Last week, at Clint Holmes’ show, his granddaughter who had sung a duet with Holmes, noted she had to leave the concert early to attend a prom. Holmes casually asked where the prom was being held and she said, “Area 15”. Holmes reacted quizzically. He had no idea what Area 15 was. But I knew. I had just visited the spot two days earlier and would do so again following a computer problem and lost photos.
So what is Area 15? It is an off-strip (3215 S. Rancho Dr) Las Vegas entertainment and retail complex that opened to the public September 17, 2020 with its largest tenant opening its doors in February of 2021.
A friend and I arrived (both times) on a weekday around Noon, when the complex opens. We found convenient parking and waited until a line of folks had been granted entry before we joined the line. Reservations are encouraged and we had reservations on our first visit; reservations were forgotten. on our second visit, but we were ushered in.
We took photos of the many interesting sculptures outside on “Art Island” and even walked “through” a large trailer with artwork on the outside and lights and sounds inside. Once inside the Area 15 warehouse-like structure, we were greeted with great air conditioning and still more sculptures, especially a 12-foot-tall skull that changed colors as lighting rotated. The. atmosphere was dark, so neon lighting displays had impact. We walked and looked and took pictures — it was fun, and I recommend a visit for any age interested in killing time away from the Strip.
Part of what we saw for free were retail stores and eating and drinking establishments. Chef Todd English has his name associated with an eating area called “The Beast.” In addition, several activities requiring tickets are available. On our most recent visit, the line was outside the Omega (Mega) Mart, “an interactive art installation that is operated by the experiential art collective, Meow Wolf.” The. price for us entering the Mart would have been $40 each. We chose not to spend the money, but obviously many folks did choose tickets. Mega Mart is said to have been a three-and-a-half-year project involving 325 artists. Sadly, we didn’t visit a second floor at Area 15, giving us something to explore on our next visit.
Incidentally, the crowd and the staff (“Alien Ambassadors”) we saw were mostly young folks. Both times we visited, we felt we might have been the oldest folks attending. In fact, on the first trip as we were leaving, a young. woman about to enter looked at us and asked, “Are you lost?” We weren’t lost, just going back to our car, but the question still makes me wonder just how “different” we looked to the young crowd.
For others in a “mature” age group, I recommend a weekday, daytime. visit. Apparently Area 15 is popular with certain locals and if you want to avoid crowds, go early during the week. The most crowded hour seems to be 9 p.m. at night. Guests must be 21 or older for entry at 10 p.m. and later. (Closing time. is 2 a.m.). The Area 15 code of conduct prohibits a variety of disorderly behaviors including the possession of firearms and other weapons.
As for us, we had fun both times we visited Area 15.. A few benches are inside if walking gets tiring, and the bars and restaurants are available with seating as well.
The exhibits and bars seem to function like concessions and all of them offer a local discount. There is no entrance fee to enter the main building and then all of the attractions require additional fees. Two of the most striking exhibits are the Immersive Van Gogh (which lasts about thirty-one minutes and is a continuous loop so visitors can join anytime. Visitors can stay as long as they want, although most people seem to leave around the 35 to 40-minute mark.) And the Van Gogh VR Experience which takes about 15 minutes or so. Currently both are in a soft-opening with significant discounts for locals. There are at least four different bars with different themes.
Enjoy the photos:
7 responses on “Area 15, a Cool Place to Visit”
It is a little like visiting an amusement park like the Pike in Long Beach (historical). It’s missing sailors, but the appeal is similar. I really found the Van Gogh exhibit pretty cool — but I doubt that I will go back. The “Burning Man” motif is not one I find particularly artful or interesting. But it will probably have some appeal for a while.
Thank you Diane!! Your news reporting is always superb!!! Keep up the good work!!
Great pics of a new, hot place in town! I’m so glad you could go there because it’s not my kind of venue; too “busy” visually. But, at least you gave me a taste of it before popped the bucks just to get in. In fact, many of your articles give us a preview of what’s available for tourists and locals! I thank you for that! Saves my time and money I can spend on places, food and entertainment I really might enjoy!
Sounds like a very interesting place to check out. Maybe in the Fall.
My daughter took me to see the Van Gogh exhibit on Mother’s Day and I really truly enjoyed the whole experience I would definitely go a second 3rd 4 times
Museum Fiasco.A $30.00 rip off!!Bunch of lights and sound and mirrors.No shade outside.Should of went to Van Gogh Not for us.
BLING, FLASH, POW. TYPICAL LV OVERKILL. Doesn’t seem to have much substance. Guess it’s OK for a short time. Just remember monkeys like bright, shiny things that mean nothing.