You can’t miss AREA15 in Las Vegas if you drive anywhere on I-15, parallel to the strip. On one side of the cab are the backs of famous casino hotels. On the other, out of a vast emptiness of anonymous warehouses appears the mother of all vast featureless warehouses. It looks like it’s three stories tall and a mile long. At first you might think it’s an Amazon distribution center, but there are no trucks. And on the other end of the building is art for Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart, AREA15’s anchor tenant, which has been relentlessly marketing its attraction in California airports.
Blooloop, the location-based entertainment trade magazine, announced last month that Las Vegas’ AREA15 has been named the most visited attraction in the nation. The multimedia attraction and experience mall won a category which includes museums like the African American Museum and New York’s Natural History Museum, but it is much more than that. AREA15 features a diverse array of curated art installations, concept bars, and themed restaurants, including a distillery. Activities include zip lines, VR experiences, arcade games, ax-throwing, and a golf simulator. The twenty-acre grounds that surround the facility are big enough to accommodate outdoor events, festivals and concerts from well-known acts. According to Placer.ai data Area15 attracted 3.23 million visitors in 2022.
Outside of the main entrance is AREA15’s Art Island are large scale outdoor art pieces. The most dominant of these is Mechan 9, a massive robot half-buried in the concrete pad, as if he fell from the sky. It was created by TFC, a Portland, Oregon-based collective spearheaded by Tyler Fuqua. Nearby is Valyrian Steel, a kinetic “art car” originally built for Burning Man by Henry Chang, a local Las Vegas artist. Nearby I see a sign promoting Block Party weekends, with food trucks, drink specials, liftoff rides, and a DJ. Even with a wingless DC-3 in the parking lot, this is still a retail entertainment business. You’ve got to give them something new, something to talk about, a reason to come back.
The article was originally posted by Forbes.com
Authored by Charlie Fink