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Meow Wolf is ready for a hot vax summer

After getting derailed by COVID, the psychedelic entertainment company sees encouraging signs that crowds are ready to return to live events.

Meow Wolf is ready for a hot vax summer
[Photo: Meow Wolf]
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Vaccinations are up, COVID cases are down, and restrictions on live events are lifting across the country. Nobody could be happier about these things than Meow Wolf, the entertainment group known for its immersive, psychedelically tinged art exhibitions.

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Last year was devastating for the company, which at the height of its popularity had to close down its flagship exhibition—House of Eternal Return in Santa Fe, New Mexico—due to the raging pandemic. A second permanent installation, the much-anticipated experiential grocery store Omega Mart, faced numerous delays before finally opening to reduced capacity in Las Vegas three months ago. And COVID left uncertain plans for future Meow Wolf attractions, including a third permanent installation in Denver.

But with the pandemic in the United States finally turning a corner (fingers crossed), Meow Wolf’s future is looking brighter than, oh, let’s say a giant harp of lasers. House of Eternal Return reopened in March after being shuttered for more than a year. According to data shared exclusively with Fast Company, the attraction has since sold out every day except one, bringing in more than 58,000 visitors to date.

Omega Mart, too, has been performing better than expected, selling out at 50% and then 80% capacity as Nevada’s restrictions have eased. The event has seen more than 208,000 visitors so far, Meow Wolf says. The grocery store, located at the newly opened Area 15 complex near the Las Vegas Strip, is also cleaning up on sales of actual items. According to Meow Wolf, Omega Mart has sold 4,801 “Orange Dream” Mocktails in the Datamosh Bar, more than 2,000 packs of “Doomed Expedition Gum,” and 3,551 bottles of “Omega Cola Soda.”

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Don’t know what any of that stuff is? Head to Vegas and see for yourself.

“After months in lockdown, audiences are hungry for novel and unique, physically immersive, and creative experiences,” Ali Rubinstein, Meow Wolf’s chief creative officer and co-CEO, told Fast Company in an email. “We’ve seen this in spades at both the Omega Mart and House of Eternal Return exhibitions. Both installations have exceeded expectations in terms of ticket sales and have been consistently sold out since opening earlier this year, illustrating the drive of visitors to experience something they can’t replicate at home or on a screen.”

Rubinstein added that the company’s Denver installation is on track to open this fall if all the pandemic indicators continue their downward trend. For all of our sakes, let’s hope we see Meow Wolf there.

About the author

Christopher Zara is a senior staff news editor for Fast Company and obsessed with media, technology, business, culture, and theater. Before coming to FastCo News, he was a deputy editor at International Business Times, a theater critic for Newsweek, and managing editor of Show Business magazine

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