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Meow Wolf announces huge Phoenix project

Meow Wolf announced on Facebook Friday night plans to expand to Phoenix. (Meow Wolf’s Facebook page)

Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – Meow Wolf, already in the process of expanding its footprint around the country, now is moving into the hospitality industry with a massive project planned for Phoenix.

The burgeoning alternative arts and entertainment company, which started with the popular House of Eternal Return immersive art installation in Santa Fe, announced on Facebook Friday evening that the “Dream Machine Hotel” is going to be its next expansion project.

CEO Vince Kadlubek told the Journal Friday night that the development will be part immersive exhibit, part hotel in Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row district. Kadlubek said planners are looking at 20-plus stories, and Meow Wolf’s website says there will be about 400 hotel rooms. The exhibit space should be 75,000 square feet and there are plans for 10,000-square-foot music performance venue.

There isn’t an estimated opening date yet, Kadlubek said, but he described the Phoenix site as a “multi-year project” that could be ready about the same time or after Meow Wolf’s Washington, D.C., facility that is slated to open in 2022 – after other previously announced projects in Las Vegas, Nev., and Denver. The Las Vegas operation is supposed to open first, toward the end of 2019.

Kadlubek said the idea for the hotel came from fans of the House of Eternal Return, which opened in March 2016, who asked if they could spend the night in any of the fantastical rooms in the “house.”

That’s not happening, “but it got us thinking how cool would it be if people could stay overnight in the exhibition?” he said.

The hotel rooms could include experiences like “faux-glamping,” communal hostel environments, “absurd” luxury suites, and lodging actually inside of the art exhibition itself, Meow Wolf said on its website.

Meow Wolf has never planned a building this large or with so much vertical space, he said. But “we know that we can grow into being the company that will deliver on a project of that size,” Kadlubek said. He said there isn’t an estimated cost for the Phoenix project at this point.

He said Meow Wolf was drawn to Phoenix by a vision put forth by local commercial development company and project partner True North Studio. As with its other projects, he said Meow Wolf will collaborate with local artists. “And Phoenix is a sleeping giant of creative talent,” Kadlubek said. “It’s incredible how many people are here that make amazing things.”