The $350 million development project, created by Hsieh five years ago, has worked on making downtown Las Vegas “a place of Inspiration, Entrepreneurial Energy, Creativity, Innovation, Upward Mobility, and Discovery, through the 3 C’s of Collisions, Co-learning, and Connectedness in a long-term, sustainable way.”
Recode notes that the startups involved with the project were “bleeding money.”
David Gould, who left his teaching position at the University of Iowa to take a role with the Downtown Project before resigning last week, wrote an open letter to Hsieh in the Las Vegas Weekly wondering how and why the project has struggled.
“Though I have come to understand the formidable challenges inherent in transforming a city, the story you crafted was not only visionary, but attainable,” he wrote. “So what happened?”
Hsieh is one of the more accomplished Internet entrepreneurs, having sold his online clothing and shoe retailer Zappos to Amazon.com for $1.2 billion and a previous company to Microsoft.