We have a vision of Vegas and it goes like this: you're guessing it's 4am, but who knows, there are no clocks. You're sweating, can't sleep and haven't seen your co-founder in a day -- finally you find him, pry him away from the craps table and stagger to the airplane, swearing all the way to LaGuardia that you'll never ever go back.
But there's a different vision taking shape on the ground in Vegas, led by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. Sin City's already home to up-and-coming startups like Rumgr, ticketing platform Ticketometer, and wall art company Walls360. But customer service zen master Hsieh seems intent on overhauling the whole city: he's anointed beleaguered downtown as the spot for Zappos' new digs (opening next year in the City Hall building). And he's tempting other startups to come to town with seed funding and a general Zapposification of the area including yoga studios, bakeries, coffee shops, and an new school system -- a $350 million investment, much of which is of Hsieh's own dough.
With 300 sunny days a year, the Neon Museum, and a brand new airline shuttling desert dwellers straight to the beach, Vegas isn't looking like a bad bet.
Now go forth (and put it on black).