Meow Wolf announces Las Vegas expansion - Albuquerque Journal

Meow Wolf announces Las Vegas expansion

The Meow Wolf  boom continues – now with plans for a permanent exhibition in Las Vegas, Nev., announced today only a couple of weeks after an expansion to Denver was made public.

According to a news release, Meow Wolf’s Las Vegas exhibition is scheduled to open in late 2019 as the first tenant of a new development called AREA15.

The 166,000 square foot project located off Interstate 15 is said to be part of an idea that “weaves together immersive experiences, themed events, art installations, workshops, pop ups, restaurants, bars and nightlife.”

Meow Wolf will take up 50,000 square feet, and 40,000 square feet of that will be exhibition space. Design and other conceptual details will be available later this year, the announcement said.

 

A rendering of Meow Wolf’s upcoming expansion in Las Vegas. A Thursday announcement said it will open in 2019. (Courtesy Meow Wolf)

“Meow Wolf has envisioned an entirely new way of telling a story—more immersive, more interactive, more exploratory than anything before—and we look forward to produce an otherworldly experience for the vibrant local population of Las Vegas as well as the city’s year-round visitors from around the globe,” CEO Vince Kadlubek said in the announcement.

Two weeks ago, Meow Wolf announced it was opening a 5-story, $50 million exhibition in Denver scheduled to open in early 2020.

Kadlubek said both projects “just made sense,” even with the similar timelines.

The House of Eternal Return, an all-ages funhouse that through close examination reveals a strange story about its fictional inhabitants, has been a hit since it opened in March 2016. It drew 400,000 people to a former bowling alley purchased with the help of “Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin and brought in a reported $7 million its first year. Meow Wolf has been contemplating branching out to other cities for at least several months.

The estimated cost of the Las Vegas facility is not yet known, Kadlubek said. He said funding will come from revenue from the House of Eternal Return, AREA15 real estate developers, the New York-based Fisher Brothers firm and other private investors.

Fisher Brothers, which has developed commercial and residential properties in New York and Las Vegas, is working with Beneville Studios, a creative agency also from New York. Kadlubek said the developers approached them about creating an exhibition in the new complex. “They’re trying to do a serious subversion into food, beverage and retail space, and we just felt aligned,” Kadlubek said.

The complex will include an event space to accommodate concerts, festivals and other large gatherings. Meow Wolf has worked in Las Vegas before, including in September, when it created a temporary “Art Motel” for the Life is Beautiful Festival. Kudlabek said his group “fell in love” with the work of Vegas’ local community.

“Las Vegas is weird, maximalist, an active commentary and a place to be amazed,” Meow Wolf chief creative ocfficer Emily Montoya said. “That’s a lot in common with Meow Wolf.” Kadlubek added, “If we can make something that the local population loves, we feel really good about our success.”

As is the case with the Denver project, Meow Wolf Las Vegas is selling 20,000 first-week tickets for $60, 1,000 opening night gala tickets for $1,000 and $10,000 lifetime passes are available.


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