Las Vegas used to be nothing, until mobster Bugsy Siegel came along and transformed it into the paradise of gluttony it is today. Now, a different kind of entrepreneur, one with legitimate business interests, is trying to transform the city again.
Tony Hsieh is the CEO of Zappos, and he wants to turn downtown Las Vegas into a sustainable urban center. A new report from Grist details the project.
The area Hsieh hopes to develop isn’t the tourist-centric Strip, but rather the overlooked downtown business district. As in many cities, outward expansion has left tis are neglected.
In 2010, Zappos moved its headquarters to the old Las Vegas City Hall, and since then it’s worked with Downtown Project to build a mall out of shipping containers, a community “wellness center” with a gym and demonstration kitchen, and a vehicle-sharing service that allows residents to borrow golf carts, bicycles, and even Tesla electric cars.
Hsieh views Las Vegas as a new Silicon Valley, and hopes to attract other entrepreneurs to the area. The next step will be to focus on sustainable housing as more people move in.