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July 26, 2014

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Joe Schoenmann

Downtown Las Vegas Reporter

A native Wisconsinite, Joe earned a journalism degree to get out of college early but wanted none of the craft after graduation. Need for a job landed him at small Wisconsin weeklies before moving to Las Vegas in 1997. He has been recognized for his magazine profiles and his investigative stories that exposed police bias against minorities.

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Story Archive

Law firm’s building is the biggest new thing downtown
Sunday, March 23, 2014
Tony Hsieh isn't the only one putting his mark on the downtown Las Vegas landscape. “This facility will be a wonderful resource for the community, especially to students at the Boyd School of Law,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said about the $18 million Robert T. Eglet Advocacy Center, which is described as ...
Joe Downtown: Streets to close for burning of Life Cube
Thursday, March 20, 2014
The streets will be closed downtown Friday night in the vicinity of the Life Cube, which will be set ablaze, along with thousands of written goals and wishes. The Life Cube is the manifestation of...
Joe Downtown: The boundaries of Downtown Las Vegas are as fluid as its reputation
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Where is Downtown Las Vegas? That depends on who you ask, and why you’re asking.
Joe Downtown: Harvard students look to apply lessons in Las Vegas
Monday, March 17, 2014
Harvard Business School students looking to connect the real world of downtown Las Vegas with an entrepreneurial idea they’ve spent the last few months developing want feedback from Las Vegas residents at...
Joe Downtown: Don't call it a cult--Zappos, at its core, is just like any other business
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
"No one is being 'brainwashed.'"
Joe Downtown: Plug pulled on music events leading up to Life Cube burning
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Six nights of music leading up to a widely heralded, public performance art exhibit in downtown Las Vegas is likely to be canceled because...
Joe Downtown: Does state's lawsuit hinder Huntridge momentum?
Friday, March 7, 2014
The Nevada Attorney General's Office has sued the current owners of the historic Huntridge Theater, alleging they broke various covenants and must repay...
Joe Downtown: Metro officers ready to walk the beat around East Fremont
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Aside from the Strip or inorganic commercial developments that prohibit vehicular traffic to satisfy tourists, Las Vegas doesn’t have much for people who simply want to walk the neighborhoods. But redevelopment on East Fremont Street is making parts of downtown so walkable, Metro Police are about to embark on a new method of patrolling there. Officers downtown are going to start ...
Joe Downtown: Upper-floor Container Park tenant is shuttering store
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
The owner of Alios, an architectural and entertainment lighting business, said he got “great exposure” by being at the Container Park, even though his third-floor location gets little visitor traffic. Todd VonBaastians discusses another possible reason business wasn't booming at the outdoor mall.
Joe Downtown: Downtown Project takes over another building, but this time it’s different
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Plans filed with the city for yet another Downtown Project development stand out immediately for one detail.
Joe Downtown: Southern Wine’s First Friday sponsorship could signal bigger changes
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Could the monthly arts and culture festival relocate to Fremont East?
Joe Downtown: East Fremont getting its grocery store … sort of
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
It finally looks like something of a grocery store is coming to east Fremont Street. Plans for a combination grocery store/restaurant at 611 Fremont St. were submitted to the city and will be considered Tuesday by the Planning Commission. A Mexican restaurant and a deli/market used to share the 6,500-square-foot spot until they were forced to move last year; Downtown Project became the new tenant after their leases expired.
Joe Downtown: ‘Pawn Shop Live!’ moving to the Riviera
Monday, March 3, 2014
A stage production inspired by the hit reality TV show “Pawn Stars” is moving from downtown to the Strip.
Restaurants, cafes that hit sweet spot
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Some business ideas are immediate hits. Some take time and more attention to detail before they catch on. Others seem dead on arrival.
In the “immediate hits” category ...
Joe Downtown: Performers get together for unrehearsed, late-night show
Friday, Feb. 28, 2014
Early Friday morning, a lithe woman with a body fat of, let’s say zero, hung from netting high above the stage of downtown’s new Inspire Theater. Magenta, then blue, then white lights were projected on and behind her, as technical crews yelled incremental instrumental changes back and forth.
Joe Downtown: Special showing of ‘Ghostbusters’ in memory of star Harold Ramis
Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014
There may be no better way to commemorate the life of comedic filmmaker and actor Harold Ramis than a showing of “Ghostbusters” at a downtown Las Vegas park.
Joe Downtown: Historical society crowdsourcing for not-so-famous Las Vegas photos
Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014
Some of the pictures the society already has are ones you may not have seen before: Elvis checking into the Sahara a day before “Viva Las Vegas” shooting began; Liberace standing by his car talking to a priest; and Lloyd George as a young man in 1947.
