Monday, Oct. 28, 2013 | 4:15 p.m.
The energy level in downtown Las Vegas the night before the Life is Beautiful festival Friday was palpable. Then the voltage got cranked up by the sighting of mega-musician Kanye West, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh and an entourage wandering through the various festival installations.
But that wasn't the only reason for the buzz. Rumors swirled from several sources about West, who had a show at the MGM Grand Friday. The rumor goes like this: West is interested in moving his record label, G.O.O.D. (Getting Out Our Dreams) from New York to downtown Las Vegas.
Contacted today, Hsieh said he had not heard that rumor.
"It was just a meet and greet and tour around downtown," he said.
A spokesperson for West's label could not be reached.
If West moved his label here, it would be a major coup for downtown. Downtowner Justin Graham is still working on establishing his label, Attain, in Las Vegas, less than a year after he moved here in January.
Graham said the business climate and taxes are right here; housing is cheaper and the overall cost of living is less than traditional music label hubs such as New York or Los Angeles. The efficiency of communication through the Internet, he added, makes moving beyond those cities even easier.
Hsieh is a partner in Downtown Project, the $350 million redevelopment group that has purchased some 20 blocks of downtown property. As such, he is known for actively courting all kinds of new businesses to the area.
Rumor or not, it had downtown talking over the weekend, especially as the Life Is Beautiful festival, featuring some 70 bands, blazed new ground in the city's urban core.