Behind The Scenes: Companies at the Heart of Everyday Life
BY Inc. staff
Bellagio Resort and Casino, Las Vegas 11.14.08 6:30 p.m.
Electrical Safety Equipment
Water and electricity are a dangerous mix, and the Fountains of Bellagio have plenty of both. Luckily, electrical safety equipment from Bender, based in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, ensures that the only thing shocking to spectators is the view. More than 400 of Bender's ground-fault circuit interrupters are installed under the fountains. The company, which has 500 employees, was founded by Walther Bender in 1937 and is run by his son Christian.
The Fountains of Bellagio
Engineers interested in the "axisymmetric laminar flow of fluids" can read Mark Fuller's undergraduate thesis. The rest of us can see it in action in the Fountains of Bellagio, built by Fuller's company, WET Design. Fuller started WET in 1983 to "stretch the boundaries of what we can do with water." The company, based in Sun Valley, California, has 400 employees and $60 million in annual revenue. And water's boundaries have certainly been stretched; at some points, 17,000 gallons of it are in the air at once.
The fasteners made by Nelson Stud Welding provide support for buildings all over the world, but in Las Vegas they are being used strictly for their good looks. Roughly 300,000 Nelson studs were welded onto the Eiffel Tower replica outside the Paris Las Vegas hotel to mimic the rivets found on the original. Nelson, which is based in Elyria, Ohio, was founded in 1939 and has 500 employees. Its fasteners can be found in vacuum cleaners and washing machines, and they help hold together the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.
The bright lights of Vegas may lure visitors to blackjack tables, but they also run up a hefty power bill. That's why many casinos buy energy-saving Micro-Brite bulbs from Litetronics International for their marquees and outdoor decorations. The bulbs last for 25,000 hours and use 85 percent less electricity than standard incandescent bulbs. Founded in 1970 by CEO Robert Sorensen, the Alsip, Illinois, company has 150 employees. Litetronics makes and sells more than 10 million bulbs per year, of which 6,000 are in the Paris balloon.