Joe Downtown: A rooftop Wranglers arena at the Plaza could be just what Downtown needs
Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014
The hotel-casino has eight months to turn its roof into a hockey rink.
Joe Downtown: New logo graces the Huntridge, signaling project's progress
Monday, Feb. 24, 2014
Until today, little new information has emerged about renovating the historic Huntridge Theater. But late this morning, a crew with a hydraulic cherry picker began to erect a massive square banner on the building.
Joe Downtown: Former food trucker has her hands in fundraiser, reality TV gig
Friday, Feb. 21, 2014
A former Las Vegas food truck operator turned festival-food honcho may be on the verge of reality TV stardom in a show featuring a food trucks-and-chefs competition she started some two years ago.
Joe Downtown: Special events create conundrum when they limit access for business customers
Friday, Feb. 21, 2014
The third annual Color Run on Saturday morning is a fun event for runners, who end the race covered in a rainbow of colored powder sprayed on them at different intervals over a course of about three miles. But the run, one of at least a half dozen planned to wind their way through downtown over a few months, along with various parades also using downtown as staging area, aren’t always planned with local businesses in mind.
Joe Downtown: Project seeks to help homeless in a more organized manner
Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014
Metro Police are about to embark on a new initiative meant to lessen the intensity of traffic and criminal activity in a downtown area growing increasingly congested with homeless people. What’s happening, said Metro Capt. Shawn Anderson, is that people who want to help the homeless will drive to the area to drop off food, clothes or other items near North Main Street and Foremaster Lane.
Joe Downtown: One year in, Rangers take it to the streets — with ukuleles
Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014
Downtown Project's Rangers don't carry cuffs or guns, but they are trying to create a smile pandemic.
Joe Downtown: Alcohol-related issues downtown continue to spill into City Hall's lap
Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014
A Fremont Street Experience retailer on Wednesday could lose its right to sell beer and wine, and it may be just the beginning of an effort by city officials to stem the tide of booze-related businesses opening downtown.
Joe Downtown: Tech library at Emergency Arts logs off
Friday, Feb. 14, 2014
The usr/lib, one of the first places to establish the idea that, beyond casinos and bars, downtown could be home to those interested in the tech industry, has closed.
Joe Downtown: Concert to benefit Las Vegas Rescue Mission
Friday, Feb. 14, 2014
A benefit concert to collect new or slightly used clothing for the Las Vegas Rescue Mission will take place Friday, Feb. 21, at Backstage Bar and Billiards at the corner of Fremont and 6th streets.
Joe Downtown: Downtown Project’s growth left some young employees underserved
Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014
Two 20-somethings who came to Las Vegas for DTP may move on before their two-year fellowships end.
Joe Downtown: The Attic heads north on Main Street, hopes customers will follow
Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014
in 1992 when Mayra Politis founded The Attic, a vintage clothing store, South Main Street was a place few people visited. Fortune shined on Politis’ unique shop, however, when a national commercial aired during the final episode of the No. 1 TV show of the time, “Seinfeld,” and business boomed. After a transformer explosion closed The Attic, she has reopened the shop in another location, and the hard work begins persuading Las Vegans to visit the store north of U.S. 95.
Joe Downtown: This weekend, downtown Las Vegas will be a zoo
Monday, Feb. 10, 2014
Hoping to raise enough money to help keep open the only zoo in Clark County, will host some 70-plus animals this weekend on its downtown campus.
Joe Downtown: Life Is Beautiful festival announces another change in leadership
Monday, Feb. 10, 2014
More changes are happening in key positions in the redeveloping and rebranding of downtown Las Vegas, this time again with the Life Is Beautiful festival. Andrew Donner, festival CEO, announced today the appointment of a new chief operating officer for the festival, Josh Ripple, who replaces Ashley Goodhue.
Joe Downtown: Looking to get your house cleaned? There's an app for that
Friday, Feb. 7, 2014
Technology isn’t there yet: Robots still can’t clean your home floor to ceiling. But a new downtown-based business called Maidly, about to launch in March, promises to at least make it easier to book a cleaning service.
Joe Downtown: Hsieh says Downtown Project not a charity, can't solve every community problem
Friday, Feb. 7, 2014
Community and downtown Las Vegas have been inseparably linked by the Downtown Project since its inception two years ago. But months after removing "community" from its slogan of core values — community, co-learning, collisions — and adding "connectedness," the Downtown Project now has removed all references about a "return on community" from its website.
Joe Downtown: Charles Ressler’s social media experiment is making dreams come true
Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014
His #dreamMakers Twitter idea has taken off—to the tune of thousands of followers.
Before the burn: Downtown's Life Cube an inviting canvas for artists
Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014
Downtown’s Life Cube is taking on a, well, life of its own. The 24-by-24-foot wooden cube was built last week on a poured concrete slab in the middle of the “llama” parking lot on the north side of Fremont Street between 9th and 10th streets. As soon as it was done, artists and non-artists started to paint its whitewashed walls. The upper half is being reserved for muralists, perhaps as many as 20 of whom will add their own flourishes to the cube.
