The D.E.A.L.: Dining, Entertainment, Attractions & Lodging
by Jeanne Brei
As one of the top tourist and meetings destinations in the world, Las Vegas is blessed with an abundance of attractions. There’s literally something for every taste and many can only be found in Las Vegas—including the Neon Boneyard (of restored neon signs from the early days of Las Vegas), the Mob Museum, the Fremont Street Experience, the Springs Preserves and so many more!
But our readers come to Las Vegas so often for shows that they’re practically natives or, at least, “insiders.” So, let’s talk about some new attractions that have just opened in the last year. First to mind, is the extraordinary Area15 and anchor tenant Meow Wolf. It opened on September 17 last year and is constantly reinventing itself, adding new experiences and rotating out others. How to describe it? Well, it’s an experiential, futuristic, artistic retail and adventure extravaganza. Their website describes themselves as “an immersive entertainment & events complex … that is a home for the bold, the makers, the agents of change … a mind-bending, explorable art experience for people of all ages.”
While the building looks like a massive bland warehouse from the outside surrounded by 32,000-sq.ft. of amazing art installations with a Burning Man vibe—the interior is a wonderland filled with experiential activations that all are priced separately. After a spaceship portal entry, you enter the “SPINE,” an ever-changing corridor filled with one-of-a-kind art installations and unique experiences.
Area 15 has two indoor event spaces: The Portal, which features 360-degree projection mapped walls, and the Sanctuary (pictured left), a circular bamboo volcano structure which are open unless being used by a private event. Fortunately, you can enter for free and see everything—it’s the doing that costs money.
On one level, Meow Wolf (top picture) is like a McDonald’s playground for adults if the designers had been given an unlimited budget and lots of psychedelic drugs. There’s artwork from more than 300 artists and if you take an Omega World tour, you’ll discover there’s several levels to experience it on—including one where you can decide if you want to fight the corporate tyrants who are ruining the world. It has several hidden entrances and “portals to other dimensions.” And Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart is just the first 52,000 sq.ft. of Area 15’s 200,000 sq.ft.
After a couple of hours at OmegaMart, you could visit Wink World (pictured right)—Blue Man Group’s Chief Creative Officer Chris Wink created this psychedelic art house with infinity mirror rooms that integrate sound, light, color and motion); Museum Fiasco, which is currently showing “Cluster” by Playmodes Studio on rotation (a fully immersive installation that uses light and sound to explore the relationship between space, time, and perception) or the Vincent Van Gogh Experience that is touring the world.
You could play indoor golf at Five Iron Golf, throw axes at Dueling Axes, play arcade games at the Emporium, hang glide or free fall on the first indoor, electric dual-track suspension ride in the U.S. at Haley’s Comet, do some VR and AR experiences like Birdly (where you can soar like a bird), venture into space in an interactive AR experience from Particle Quest, do a seated or an immersive VR experience at the OZ Experience, go shopping at Wild Muse Boutique or get a drink from Rocket Fizz (a modern-day, old-fashioned soda and candy shop) or the bar under Oddwood’s 23-ft.-high Japanese maple tree covered in 5,000+ twinkling and color changing LED lights. The Beast by Todd English offers food and a Lost Spirits Distillery (pictured left) offers an immersive tour featuring whisky and rum tastings, boat rides, underwater train rides and holograms. Coming soon is “RISE – An Elevated Bar Experience,” a 16-seat gondola that rotates 360-degrees in a seven-minute ride which lifts guests 131 feet with their feet dangling in the air, to enjoy a panoramic view of Las Vegas, along with their drink.
There’s so much at Area 15, I didn’t even get to recommend heading to Circa’s Stadium Swim, Park MGM’s Eataly or Resorts World’s Famous Foods Street Eats. Be sure to check out what’s new in Vegas!
This story originally appeared in the Sept./Oct. 2021 issue of Exhibit City News, p. 56. For original layout, visit https://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/ecn_sept-oct_2021