Local culture collective turned unstoppable multi-state artistic powerhouse Meow Wolf announced via email today that it would open another permanent installation, this time off the Las Vegas strip.
In conjunction with New York-based developers Fisher Brothers and Beneville Studios, Meow Wolf will become "the first major tenant for a unique concept of a wholly re-imagined world that weaves together immersive experiences, themed events, art installations, workshops, pop ups, restaurants, bars and nightlife," according to the release. The project, dubbed AREA15, is Meow Wolf's second major location announcement in recent weeks and is expected to open in 2019. This comes hot off the heels of the announcement that Meow Wolf Denver is slated to open in 2020.
According to CEO Vince Kadlubek, the new 50,000-square-foot space will take up one-third of AREA15 and be roughly twice the size of the Santa Fe location. "I guess you could call it an experiential mall," Kadlubek tells SFR. "As the anchor tenant, we're the main attraction, and the rest of the work I believe is largely from the Burner community"—Burner, of course, being the colloquial term for frequent visitors to the annual Burning Man festival.
As for concerns that Santa Fe will take a tourism hit with new Meow Wolf locations opening up, Kadlubek says these projects should only serve to increase awareness. "I think it'll be higher-profile," he says. "When we have 2 million visitors going through Las Vegas and Denver on an annual basis, those visitors are going to be aware there's another one in Santa Fe; the original one is in Santa Fe."
Kadlubek further explains that it's important to Meow Wolf to work with underrepresented artists in and around Las Vegas, and that AREA15 is not part of the strip. "We moved forward with this project with the local population in mind," he says. "The local population doesn't go to the strip [and] we understand the responsibility that we have to artists in Las Vegas. It's up to us to shepherd that."