Secret Downtown Project

The following email was sent to Zappos Las Vegas employees yesterday:

As many of you know, Fred and I have been working on and talking about a secret project for the past year or so. The project had to remain secret because it involved a lot of complicated moving parts, the details of which would make its own interesting book one day.

Even though nothing is definite yet, we finally feel like we have enough of our ducks lined up to announce what we've been working on: The future Zappos campus!

The short version is that we hope to be able to move into the current Las Vegas City Hall location and adjacent expansion land downtown sometime in 2012 or 2013.

More details are in the joint press release that is going out today (see below), and I'll be sending out a separate email about Q&A meetings to give more color on everything as well as get everyone's ideas on what we'd like to see in a campus!

Stay tuned!

-Tony

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Zappos Eyes Downtown Las Vegas

Company Hopes To Relocate Headquarters To City Hall Site

In what would be a major economic boost, Zappos.com, Inc. is looking to relocate its corporate headquarters to downtown Las Vegas on the current City Hall site.

The Resort Gaming Group (RGG), wholly owned by founder and CEO Andrew Donner, made an unsolicited offer to the city of Las Vegas to buy the site and about seven surrounding acres earlier this year with the intent of developing it as a corporate campus for Zappos.

Such a move is expected to bring an initial 1,000 jobs into the downtown area. Zappos.com is a leader in on-line clothing and footwear sales by way of an unparalleled focus on customer service.  Zappos is known as having a fun and family-type culture with a focus on employee happiness. Highlighting Zappos' accomplishments is inclusion in Fortune Magazine's 100 Best Companies To Work For list for 2009 and 2010.

"This will be a game changer for Southern Nevada," said Mayor Oscar B. Goodman. "This move will bring about a critical mass of creative persons to the inner core of Las Vegas in addition to causing a significant shot in the arm for the economy and for new jobs."

City leaders have noted the importance of keeping local businesses excited about being in Las Vegas. "Having Zappos in the Las Vegas area is vital to diversifying our economy beyond gaming," said City Manager Betsy Fretwell. "This move will also encourage similar companies to look at Las Vegas as a potential site for corporate headquarters."

The city had already made plans to relocate City Hall to another downtown location with a timeline to vacate the current facility in 2012.  Zappos hoped to capitalize on the city's move, expressing an interest in being in a downtown environment with room to grow.  The current City Hall campus and nearby city-owned properties comprise approximately 17 acres.

"At Zappos, our number one priority is our company culture. Our belief is that if we get the culture right, most of the other stuff -- like delivering great customer service and building a long-term enduring brand and business -- will be a natural byproduct of our culture," said Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com, Inc. "Our proposed future downtown location will be a great urban environment that will help grow the cultures of both Zappos and Las Vegas."

Founded in the San Francisco Bay Area, Zappos first moved to the Las Vegas Valley in 2004.  At the time, the fast-growing start up brought 70 employees with it.

"Zappos is among the world's most successful, progressive and forward-thinking companies as created by its incredibly visionary leaders," said Donner. "To work in partnership with Tony Hsieh, Fred Mossler and the entire Zappos team has been both humbling and enlightening.  The company is committed to this 
project and more importantly, to reinvigorating downtown. The support of this caliber of business leader speaks volumes for our city.  We believe this project will have more impact on downtown revitalization than any other development to date."

The city had been in exclusive negotiations with The Cordish Companies to build an arena and entertainment district on the current City Hall site. City officials could not negotiate with any other potential developers unless Cordish was agreeable.  The city and Cordish agreed to move the arena/entertainment complex to Symphony Park, clearing the way for RGG to discuss the purchase of the City Hall site with city leaders.  A new exclusive negotiating agreement (ENA) with The Cordish Company was approved by the City Council on November 17.

The City Council must now consider the sale of the current City Hall site to RGG.  The item is scheduled to be on the council agenda of December 1. If approved, the parties will enter a due diligence period, meaning this would be the first step in seeing the deal come to fruition.  The transaction is expected to take several months to finalize and is expected to close by mid-2011.  Construction will begin as soon as the new City Hall is complete in the spring of 2012 and city workers have transitioned to the new facility.

"The economic uplift that will be created by Zappos' move to downtown will be significant," said Donner. "Zappos' corporate campus will elevate downtown, its profile, its vibe and its appeal to both locals and tourists alike."

