AREA15, the world’s first purpose-built experiential art and entertainment complex, opened to the public on Thursday, Sept. 17, and reservations for opening weekend were fully booked within 24 hours of being released. While AREA15 is free to enter, pre-registration and masks are required at this time to manage capacities and ensure a safe environment for all guests.
The brand-new venue welcomed its first guests following an opening ceremony helmed by Chief Executive Officer Winston Fisher and Chief Creative Officer Michael Beneville, who also serves as co-founder and CEO of Beneville Studios. Otherworldly art cars, billowing plumes of colored smoke and an eclectic mix of AREA15 ambassadors and performers joined the executives for the opening moment.
Located in the heart of Las Vegas and minutes from the Strip, AREA15 offers immersive activations, monumental art installations, socially-distanced activations, extraordinary design elements, unique retail, ground-breaking technology, bars, eateries and much more. The complex also houses 40,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space with more than 800 free parking spaces.
In addition to Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart, which opens in early 2021, many more experiences will open in the coming months, including Lost Spirits Distillery, Dueling Axes, Emporium Bar and Arcade, Wink World, The Beast Food Hall by Todd English, Rocket Fizz candy shop, and the Intel Innovation Hub. In the coming weeks, AREA15 will continue to reveal new information about even more experiences coming to its campus, including the urban golf simulation Five Iron Golf, and immersive virtual reality experience, Virtualis.
Experiences open now include:
- Art Island – The first-ever permanent gallery for the exhibition of large-scale, commercially available, festival-inspired artwork. A full list of the art on view may be found here.
- Birdly Virtual Reality Experience – Birdly mimics every aspect of the avian experience: from the wind beneath your wings to a bird’s-eye view of some of the richest landscapes in the digital world. Guests take a spin through the skies of New York or Singapore, explore prehistoric worlds, or test their flying skills in a futuristic racing game.
- Emack & Bolios – Boston-based Emack & Bolios makes its west coast debut at AREA15, serving ice cream, yogurt, homemade fudge and chocolate, micro-brewed sodas, vegan selections, and more.
- Gallerie 360 inside The Portal – A fully immersive audio and visual experience featuring world-renowned digital artists inside AREA15’s 360-degree projection mapped room, which doubles as a unique event space.
- Haley’s Comet – Created by Walltopia, Haley’s Comet is the first indoor, electric dual-track suspension ride in the United States. Taking thrill seekers for an exhilarating, bird’s-eye view of the unique art in The SPINE, this glider-ride positions two riders against one another in a race to the finish, reaching 8 miles per hour.
- Oddwood – Designed by Las Vegas entrepreneur Ryan Doherty of Corner Bar Management Group, giving inspiration to its name, at the heart of Oddwood will be the ever-changing, nearly 23-foot-high Japanese maple tree built by Color + Light A dramatic 28-feet-long by 17-feet-wide canopy with more than 5,000 twinkling LED lights will create the romantic, enchanting vibe in the space. Oddwood will serve a wide variety of premium beers and cocktails.
- Sanctuary by Ibuku Design Studio – Made from bamboo that’s been carefully selected from the islands of Bali and Java, Santuary offers a tranquil place to gather, rest and reflect. Taking its inspiration from the conical shape of a volcano, this earthy, airy dome is made from all-natural materials, acting as a living organism complete with lush plant life. Sanctuary is also available for private event bookings.
- Shogyo Mujo by Bart Kresa Studio and Joshua Harker – Welcoming guests as they enter the portal into AREA15, Shogyo Mujo is an interactive, 12-foot tall skull covered in 3D projection mapping and synched to music. It ventures into the fourth dimension, that of time, to give each guest a unique different experiene based on where, when, and how they view the piece.
- The Beast Pop-up Food Experience – AREA15’s outdoor event space, A-Lot, will be transformed into a one-of-a-kind outdoor dining experience. Guests will eat and drink under the desert stars surrounded by monumental art sculptures and art cars.
- The SPINE – The backbone tying everything together, The SPINE provides an ever-changing corridor filled with one-of-a-kind art installations, engaging brand activations, unique commerce and inspiring food and beverage offerings.
- Valyrian Steel by Henry Chang Design – Located in the heart of The SPINE, Valyrian Steel is a kinetic art car that is part Mad Max, part Mars Rover.
- Wild Muse Boutique – A unique retail bazaar inside The SPINE, Wild Muse Boutique features one-of-a-kind, handcrafted, sustainable apparel, accessories, art, and eco-friendly health and wellness products from both local and global creators.
AREA15 will follow the latest recommendations of leading health experts and government authorities, including the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And true to the insatiable hunger for all things inventive and groundbreaking, AREA15 will be using cutting-edge, state-of-the-art technology to help implement these recommendations, including an AI-driven thermal scanning platform that screens temperature accurately and non-invasively, detects the absence of a mask, and alerts staff when social distancing thresholds are not being met.