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Museum of Illusions pushes back Las Vegas Strip opening

Updated March 3, 2023 - 10:43 am

The Museum of Illusions was set to open its flagship location on the Strip this spring but will now open in June, according to CEO Jonathan Benjamin.

“Las Vegas — it’s the entertainment capital of the world,” Benjamin said. “How do you pass on an opportunity to come to Las Vegas, with everything that it has to offer?”

The museum first announced in November 2022 that it would be opening, signing a lease for an estimated 16,000-square-foot space at the four-story project known as 63, at the southwest corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon Avenue.

Benjamin said the company considered multiple locations in Las Vegas but chose to open at 63 because it was a new building and for its location on the Las Vegas Strip.

“We felt that project 63 offered the best combination of factors — visibility, accessibility, parking, certainly foot traffic and, you know, being at the center of so much,” he said. “We are right on the main track of the (Formula One) Grand Prix.”

Benjamin said visitors can expect a blend of entertaining exhibits that use geometry to create unique illusions. The museum will also feature new and exclusive illusions not seen at its other locations.

The Museum of Illusions first opened in Croatia in 2015 and has since grown to 40 locations in 21 countries. It plans to open 100 locations by the end of 2026.

Las Vegas has a long history of shows featuring magicians and illusionists from David Copperfield and Penn & Teller to Shin Lim. With this history, the city is a “logical choice” for the museum and highlights the area’s commitment to offering entertainment options outside of gambling, according to Michael Green, associate professor of history at UNLV.

“Entertainment was a part of the equation all along for Las Vegas, but now, people are coming for entertainment and for entertainment’s sake,” Green said. “It’s not just, ‘I’m here to lose thousands at the table and then watch Frank (Sinatra), Bing (Crosby) or Sam (Davis Jr.).’”

Benjamin said he expects the Museum of Illusions to be a “smashing success,” since it can cater to a broad range of groups from couples on a date night to corporate events and school groups.

“At the core of (the Museum of Illusions) is what blows people away. You will see people in rooms and little sets that we put together that you just can’t believe your eyes,” he said. “It’s part brain teaser and it’s part geometry.”

Ticket prices are still being determined, but Benjamin said they will be “competitive” with similar entertainment options in Las Vegas.

Contact Sean Hemmersmeier at shemmersmeier@reviewjournal.com. Follow @seanhemmers34 on Twitter.

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