Area15 is the biggest thing to hit Sin City’s entertainment scene in years, and today we are taking you on a deep dive down the rabbit hole—into the complex’s headliner, Meow Wolf Omega Mart, direct from our upcoming Unofficial Guide to Las Vegas 2023.
Area15, located at 3215 S. Rancho Dr., is an immersive collection of art installations, entertainment experiences, restaurants, and retail, all housed in one massive 15-acre complex. It was the brainchild of developers Michael Beneville and Winston Fisher, both ardent fans of Burning Man, who wanted to bring a bit of that anarchic artistic festival back to Vegas. Think of the result as an all-ages amusement park (minus the roller coasters) featuring enough activities to keep you occupied for a full day and evening.
The project’s anchor tenant is Meow Wolf, an art collective backed by Game of Thrones creator-producer George R. R. Martin. Omega Mart, Meow Wolf’s 58,000-square-foot Vegas installation (more than double the size of their original Santa Fe location) is an eye-popping, brain-bending blend of theme park attraction, psychedelic art gallery, and participatory theater.
Upon entering, you appear to be shopping in an aggressively cheerful all-American supermarket, whose shelves are stocked with satirically surreal groceries (many of which you can actually purchase) like Symbiotic Shrimp sports drink, Tattoo Chicken, and Zalg, the “forgotten vegetable.”
But open the soda cooler or step into the janitor’s closet, and you’ll discover a wormhole into a multi-level world, where the nefarious DramCorp is mining experimental interdimensional elements to manufacture mind-altering consumer products.
This conspiracy-soaked storyline is parsed out through video clips, written messages, and abstract artwork throughout the environment, which feels thematically cohesive despite being the product of hundreds of skilled hands.
There’s a desert village, futuristic factory, and corporate office suite to explore, filled with desk drawers to dig through and craggy rock walls to clamber up.
Most areas are fully accessible, but there are some tight tunnels and twisty slides, which can be detoured around.
Like an enormous escape room with no time limit, Omega Mart is aesthetically overwhelming, potentially physically exhausting, and very much the type of experience where you get out of it exactly as much as you put in.
Seth spent over four hours across two days using the optional Omega Access Card, which is well worth the nominal upcharge for the ability to rewatch footage you find from home; “boop” the card against interactive terminals throughout the space to follow the plot by climbing the corporate ranks at DramCorp and eventually revolting against it, and even seizing control of the broadcasts seen by other guests.
Bob, on the other hand, strolled around the space passively admiring the artistry and exited satisfied after about an hour. Finally, Fred checked out the entry area for about 15 minutes before getting bored and checking out.
Omega Mart admission costs $49 ($45 for kids age 4-13 and seniors 65+) and is available in an Area15 combination ticket.
If you decide to visit Meow Wolf Omega Mart, here are a few tips:
- Buy your tickets in advance online to reserve your entry time.
- Go earlier in the day to avoid crowds.
- Take your time; start by full exploring the market, then make your way to the village and factory. Save the upstairs corporate office for last.
- Open every door and drawer, and don’t be afraid to (gently) touch buttons and knobs.
- There’s no reentry once you exit the exhibit, but there are restrooms and a bar with snacks inside.
- If you only want a Meow Wolf souvenir without paying admission, a gift shop is located outside the exhibit.
Watch this video for a preview of the weirdness.
There’s lots more to see besides Meow Wolf Omega Mart at Area15, so come back soon for another installment exploring the complex’s other attractions.
For all there is to see and do in Las Vegas, check out The Unofficial Guide to Las Vegas by Bob Sehlinger and Seth Kubersky. If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to our YouTube channel and sign up for our newsletter here. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.