Zappos Isn't a Cult? All Tony Hsieh's Friends Got Matching Tattoos

Online retailer Zappos is known for its zany, zealous corporate culture. But one stunt seems to bridge the gap from "culture" to "cult": For CEO Tony Hsieh's 40th birthday party, his inner circle of friends—apparently calling themselves "Zapponians"—all got the same tattoo. » 2/24/14 7:30pm 2/24/14 7:30pm

Evangelical Urbanism: A Review of the Downtown Project's Vegas Revival

As the story goes, Las Vegas was built by Mormons and mobsters. This unlikely team worked together to bring gambling to a place almost exclusively populated by men constructing the Hoover Dam. Their work turned a tiny sun-baked town into a global phenomenon. » 1/16/14 12:00pm 1/16/14 12:00pm

Build For Locals and Tourists Will Come: Vegas's Plan for Its Downtown

Between the Downtown Project's area and the Arts District is the new Las Vegas City Hall, a gleaming mirage of a building surrounded by a forest of photovoltaics. This is where the city leadership moved after it leased its old City Hall to Tony Hsieh's company Zappos—a move that you can't help but imbue with some heavy … » 1/13/14 11:30am 1/13/14 11:30am

Are Other Vegas Businesses Benefiting from the Downtown Project?

The oldest freestanding bar in Vegas is Atomic Liquors, built in 1952, back when you could climb onto the roof and watch atomic bombs explode at desert test sites 60 miles away. If you sit long enough at its expansive bar, chances are Kent Johns will pull up a stool next to you and tell you about it. » 1/10/14 6:26pm 1/10/14 6:26pm

How the Downtown Project Is Solving Vegas's Urban Problems In-House

When I meet Josh Westerhold at the offices of Project 100, the Las Vegas urban mobility startup that's funded by the Downtown Project, we decide it would probably make sense to head out into downtown Vegas to tour their project area in person. From the other room, his co-worker has an even better idea: "Take the Tesla." » 1/09/14 3:40pm 1/09/14 3:40pm

Visiting the Downtown Project's New Vegas Parks: Pretty, But Private

On the Downtown Project's website, among several lofty goals—such as adding ground-level density and creating passionate communities for downtown Las Vegas—one goal sticks out as a bit different, if not simply odd: "Create the shipping container capital of the world." » 1/08/14 7:55pm 1/08/14 7:55pm

A Walking Tour with VegasTechFund of the Downtown Vegas Startup Scene

If you've been to downtown Las Vegas in the last few years, you've likely been to Fremont Street, specifically the caged section near several historic casinos that hosts a nightly laser light show. But, thanks to the Downtown Project, the neighborhood is now home to a large and diverse concentration of startups, each… » 1/07/14 8:28pm 1/07/14 8:28pm

The Future of Downtown Vegas Is Somewhere in Tony Hsieh's Apartment

I am standing in Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh's apartment in downtown Las Vegas. He's not here. A housekeeper is here. And a dozen strangers are here, taking a tour of the Downtown Project, Hsieh's urban renaissance initiative. A "tour" which, for the most part, takes place right here, in Tony Hsieh's apartment. » 1/07/14 12:40pm 1/07/14 12:40pm

Exploring the Other Tech Story in Vegas: The Downtown Project

On the way in from the airport, my driver didn't want to drop me at the downtown Las Vegas address that I had provided him. "Oh man, I dunno," he said. "It might not be very… nice." When I explained I was there to cover the revitalization of Las Vegas's urban core he looked at me skeptically in the rearview mirror. "Are you … » 1/06/14 5:20pm 1/06/14 5:20pm