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April 18, 2014

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Joe Downtown: Businesses hope Downtown Project’s departure from Gold Spike will shift customers their way

Image

Steve Marcus

The Gold Spike casino and hotel, seen from Fourth and Ogden streets, in downtown Las Vegas.

For months, the Gold Spike has served as the unofficial headquarters of the Downtown Project, the redevelopment group spending $350 million on real estate, education, entertainment, small business and technology downtown.

But in just a few weeks, some 1,500 Zappos employees will move into the rehabbed City Hall, which the online retailer is leasing and has spent millions renovating. Those employees include roughly 200 who have been housed for the last year on two floors of an office building at 302 Carson Avenue, a few blocks south of City Hall.

The Carson Avenue space won’t be empty for long, however. Almost 100 Downtown Project employees will move into that space in November, sources say. That, in turn, will free up space at the Gold Spike, which will likely cater to Zappos employees who drift over from their headquarters for the occasional lunch or dinner.

The Downtown Project purchased the Gold Spike, a casino/hotel, earlier this year. When it reopened a few weeks later, it was without gambling, was a non-smoking establishment and immediately became a focal point for project employees and guests.

It also seemed to put a crimp in other businesses on east Fremont Street, as customers who might typically become customers in the newer restaurants and bars on Fremont instead found their food and drink at the spacious Gold Spike.

Some businesses are hoping the customer flow changes when Downtown Project employees, who have been working in various impermanent places — from the Gold Spike to the Ogden condos to an office in Coterie boutique on Fremont — move into the offices on Carson Avenue.

Joe Schoenmann doesn’t just cover downtown, he lives and works there. Schoenmann is Greenspun Media Group’s embedded downtown journalist, working from an office in the Emergency Arts building.

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