Questioning the Power Structure of Downtown Las Vegas’ Revitalization
Ed Komenda takes a critical look at the ongoing revitalization of Downtown Las Vegas. The recent investments in the historic corner of Las Vegas have won praise and political support for Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, the driving force behind the effort.
After taking over former location of Las Vegas City Hall for the corporate headquarters of Zappos, Hsieh launched the Downtown Project, a “$350 million campaign to transform the area around his new corporate home into a respectable, moneymaking core of commerce and culture. The project plans to invest $200 million in real estate, $50 million in small businesses, $50 million in education and $50 million in tech startups through the Vegas TechFund.”
But while Hsieh has been celebrated for the revival of Downtown Las Vegas, Komenda’s article wonders whether Hsieh has too much power and influence in the neighborhood.
“What could have been a groundbreaking community like San Diego’s Gaslamp District or New Orleans’ Bourbon Street has been transformed into Hsieh’s personal bubble, where it’s either his way or get out of the way, critics say.”