Lost Spirits, the popular downtown Los Angeles Arts District distillery / tour, is opening a Las Vegas location on August 15 in Zone 15. As you would expect with all that makes a splash in the Vegas scene, the new version of Lost Spirits is much bigger and grander. It carries the original vision of a blend of a distillery and an adventurous visit to a whole new dimension.
It’s a giant leap from the Los Angeles location which was hugely successful and impressive to begin with. So, using a musical analogy, if Lost Spirits LA was a Beatles song, it was “Love Me Do” or “I Saw Her Standing There”. Or if it was a Beach Boys track it’s “California Girls” or “Surfing USA”, in other words absolutely superb smashes that everyone liked.
But like the Beatles and the Beach Boys, Lost Spirits mastermind Bryan Davis doesn’t try to please everyone. He competes first and foremost with his imagination. And with a year without a tour thanks to COVID (Los Angeles is still closed for now), and endless time to focus on his vision, he, at Lost Spirits Vegas, created his Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band or Animal sounds.
Lost Spirits Vegas is a whole new world – a world of holograms, music, hidden chat rooms, submarines, chauffeured strollers, fish with a human face. Over the course of over 90 minutes, you exited Las Vegas and transported to Great Gatsby-era Havana underwater. In short, you are taken to fantastic new worlds.
Having forged a working friendship over the past few years with Davis and co-founder Joanne Haruta, I had the privilege of bringing a group of friends, let’s call this our own chat group, to the Vegas venue for the first tour on June 26, a full month and a half before the venue opens to the public.
Since I also had to address the first person to review the Los Angeles location, I don’t want to give away too many surprises. Much of the joy of Lost Spirits is walking in and not knowing what to expect.
Of our group of about 25 people who were the very first outside of Lost Spirits Vegas workers to see the wonderful new space, about half had not been to the LA location. And among those 12, the feeling of wonder upon entering the first room – think of a more sophisticated, grown-up version of the opening room from Disney’s The Haunted Mansion – was like watching the five children enter Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. .
But even for those who had been to LA, the size and breadth of Vegas’ location left them equally overwhelmed. Just as space and attractions are expanded into new areas, so too is alcohol. Where LA was only whiskey and rum, Vegas is rum-centric, with a Raspberry Brandy thrown into the Dorian Gray room. Top-tier alcohol is obviously a central part of the experience, with tastings carefully curated to match the visit. But several of our party didn’t drink and were equally impressed with the art, detail and entertainment.
Going back to the musical analogy, as with any good album, if you ask 20 people you’ll find several different favorite songs, I interviewed everyone in the band a week after the tour and asked them what was their favorite part of the tour and why and found several different answers.
There were several votes for fish art, and an equal amount for strollers. For some it was the element of surprise, and for others it was how Lost Spirits, right in the heart of Vegas, feels like another world.
Here is, in their words, what it was for the first visitors to Lost Spirits Vegas.
“I liked everything, but my favorite part was Bryan’s vision, the storytelling and how you are seemingly transported out of Las Vegas and into this fantasy world but with a great mood and with that great conversations,” said said Craig Asher Nyman. “You can see the time, effort, energy and passion put into making the distillery / attraction something that people will want to seek out for an evening of entertainment. Come curious, leave wanting to come back again and again.”
“I loved the themed rooms, it reminded me of Disneyland. It really wasn’t what I expected,” says Paola Mondragon. “There was always a surprise.
True Crime Podcast Queen Catherine Townsend said, “Being traveling from room to room and space to space gave the whole experience that retro and futuristic feel, I loved that. ”
“Lost Spirits was special because we got to experience the magic of Vegas, without feeling like we were in Vegas,” said Michelle Chavez, echoing Nyman’s thoughts. “It’s like a Disneyland for adults, except the rides don’t make you nauseous and they serve the best alcohol.”
“I liked the tasting room Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and the fish with a human face,” says Joey Chavez. “It all felt like we had a golden ticket.”
“The last room we were in because it was a wonderful gothic maritime experience and the whiskey tasted like the cigar room of my Uncle Bill’s old southern house with its distressed leather, padded sofas and its high libraries, ”says Kim Taylor.
“I loved the fish swimming around the submarine. I have never seen fish in this art style, it made me feel like I was inside the Belafonte (the ship in Aquatic life) “, explains Joanna Gaspar.
“Mine was the underground bar hidden between tours. I felt like I was in the 1920s with the lighting dimmed,” says Kevin Robles.
“A bit of Disney (sophisticated) and Willy Wonka. The lighting, the music selection, the details, the extra thought and effort …! Superb, ”says Robert Freidson.
Finally, Seshmila Jay says: “As Creative Director, I felt that Lost Spirits had done a wonderful job in putting together an experience that immerses you in their world. From world-class lighting, holograms and award-winning spirits – it was truly a night remember. “
The greatest testament to the wonder and magic of what Davis and Haruta have created with Lost Spirits Vegas is that 10 different people can be on the same tour at the same time and share so many different impressions.
But isn’t that what happens at Disneyland or in the great museums or while watching a great movie? Truly unique experiences leave themselves open to interpretation and create extremely diverse memories. And one thing is for sure, Lost Spirits Vegas is, in every way, as unique an experience as you will find it.