Joe Downtown: Container Park proving to be major draw downtown
Monday, Feb. 3, 2014
With two months of operations under its belt, the Container Park outdoor mall on Fremont Street is doing better than expected, Downtown Project spokespeople say.
Joe Downtown: Is downtown the next Castro? Investors hope to create gay neighborhood in Las Vegas
Friday, Jan. 31, 2014
Is a "gayborhood" the next development for downtown Las Vegas? Maybe. Investors are pooling their money to buy swaths of property downtown in the hopes of creating an affordable gay neighborhood.
Joe Downtown: Downtown Cocktail Room to mark 7 memorable years
Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014
Seven years ago, Michael Cornthwaite was single, 33 and had just opened the Downtown Cocktail Room and the local economy was booming. Since then, he weathered the recession, got married, has a newborn and is about to celebrate the DCR’s seven-year anniversary.
Joe Downtown: Gentrification has arrived. Could it be a good thing?
Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014
There seems to be both pros and cons attached to that nasty buzzword.
Joe Downtown: Independent bookstore opening in old motel
Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014
This will be good news to anyone who thinks downtown is being flooded with too many taverns, to say nothing of those who miss a good old-fashioned bookstore.
Joe Downtown: Linq official suggests shuttle could move tourists downtown
Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014
Caesars sees the Linq as something so unique that it is considering the possibility of shuttling customers between it and downtown as part of the overall unique experience the development wants to bring its Strip customers.
Joe Downtown: Downtown Project backing independent film project
Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014
Downtown Project will invest in an independent film starring 19-year-old Dakota Fanning. Chris Ramirez, owner/partner of Downtown Films and founder of Silver State Production Services and Lola Pictures, is listed as a producer on the movie. He said the project’s investment constitutes almost the entire budget of the film, directed and written by Gerardo Naranjo.
Seasoned musicians among street performers sharing their talents at downtown's Experience
Friday, Jan. 24, 2014
More than a decade ago, lawyers wrangled for years in court fighting for people's right to distribute pamphlets on the Fremont Street Experience, the four blocks of East Fremont Street blocked to vehicle traffic under a city-funded electric canopy.
Joe Downtown: Food court's success raising hopes for Neonopolis' owner
Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014
Maybe this time Neonopolis owner Rohit Joshi has a hit on his hands. Neonopolis, long maligned because of the numerous businesses there that have started then folded, saw its newest tenant, the International Eatery, packed Thursday afternoon. Outlets for Italian, Asian and Mexican cuisine served lines of people who filled tables in space that was formerly occupied by Luna Rossa Italian restaurant.
Joe Downtown: Walls scouted for next Life Is Beautiful murals
Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014
Planning for the next Life Is Beautiful festival began almost as soon as the two-day festival ended in October. But one of the most visible and unexpectedly controversial parts of the festival — its street art program — really got rolling this week.
Joe Downtown: Las Vegas and the Harvard MBAs: More help from beyond state lines?
Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014
After a University of Iowa class used the city as a laboratory last year, a couple of Ivy Leaguers follow their lead. They visited town last week, meeting with people from small and large businesses, UNLV, government, neighborhood associations, law enforcement and, well, me.
Joe Downtown: Study finds downtown arena could net $21 million a year — if people buy into it — but would cost businesses
Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014
A downtown arena is a can’t-miss business opportunity. At least that’s what a consultant concludes about a city proposal to partially fund and own an arena in Symphony Park. The $400 million arena could generate about $21 million in profit annually, according to the internal report obtained by VEGAS INC.
Lawyers have made a home in downtown Las Vegas
Their offices line the streets of residential area
Monday, Jan. 20, 2014
In this old Las Vegas neighborhood, most of the homes are occupied only during the day, and then by some of the city’s most prominent lawyers, their paralegals and secretaries. The area is known as “Lawyers Row.”
Joe Downtown: Artist's burning desire coming closer to reality
Friday, Jan. 17, 2014
Scott Cohen just received a shipment of 22,000 pounds of wood. Now the real work begins on Life Cube, Cohen’s vision-turned-reality to build a 24-by-24-foot cube, and dozens more 8-by-8-foot cubes, fill them with the wishes of thousands of people, then burn them in a downtown parking lot.
Joe Downtown: Arts Commission considers bringing 'Paintbrushes' together
Friday, Jan. 17, 2014
Las Vegas Arts Commission members are considering moving one of two massive metallic paintbrushes situated downtown to create a more visible gateway to area’s Arts District.
Joe Downtown: Zappos ranked among Fortune magazine’s top 100 employers
Friday, Jan. 17, 2014
The one company downtown that seems to get work environment right is also the only Nevada company to make Fortune magazine’s list of the 100 best companies to work for.

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