GOVERNOR SANDOVAL VISITS DOWNTOWN
LAS VEGAS AND MEETS ZAPPOS CEO TONY
HSIEH FOR THE FIRST TIME

East Fremont street, once home to
drug addicts and empty stores,
is seeing redevelopment take root.

Sandoval's presence in response to the
city's invitation to tour the area, was
a sign that the redevelopment and economic
diversification taking place there is drawing
notice statewide.

Hsieh talked about Zappos.com which he said
has maintained 30 to 40 percent annual growth
during the recession and will relocate it's
headquarters to the downtown area in 2013.

When Hsieh recounted how 5 high-tech startup
firms have moved here in recent months due to
Zappo's recruiting efforts, the Governor
smiled and pretended to worship Hsieh with
hands extended and head bowed amid laughter
from others.

When Amazon.com bought Zappos two years ago
for $1.2 billion, the sellers were paid in
Amazon stock, and the stock's value has
tripled since then.

Now, Hsieh is personally investing some
$350 million in downtown - 50 million in
small businesses, 50 million in tech startups,
50 million in education and 100 million in
acquisitions.

Another 100 million is planned for residential
construction because Hsieh wants to build a community and a downtown economy that sustains itself.

Based on his research, that takes an average
population density of 100 people per acre,
which means building up, more expensive than
building out, but he and Zappos will do it themselves.

"We might break even or even lose money, but
for us it's not "return on investment", but
a "return on community."

Sandoval wants input from people like CEO
Hsieh and others involved with economic
diversification to fully develop his
recently announced economic development
package.

The meeting ended with Hsieh handing out
copies of the book, "Triumph of the City,"
from which he drew his 100 people per acre
plan.