March 25, 2021 – After reemerging from bankruptcy at the end of 2020, location-based entertainment (LBE) provider Sandbox VR has today announced that it has signed a contract to open its latest location in Grand Canal Shoppes inside The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, US. The company stated that it anticipates it will be opening the new site in the early summer of 2021.
Sandbox VR provides socially immersive experiences that utilize a combination of full body motion capture and VR technologies to allow visitors to step into virtual worlds, for example haunted pirate ships, space elevators, or e-sports experiences.
Due to the pandemic, the company was forced to close all of its locations and had to lay off most of its staff. Now, Sandbox VR plans to operate 15 locations by the end of the year, filling commercial real estate locations that have also been hit by the pandemic. Specifically, the space that Sandbox VR is taking over is actually that of former competitor LBE company The Void, which had to sell its assets after defaulting on a key loan last year, according to an article by Protocol. The opening will therefore mark the first location in Las Vegas for Sandbox VR.
According to Sandbox VR, the company has seen increased demand of 30% from before the pandemic at its current locations outside of Chicago and in Austin since it was able to open again with Government mandated restrictions. Furthermore, with the vaccine roll out accelerating in the US, the company states that it is optimistic for the future and has been ramping production back up in anticipation of the influx of interest at the end of the pandemic.
“We have been incredibly fortunate to have been able to survive such a devastating year for everyone in the retail and entertainment industry,” said Steve Zhao, founder and CEO of Sandbox VR. “The pandemic has been so isolating for everyone that we are confident once it is safe to gather with friends and family from different households they will be looking for social experiences that offer some fun and escape from the difficulties that 2020 brought.”
Janet LaFevre, Senior Marketing Manager of Grand Canal Shoppes inside The Venetian Resort, commented: “As one of the leading retail and entertainment destinations on The Strip, Grand Canal Shoppes is excited to bring Sandbox VR to guests this summer.” She added, “This is one of the many immersive new experiences The Shoppes has to offer and we look forward to bringing our guests even more offerings to discover new ways to indulge while enjoying a brief break from reality while visiting our destination this year.”
Sandbox VR added that it is committing to safety and sanitization by offering a private room for each group and complete sanitization of equipment after every use. It has also implemented strict COVID-19 safety protocols by limiting bookings to reduce contact between groups, mask-wearing at all times, and contactless setup to ensure social distancing.
For more information on Sandbox VR and its immersive LBE offerings, please visit the company’s website.
Image credit: Sandbox VR
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Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past five years.