We’d Go Up Higher: Hot Air Balloon Made of Flowers at the Wynn, Las Vegas

By Michelle Railey

The Wynn's Floral Hot Air Balloon
Designed by Preston Bailey. Location: The Wynn, Las Vegas

who knows if the moon’s / a balloon,coming out of a keen city / in the sky—filled with pretty people? /

(and if you and I should / get into it, if they / should take me and take you into their balloon, / why then /

we’d go up higher with all the pretty people / than houses and steeples and clouds: / go sailing / away and

away sailing into a keen / city which nobody’s ever visited, where / always / it’s Spring) and everyone’s /

in love / and flowers pick themselves — e.e.cummings, “Collected Poems”


The Wynn’s magical floral hot air balloon is located in the atrium. It was designed by Preston Bailey and originally displayed in 2013. It is a permanent display measuring over 20 feet high and weighing in at 4,000 pounds. The flowers (approximately 60,000 of them) are changed out every three weeks.

One might wonder about the wisdom of extravagant flowers in a desert but the effect is mesmerizing, emotional, fragrant. If Las Vegas is a temporal mirage, well, the Wynn’s atrium might be its extravagant apex.

Brightly colored but dreamlike: Art can be made of flowers (re-made every three weeks). Always the same, always different. Not from paint or painters and not for museums or collectors. I saw it, you can see it; no admission except a trip to Las Vegas.

Is there anything so special, so luxuriant, so over-the-top as a flower bud— give or take 50,000?

Come fly with me…


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