Universal Parks & Resorts confirmed that a year-round horror experience is coming to Las Vegas. This brand-new permanent haunt location from the creators of Halloween Horror Nights will be built as part of an expansion to AREA15.
Horror fans are wondering what types of haunted houses this new experience will have, and how it will be branded differently from HHN. Let’s dig into all of the news and rumors since the announcement in today’s news update. See the video version of this story below for additional visuals.
Universal Parks & Resorts recently announced plans to build a year-round haunted house attraction in Las Vegas, as part of an expansion to AREA15. The AREA15 complex sees more than 2.4 million visitors a year, and is currently home to attractions like Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart.
Universal released an official piece of concept art as part of the announcement, seen below. They say that this permanent horror-centric entertainment experience will bring Universal’s vast library of classic and modern horror characters to life.
The venue will include immersive haunted house experiences, but also “food and beverage spaces by day turned haunting bars and eateries by night” and “one-of-a-kind merchandise.” Page Thompson, President of New Ventures at Universal Parks & Resorts said that “This is a horror party. It’s a lot of fun. It’s not just about gore.”
Universal’s new year-round haunt experience will act as the anchor for AREA15’s upcoming 20-acre expansion. Winston Fisher, AREA15’s CEO, said he hopes to break ground on this project in the next six months.
The total AREA15 expansion will offer over 413,000 square feet of customizable retail space, with Universal’s structure containing 110,000 square feet itself. It is said that they will have enough room to have three full-scale haunted house attractions within their space, as well as dining and shopping opportunities.
Rumors and speculation for these three revolving haunted house experiences include in-house properties from Universal, like the Classic Monsters or modern horror films, as well as Halloween Horror Night icons.
The official concept art for this experience even appears to show Jack the Clown and Chance, most known from the annual event in Universal Orlando. Some are speculating that scenic elements, visual props, and costumes could possibly be recycled here at the Vegas houses after the Halloween season is complete at the major parks.
Rumors for the rest of the experience include a possible restaurant, bar, and what may be considered a permanent Tribute Store with unique merchandise branded to this location. The area set between the dining, shopping, and haunted house entrances will be a sort of open hub, rumored to be set up like a scare zone, with roaming scareactors.
Just this week Universal trademarked the term “Universal Horror Unleashed”. It is possible that this could be the name for the new venture in Las Vegas. One of the several trademark applications describes its purpose as for “entertainment in the nature of haunted attractions,” and goes on to say it is for “namely, providing haunted/scare attractions.”
Other recent trademark applications are all for the same “Universal Horror Unleashed” term but within different categories. These include trademarks for use as a “restaurant, bar, snack bar, or concession stand” as well as anything you may find in a gift shop, like clothing, stationary, bags, home goods, and toys.
While an official name has not yet been announced, the “Universal Horror Unleashed” trademark does seem to line up with the piece of concept art, which shows the word “Universal” on the building, but then a blank space below it.
The company has not yet released an official timeline, but some rumors have it opening as soon as next year, sometime in 2024. With a groundbreaking set within the next six months that may be a bit ambitious, but possible. Although, an opening timetable may be dependent on progress for the surrounding AREA15 expansion and whether Universal’s section can open even if the rest isn’t ready. We’ll just have to wait and see.
That’s all for now, but we are also following another Universal Parks & Resorts project, a new kid-friendly theme park in Texas. Be sure to see our recent story for information on this unique small theme park concept. And check out the video version of this story for additional visuals.
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