After much anticipation, Area15 finally welcomes Meow Wolf, the anchor tenant that occupies a full third of that sprawling entertainment, dining and retail complex, on Thursday, February 18. And though the full details of what you’ll find at Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart are deliberately scarce in this week’s press announcement, it’s safe to assume that things are gonna get weird next month.
Omega Mart is the second permanent, large-scale interactive art space created by the Santa Fe, New Mexico-based arts and entertainment group, following House of Eternal Return, a 20,000 square-foot wonderland built within a former bowling alley. Seekers enter this otherworld through a two-story Victorian house that’s replete with hidden portals and softly glowing liminal spaces; those conduits lead to spaceships, creature lairs and musical cages of fossilized bones.
Generally speaking, Omega Mart builds on the bones of Eternal Return: This time it’s a portal-riddled supermarket that stocks such items as “Impact Corn, Caltucky Freedom Glaze and Americanized Beef.” But the 60-plus themed environments those portals lead to—and the 325-plus artists, both local and national, who created them—well, that’s what gobbles up the curious by the truckload. It’s not for nothing that the #houseofeternalreturn hashtag appears on more than 10,500 Instagram photos.
You can safely expect to lose a couple of hours inside Omega Mart, either through distraction or temporal displacement, so plan accordingly. (And there are other cool things to see at Area15, including Wink World and Cluster.) If you’re recently inoculated/recovered and looking to rekindle your sense of fun, Omega Mart may just have what it takes to bring you back into the world by flinging you into several others. Rolling Stone called House of Eternal Return “a wormhole-riddled art playhouse,” while Atlas Obscura described it as “part choose-your-own-adventure and part jungle gym.” It’s hard even to imagine what Meow Wolf has cooked up for Vegas, a city that’s already part wormhole, part playhouse, part art—and in a space that dwarfs their Santa Fe original. In other words, if you’ve been waiting for the right moment to visit Area15, the time is meow.
Omega Mart will open with full COVID safety protections in place—social distancing, mandatory masks, attendance capped at 25% and Impact Corn sanitized to within an inch of its shelf life. Tickets must be purchased in advance—$35 for Nevada residents ($30 for children, seniors and military personnel) and $45 ($40 children, seniors and military) for out-of-state visitors. Hours beginning February 18 are 3-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 3 p.m.-midnight Friday, 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday. Visit meowwolf.com to reserve your tickets today.