About Zappos.com
Established in 1999, Zappos.com, operated by Zappos Development, Inc., has quickly become the leading destination in online apparel and footwear sales by striving to provide shoppers with the best possible service and selection.  The Zappos Family has gross merchandise sales exceeding $1 billion annually. Zappos.com currently showcases millions of products from over 1000 clothing and shoe brands. Zappos.com, Inc. was recognized in 2009 and 2010 by FORTUNE MAGAZINE as one of the "100 BEST COMPANIES TO WORK FOR". More information about the customer service philosophy, unique culture, and job openings can be found at http://about.zappos.com. More information about Zappos Insights, Inc. and its business membership program can be found at http://www.zapposinsights.com.

About Resort Gaming Group
Resort Gaming Group (RGG) is a Las Vegas, Nevada-based, regional hospitality management and development company founded in 2002 and privately owned by Andrew B. Donner. Currently, RGG provides management services to several businesses including gaming taverns, full-service restaurants, quick service restaurants, catering operations and casino gaming operations under the direction of President Keith E. Grossman. RGG is licensed by Nevada Gaming Control. RGG and its affiliates are partners in the redevelopment of the Lady Luck Casino and Hotel. The newly renovated hotel casino is expected to open under a new name in fall 2012 along with many new food, bar, club and retail venues in the exciting, new 3rd Street District.  RGG and its affiliates are also developing approximately 100,000 square feet of retail, food, beverage and convention space surrounding The Mob 
Museum, which is expected to open fall 2011.

 

Comments

469760135's picture
Dec 9, 2010 at 9:32 pm AmyG28452 said:

Thank you Zappos for loving our city enough to want to improve it and make it better!

476225592's picture
Dec 10, 2010 at 9:29 pm MichaelR28615 said:

Tony, You've got a great thing going. If you're ever interested in expanding...we would love to have you Kittanning Pa. I'm sure we could be a cost effective east coast location for some portion of your business.

476389343's picture
Dec 12, 2010 at 2:39 pm AllBallBearings said:

Tony. I wanted to be one of the first to wish you a Happy Birthday! I hope you have a great day. Your book was awesome! I can't wait to get back out to Las Vegas for the office tour. -Randy Domolky

476883597's picture
Jan 4, 2011 at 2:22 am JonathanG32497 said:

Congrats on the move.

FYI - the link to about.zappos.com is broken. It goes to

"https://outlook.zappos.com/owa/redir.aspx?C=2f6ffa7cdf6a43dc9707cc370edcbf31&URL=http%3a%2f%2fabout.zappos.com"

Best, Jonathan

468657027's picture
Jan 4, 2011 at 3:32 pm Graham K. said:

Thanks for pointing out the broken link Jonathan. Have a great 2011!

477015815's picture
Jan 9, 2011 at 3:32 am RonnieB33239 said:

Thanks for reinforcing ideals that I though I had lost. Since I read your book I thought you might be interested in this. I have no ties to the organization.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1098642042/san-francisco-rave-docum...

477448828's picture
Feb 8, 2011 at 11:46 am Andrew said:

Dear CEO Tony,

I am Andrew, a HKer. I am wondering whether you will hire talent from Hong Kong? Would you accept a guy willing to deliver happiness as well?...

Regards,

Andrew Chan drewenton@gmail.com

468657027's picture
Feb 8, 2011 at 4:46 pm Graham K. said:

Hey Andrew,

We have offices in Las Vegas and Kentucky. You can see all of our job postings at http://jobs.zappos.com. Good luck!

Graham K. Blogs Team

477499144's picture
Feb 11, 2011 at 10:05 pm kevink37670 said:

Tony,

I'd like to help the Zappos Family create a new home so I stopped by the 2280 building yesterday in person and you were all out Celebrating Your Culture! Awesome! I left a letter and resume for you at reception. I don't see the position posted on your job site so here I am. I will send you the info direct or to a member of the Family as you wish. I am at your humble service as a slightly weird architect, designer, project manager, et all. I love hats.

Kevin Kestler kkestler@yahoo.com

477661520's picture
Feb 23, 2011 at 9:44 pm GuidoM39179 said:

Hi, I'm a journalist and I'd like to get in touch with your press office in order to send an interview request to Tony. What's the email address? Best, Guido guido.mingels@dasmagazin.ch

477839502's picture
Mar 7, 2011 at 10:27 pm VioletteC41274 said:

Hey Tony,

Just wanted to say I really enjoyed your book, and you've been very inspirational to our company!

Thanks for sharing your winsome words of wisdom. ;-) Our company is small still, but good advice helps us grow.

http://blog.envylabs.com/2011/02/envy-labs-core-values/

Violette EnvyLabs

478075001's picture
Mar 24, 2011 at 6:23 pm J. Shirley said:

Hey Zappos Team,

As a new (and entrepreneurial) addition to Las Vegas, I'm very interested in the new campus and the idea of the incubators.

