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December 19, 2014

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Joe Downtown Show: Who are all these millennials populating downtown?

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Joe Schoenmann

Daniella Capitano, left, Krissee Danger, right, on the radio for the Joe Downtown Show.

Joe Downtown Radio

Downtown's millenials

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Joe Schoenmann talks to Krissee Danger, the face of the Downtown Project, and Daniella Capitano, a new business owner in the Downtown Container Park.

Do you have any idea what a millennial is?

You should, because they are the generation now carrying the banner as we head into the next few decades. They are also a big part of the reason downtown Las Vegas is witnessing a rebirth.

Downtown's redevelopment is moving at a steady and fairly quick pace. Mostly, it's in the east Fremont Street area and in the Arts District. When those areas stabilize, it will venture further east on Fremont, maybe even north of U.S. 95 or into Naked City behind the Stratosphere.

When that happens, it will be the millennials who instigate it.

But who are they?

It's a question so large it's taking up the next two installments of the "Joe Downtown Show."

As a term to define a generation, "millennial" is fairly old. It was coined in 1987 to define people born between 1982 and 2004, with the obvious link being their connection to the millennial year, 2000.

Technically, millennials today are between 10 and 32.

Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh is not a millennial. Turning 40 in December, he's a Gen-Xer.

But that's an age thing. How most of us think we know Millennials is by their look.

For men, it's T-shirts and jeans — best if they're ripped; better if they are skinny jeans. Then facial hair in all kinds of odd forms:  handle bar mustaches, soul patches, goatees, mutton chops.

For women, it's harder for me to tell, but mostly it's dressing as though you don't care what anyone thinks.

But even the look is a technicality, because millennials are a group — probably not so different than the beatniks or hippies or punk rockers or Gen-Xers before them — looking for meaning. Maybe through drugs. Maybe through social media connections — how many friends can they count on Facebook? Then again, Facebook may soon become passe; other social media apps are waiting in the wings.

Millennials are searching.

I see them every day downtown, a place where people with iPads and laptops these days outnumbers those trying to sell drugs or sex or looking for both.

Some of them find belonging through intense religious affiliation; some find it in by associating with other computer coders. Others find it by belonging to a corporate culture.

The two downtown millennials featured on this week's radio show are Krissee Danger, the face of the Downtown Project, and Daniella Capitano, a new business owner in the Downtown Container Park. Both are in their 20s, both are millennials and both have some interesting ideas on life, the future and what they are doing downtown.

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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