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October 1, 2014

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Joe Downtown: Garth Brooks tours downtown, sends Zappos employees pizza

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Garth Brooks.

Updated Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 | 2:45 p.m.

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Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, left, points out the Golden Spike during a tour of downtown Las Vegas with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013.

Garth Brooks also has some friends in high places, it appears.

Several people reported seeing Brooks last week walking around downtown, including in the new Container Park, with Zappos CEO and Downtown Project partner Tony Hsieh.

Asked about what they were doing, Hsieh said he “spent 2 ½ hours giving (Brooks) a tour of all the different projects around downtown, including (the) Container Park.”

Then, earlier today, Brooks sent 250 pizzas to Zappos employees at the company's downtown headquarters. The pizzas came from Uncle Joe's, a restaurant on Fremont Street.

If you don’t know Garth Brooks, well, where have you been?

Even if you’re not a country-western music fan, you likely have heard his song, “Friends In Low Places.” Brooks is known as a cross-over star who has sold more than 128 million records over the course of his recording career, which dates to the late-1980s.

In November, Zappos employees talked with excitement about Brooks' upcoming visit to downtown on social media websites. Brooks' publicist in Los Angeles said he made no such visit.

This time, however, there was no question: it was Brooks walking through the Container Park with Hsieh.

Why was he here?

Hsieh emailed his answer to me:

“Most of the time when celebrities or high profile CEO’s come into town and are curious about Downtown Project I will give them a walking tour around downtown,” he wrote. “I’ve done this with a lot of people. It doesn’t mean that they are trying to do some sort of a deal, it just means they reached out and want to know more about what’s going on downtown. We do tours every day at Zappos and Downtown Project, and I just happen to be the one that does the ones with a lot of high profile people.”

Ok, Tony.

But stay tuned. If Brooks really likes downtown, who knows what the future may hold?

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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