the fountain were created from solid acrylic polymer, and it is the first time acrylic polymer is used in a sculpture of this scale.”
The tour moved into The Palazzo’s Atrium Waterfall. Coins thrown in the fountain are donated to the Adelson Clinic and plants are watered on a special drip system designed to meet ECO360 standards throughout the campus, leading the way to the Grand Canal Shoppes, home to The Venetian’s indoor canal.
“The canal stretches one quarter of a mile and holds over 237,000 gallons of water,” he said. “Gondolas are built by hand with over eight different types of wood and take over a year to make. Gondoliers can be seen singing to guests as they move past the various shoppes and restaurants. It gives the essence of being in Venice in the real Grand Canal.”
Through the Great Hall in front of the Sands Poker Room and under the Triumph of Venice, the tour stopped where the famed Copa Cabana Room was once located. It hosted rat pack members Frank Sinatra, James Dean and Sammy Davis Jr. where they used to perform prior to the demolition of the Sands Hotel.
Outside, the architectural symbolism shows how closely the property is modeled after Venice. With the clock tower, Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Campanile Tower, guests can see the architecture only found in Venice.
“The columns of St. Theodore and St. Mark, the two sixty foot high columns at the front of the property, are considered the gateway to Venice,” Darr said. “Nicolo Baraterri, the builder of the Rialto Bridge, erected the columns in exchange to run gambling dens between them, creating the world’s first public casino, which at the time, gambling was only for the rich and nobility, but the casino made this a past time for everyone.”
The Arts and Architecture tour is designed to enhance Team Member’s knowledge of the property. The knowledge they get helps enhance guest experience and allows Team Members to share the secrets of the property and what makes our properties so special.