The Downtown Project is the brainchild of Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos and author of Delivering Happiness. Tony Hsieh was committed to revitalizing the Downtown area of Las Vegas. He passed away on November 27, 2020, leaving a long legacy of growth.
Originally the primary host for gaming, the area suffered a long decline with the development of The Strip on South Las Vegas Boulevard in the 1950s. The construction of the Boulevard Mall in the 1960s drove the stake in deeper as it drew retail consumers away from the downtown area. What used to be a thriving center with Fremont and Main Street the main attraction for visitors, the downtown area of Las Vegas became derelict with high crime, drugs, prostitution, and abandoned properties, both residential and commercial.
The Downtown Project started in 2010. Since then Tony Heish’s efforts have established a community encouraging new restaurants, tech companies and artisans to park their talent in Downtown Las Vegas and setup shop.
In the early years, a look at the changes that were coming with the Downtown Project: Sin No More 296 119 13 Can Tony Hsieh turn downtown Las Vegas into a family-friendly startup utopia? Slate, By Mark Joseph Stern.
A spotlight on chef Natalie Young, and her start in DTLV: “Delivering a New Downtown: How two generations of Las Vegas leaders are reshaping the heart of the city“, from the Las Vegas Review Journal, offers an extensive history of Downtown Las Vegas. This article opens with an inspiring story of chef Natalie Young who ran Eat, an amazing spot for brunch located a block from Container Park. Natalie Young, who was on the brink of leaving Las Vegas taking her culinary talents with her, was introduced to Tony Hsieh who encouraged her to stay. Eat and Young are fantastic examples of what came from Tony Hsieh’s vision and support.