Area15, a new entertainment complex that will include live events, art installations and retail space, continues on its path toward an opening late this year or early 2020 just off the Las Vegas Strip.
Owners of the project last week announced that Meow Wolf, a Santa Fe, N.M.-based company specializing in immersive, interactive art installations, would serve as an anchor tenant of the 200,000-square-foot space.
The Area15 project, situated west of the Strip on the other side of Interstate 15 on Rancho Drive at Desert Inn Road, is a joint venture between real estate development firm Fisher Brothers and creative agency Beneville Studios, both of New York.
"We own the land and asked ourselves what would be the right thing to do here," CEO Winston Fisher said. "We met Michael Beneville and started working together on this idea. As we thought of the changing nature of entertainment in Las Vegas, the idea of an immersive bizarre, a house for the next evolution of entertainment emerged. It's a place of wonder and mystery, a place that's ever-changing and reflects new trends."
The addition of Meow Wolf to the project was a significant development.
"Meow Wolf is an incredible company," Fisher said. "When you look around the country they are one of the truly premier location-based entertainment companies. They are creative geniuses."
The opening date for Area15 is not yet official, but Fisher said they expect to welcome the public in late December or in January 2020.
The facility will be free to enter, and parking is free, as well. In addition to storefronts and a large-scale Meow Wolf installation, there is a 32-foot high bamboo volcano, a stainless steel art car created by Las Vegas Sculptor Henry Chang, a food hall and indoor and outdoor event space.
"It's fairly big, but there is an intimacy to it," Fisher said. "The art is woven into the space, and you can explore."
With 40,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor event space there is a lot of flexibility, and Area15 could be used for live music, festivals, corporate events and private parties, esports tournaments and other large productions.
"One of our biggest challenges has been staying focused," Fisher said. "It's a big space, and the more we get into it, we're realizing there are so many more opportunities for cool things to do than we realized. So we have to stay focused on bringing some cool things to life, and then we can do more in phase two."
Fisher said Las Vegas is a great home for Area15, noting that the city is home to a growing art community and annual events such as the Electric Daisy Carnival and Life Is Beautiful that fuse live music performances with large-scale art installations and features.
"Las Vegas is home to incredible creativity and a great art community," Fisher said. "Las Vegas was the place for Area15 because you have the Strip, all of the incredible talent there, the unbelievable art and culture, and amazing music [acts] that comes through [the city]. It's a dynamic community that gets 42 million visitors each year, and people want different experiences. It's not competing with the Strip but is something that is in addition to it."