AREA15 is the epicenter for arts and entertainment in Las Vegas


The addition of 200-person venue space The Wall to AREA15 has pushed the immersive-experience destination’s programming into uncharted territory. There is enough to see, hear, dine on and drink any time during opening hours, but AREA15 now hosts weekend DJ massives in both projection-mapping venue The Portal and The Wall, as well as bands such as Man or Astro-man? at the latter. Man or Astro-man? would be one a slew of live music options if booked into a live venue on the Strip. Playing a Sunday evening at The Wall makes a Las Vegas tour stop special. The growth of AREA15 is hardly slowing, though. Soon there will be an AREA15 District with more options such as indoor skydiving, and Universal Parks and Resorts has chosen AREA15 as the site for 20 acres of even more mind-blowing experiences.

Considering the intellectual property archives of Universal, the possibilities are staggering. “The footprint of AREA15, along with the tenants, is going to double,” says AREA15 COO Dan Pelson. “We believe and we’re confident that AREA15 and this District, with our partners and our own businesses, will be the biggest experiential hub in the world.”

The common thread among the experiences is mind-blowfulness. When Pelson and his colleagues consider a new feature for AREA15, they ask themselves, “Is it mind-blowing?” The latest affirmative answer to that question led to the opening of Kaia Handroll, a sushi restaurant with a “vibrant, modern take” on traditional Japanese tastes and techniques.

Kaia (“of the sea”) is helmed by head chef Joseph Soto and sous chefs Juan Laguana and Christopher Soldivieri, who serve up lobster truffle, blue crab and bluefin tuna rolls in an atmosphere that draws upon a water theme, art and augmented reality to distinguish itself. It takes its place in a dining portfolio that includes The Beast by Todd English, Lumin Café by Elizabeth Blau at cinematic venue Illuminarium and Lost Spirits Distillery.

Lost Spirits is the big dog of libation destinations that includes Oddwood Bar, The Asylum Bar + Arcade and Datamosh inside Omega Mart. Omega Mart must be experienced to be believed. It seems like a surreal grocery store at first, but hidden passages lead to an inner world of art installations, interactive tech and conspiracy theories.

Attractions Alley, “a carnival midway for the digital age,” may be new to returning guests who come for outdoor events in the A-Lot, dress-up DJ events at the Portal or high-altitude attractions like Liftoff. Meditative minds might enjoy Frequency Breathing during the day, or the 8 p.m. magic show Smokus Pocus.

There just isn’t enough time to fully explore AREA15’s offerings in one visit. “There’s so much effort going on here that we believe when we’re done no one will be competing with Las Vegas when it comes to this,” says Pelson. “This is going to be at the center of Las Vegas and the center of the world when it comes to experiential.”

3215 S. Rancho Drive, area15.com

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