I've not seen anything more since the January discussions on this from Zappos and Tony Hsieh. Have there been any more developments? I've been following the LVCC announcements as well, just wondering about Zappos involvement (if any) here.

Thanks, -Jay

478139942's picture
Mar 29, 2011 at 3:16 am GEMELLI said:

Hi Tony- I recently saw a CNN report on you and your company. I own a few clothing labels and would love to perhaps work with your organization. Please visit www.gemellishop.com and tell me what you think. I would love to send you a shirt. Regards, Farhad Heidari

474898990's picture
Apr 14, 2011 at 1:04 am TerrillF47223 said:

I have just had a remarkable experience speaking with one of Zappo's employee's. He made my day and much more. Because of his kindness and personality I will always shop at Zappo's first. No doubt about it. He was so helpful with my order, but far beyond that I feel like I have a new friend. I was trying to leave a comment to Zappo's about how wonderful he was, but sadly I am not that capable with the computer world and just wasn't able to. So here I am , somewhere , wanting the CEO and Managers to know what a wonderful, enlightening experience I had on Zappo's. I thought I was just shopping and instead I had an inspiring, spiritual experience. Thank you Zach. And thank you Zappo's! I will be sure to pass on this wonderful experience. Namaste' T

471334751's picture
Apr 14, 2011 at 1:10 am Darren said:

Dear TerrillF47223,

We're very happy to hear that you had such a great experience with us! I will definitely pass your message along. Hope you have a great day! Thanks for shopping with us!

-Darren F.

478819080's picture
May 15, 2011 at 4:33 pm CatSampson said:

Hey Tony!

Being 21, I'm loving the relocation aspirations. :-)

So I am reading your book and loving it! Was wondering if you (or any fabulous team member) would mind setting aside 20 minutes for any interview for my website. It's for college students! I can explain more through email. I recently did a video interview with Mixergy.com's Andrew Warner, which was a success. I love what he said about you so I am trying to snag ya next.

Tata for now,

Cat

479924623's picture
Aug 6, 2011 at 4:29 am GlennR64192 said:

Ya know, now that "the book writing, best store in town" guy is here--can't you just see his picture on the back cover of his next book in front of his Vegas Fantasy Book Writing residence: he needs www.CastleRancho.com--it's close by his headquarters and it has the WOW FACTOR! Keep up the good work! Welcome to a town where you can live your dreams! Welcome to Vegas, baby . . .

479928580's picture
Aug 6, 2011 at 9:10 pm KennethG64234 said:

I have been researching Zappos for my PhD, the research is actually fun --> can you imagine going to college is fun--wow! The energy, growth, excitment, dedication this whole thing called, "ZAPPOS" I can hardly wait to visit the corporate office.

465691200's picture
Sep 27, 2011 at 3:06 pm DamianM74223 said:

Hey Y'all,

I realize that you get a lot of ideas but I though of this as I was planning on returning some running shoes that didn't fit my wife's picky feet. We love to order shoes from y'all and sometimes order multiple sizes in order to get the right fit. I suspect I'm not the only one who does this. That say it occurred to me that I would love to see the following option. 1. is y'all could use a suggestion box that's front and center. 2. is I have a idea that would save zappos money, be green and be the first on the block to do it. I hope you like it. It's about your shipping and returns process ... here's how it goes. Add a 'do you want a reused box' option for your shipment as part of the order process. My guess is that many people ship back their shoes in the shipping box that it came in and that y'all recycle it. why not reuse it? I would love to see an old box getting used over and over again. It might even be fun to have a place on the box where the first person can write their destination city on it and then the next user could do it too ... etc. (it might even incent them to take care of the box so it last longer ... might even make it a contest to show how far a box can really go) That way I don't feel like these boxes go to waste and you can see where's it's been. Kind of a social network for boxes. If each box cost zappos say .25 cents and it gets used once then that's a cost if it can be used say 10 times then it's a savings and is good for the earth. I know when many years ago I worked for Esprit as a stock manager we reused boxes for internal store to store shipments over and over a the boxes could more than handle it. I think it would be so cool to have that as an option with y'all. Who ever gets this I hope that you think that this is as cool as I do and passes it along. Regards, Damian

477722343's picture
Sep 27, 2011 at 10:22 pm AngelaS74334 said:

Just want to say THANK YOU, without Zappos my life would be way more complicated. With you I am able to get what I need and want without the hassle of a store. If I ever need to speak to someone they are always friendly and caring. I've spent a week looking for cowboy boots for my little boy and I don't know why I didn't start here. You had what I was looking for! Thank you and I can't wait to order again.