Some bad news coming out of Tony Hsieh’s Las Vegas ambitious Downtown Project (DTP). Hsieh, the Zappos.com CEO, handed over the reigns of the project last year and is now selling off a ton of the properties he acquired in his attempt to create a utopian city on the outskirts of the Vegas strip.
PandoDaily sums it up well:
In the past few weeks, the DTP has been selling off many of its flagship entertainment properties. Several sources close to the project tell me that’s because Hsieh and his team are finally coming to terms with the fact that they’re not cut out to operate most of the businesses they’ve created or invested in. Instead, DTP will focus on what is working: Being the money behind the project– whether that’s investing in local small businesses, a handful of startups that appear to be doing well, and owning an ass-ton of real estate.
What’s the lesson here? I loved the idea of a startup city and had high hopes for the project as it blended urban planning with deep pockets and a startup mentality. BUT… perhaps DTP could’ve benefited from having some experienced planners on board as it sounds like most of the problems were related to management and execution.
Again, without knowing the entire roster of people on the DTP team, a blend of backgrounds and expertise may have helped the project. Or maybe one person shouldn’t own an entire city. There’s way more analysis to be done here.