Opening a new business venture during COVID-19 can be a risky proposition. However, the owners of Las Vegas’ newest art museum and gallery are thrilled with the response they’ve seen since moving to the Las Vegas Strip. When the Park West Fine Art Museum & Gallery opened in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in late December, the management team had no way to know if locals and tourists would be interested in visiting an art museum with the city’s COVID restrictions in place.
“With the current occupancy limits, we had very modest expectations,” said Albert Scaglione, Founder and CEO of Park West Gallery, the world’s largest art dealer. “We knew wanted to be in Las Vegas and we knew that people were still traveling to Vegas, but we didn’t know if those travelers would seek out a new art museum with everything that’s going on. On the contrary, almost immediately, we realized that the chance to experience art in person was exactly what a lot of these people were looking for.”
According to John Block, Park West’s Executive Vice President, the new museum exceeded all of their attendance and sales expectations within the first week and that trend has only continued to grow. “Every week, it just gets better and better. Vegas is embracing us in a way that we never could have anticipated,” said Block. “We’re very strict about our COVID protocols but people keep thanking us for providing this expansive space where they can browse art and really get up close to see the brushstrokes and the textures. People are hungry for in-person experiences right now and we’re happy that we can provide something beautiful and interesting that’s meeting that need.”
The free-to-the-public Park West Fine Art & Museum offers guests over 7,000-square-feet of art to explore. More than half of the location is dedicated to their museum collection, which presents a curated selection of masterworks from some of the greatest artists in history. Guests can find works that have appeared in museum exhibitions around the world from legendary artists like Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Rembrandt van Rijn, and Toulouse-Lautrec, among others.
The remaining space at the new Park West Vegas location is dedicated to artists from their gallery collection—these are works of art that are available to purchase for interested guests. There is art available for every level of collector from many of today’s most popular artists such as Peter Max, Michael Godard, Nano Lopez, and Mark Kostabi, to name a few.
“While we’ve been excited to see how much people are loving our museum space, we’re equally happy to see how strong our art sales have been,” said Block. “I think there’s something really special about collecting art, particularly during the times we’re living in right now. It’s a very tactile, emotional, and physical experience, and it’s fantastic seeing people light up because they know they can take this new painting or new sculpture home with them.”
The owners of the new Park West Fine Art Museum & Gallery are also quick to point out how generous the Las Vegas community has been ever since they opened. “From day one, Las Vegas has been wonderful to us,” said Scaglione. “The people at Caesars have been exceptionally welcoming and our neighbors at the Forum Shops have told us how happy they are to have us there. It’s just great to see art and fellowship thriving as we’re all struggling to overcome this pandemic.”
Park West has big plans to keep expanding their presence in Las Vegas. In the coming weeks, they have plans to have some of their top artists make special appearances at the Vegas Museum & Gallery and they’re also exploring how the Park West Foundation, the company’s charitable arm, can begin contributing to local arts education efforts.
“Las Vegas has shown us that they’re a city that loves and appreciates art,” said Block. “We’re looking forward to showing Vegas that we love them too.”