LAS VEGAS, Sept 30 (Reuters) - A project aimed at revitalizing downtown Las Vegas, the brainchild of Zappos Chief Executive Officer Tony Hsieh, laid off approximately 30 employees on Tuesday, a spokeswoman for $350 million redevelopment initiative said.
The Downtown Project, which employs more than 300 people, is designed to create a new economy for Las Vegas beyond gambling and entertainment, and has seen the creation of restaurants, bars and businesses in the city’s older downtown core.
Kim Schaefer, a spokeswoman for the Downtown Project, said in a statement that most of the positions were cut from the project’s corporate office in an effort to streamline and restructure operations.
“We continue to evaluate all of our initiatives...,” she wrote.
Former University of Iowa Professor David Gould, who worked as the director of imagination at the project, tendered his resignation on Tuesday in an open letter to Hsieh. He said he resigned because he was “saddened by the loss of vision” and over the way the layoffs were handled.
Since it was set into motion in 2012, the Downtown Project has opened several redevelopment projects including the Container Park, an open-air shopping and restaurant scene about a half-mile from the Zappos offices that often hosts live music.
Upcoming projects for the downtown area include a grocery store, medical clinic and a retail center that will be housed in a repurposed hotel. (Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Cynthia Osterman)