It is incredibly refreshing to witness the renovation, innovation and exploration emerging in Downtown Las Vegas. With so many reasons to check out what our downtown has to offer, we have more incentive than ever to visit. There is something for everyone. To name a few examples, the Children’s Discovery Museum adds incentives for families to check out the downtown area. The Symphony Park area contains the world-renowned Smith Center, featuring unique shows and cultural events for all ages. We are witnessing the transformation of Fremont Street into the mod local hotspot with the Downtown Project, collaborating with the local community and the City of Las Vegas to construct something new and different. The Arts District features the First Friday festival, a monthly amalgamation of artists, creative types and foodies. It is one of the best places for people watching in town.
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com has made a great wave within the Downtown Project, and its $350 million infusion into Downtown Las Vegas. His plans include relocating Zappos corporate headquarters to the old City Hall building, while fostering community from all levels, inspiring environments where “serendipitous collisions” occur. In part, this means hosting events with people from divergent backgrounds, industries and interests discover their collaborative potential. One way the Downtown Project has fostered this vision is through developing the Downtown Speaker Series, a weekly opportunity to meet and listen to fascinating presentations while networking with industry professionals and interesting community members.
Small businesses emerge daily, to make our city more accessible, chic and fun. We move away from the plastic Strip mode of the club scene and focus on coffee shops, art galleries and funky hangouts. One great example is the Emergency Arts gallery. Its name refers to the origins of this collective of unpretentious art gallery spaces: it was once a medical clinic filled with small examination rooms. What seemed like an impossible building is now repurposed and fantastic. The building also hosts the Beat Coffeehouse, complete with original culinary creations, vinyl records and album art throughout.
New restaurants open every day, offering amazing food and drinks for the regular people. It is wonderful to see that our community is serving our locals, not just the tourists. We are bringing in new companies, developing a tech culture so that we are on the road to earn the name of the next Silicon Valley.
We are realizing that what draws locals will also draw tourists of different interests. We can diversify our economy by building the cultural center we want, into the ideal place to live.
The economic downtown has prompted some people to flee to other climes, while those of us who stayed are now looking at our city differently. We are examining how we can envision opportunities, do more with less and seek innovation not stagnation. It is an incredible time to live in Las Vegas. Join us as we make our world a better place.