Back in August I was invited, along with my team, to head to Downtown Las Vegas for a week long immersion into the community they’re building down there.
Tony Hsieh, the visionary behind Zappos, moved the Zappos HQ to the old city hall in downtown Las Vegas a few years back. Instead of building an insular campus (like many tech campus’) he set about building downtown into a community campus, investing in local businesses and local business owners to create what is effectively a small business paradise.
His work in downtown is very interesting, and hasn’t gone without criticism (here is an interesting article – that makes some great points) but as a visitor who really wants to experience great small business in a town know for giant casino’s, it’s really quite special.
I was there to speak to the community via Stitch Factory, I spoke about building communities, which is really what I spend most of my time doing, you can see my talk here.
The following is a little visual diary into my experience!
Eats & Drinks
La Comida (get the Queso dip – it’s delish!) Eat DTLV, get everything, it’s ALL delicious (the chef Natalie Young has a great story – read more on their website)O Face Doughnuts. Carazy Doughnuts and Cold Brew coffee. So good.The Gold Spike, this is where I stayed for the week. An old casino turned co-working space + diner + bar with a huge outdoor “backyard” featuring live music, corn hole, giant jenga and secret lawns. It was my personal playground for the week.
The Speaker Series
The Stitch Factory crew.Scott Hamlin from Looptworks (who we met and started working with shortly after – you can learn more and see his talk in this post)
Hanging out at Tony Hsieh’s!
Since it was a week before my big appointment for my big tattoo, I thought a test run was in order before I spent 6 hours in the chair :)
Anna and I headed to Black Spade to get a little ink (obviously both firm believers in what happens in Las Vegas being permanently on your body). I walked out with three new tatts – an acorn (my Dad’s nickname is Oak) and a pair of hearts for my ankles. Anna braved a rib cage tattoo, which considering it was her first was very brave indeed.
All in all it was great, and I’m sure I’ll be back soon, downtown Las Vegas was already my fave, I love Fremont Street and the old casinos (see this post from 2011) and now with this hipster, small business oriented resurgence, it’s only gotten better.