A Mall in Las Vegas Made of Shipping Containers?

From a second floor outdoor space in Container Park, a couple enjoys a comfortable couch, a great view and each other.
Photo by Diane Taylor

Very few people in Las Vegas could say that they haven’t heard about Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com, the online shoe and clothing retailer. In addition to running his company, Hsieh is determined to revitalize downtown Las Vegas into “the most community-focused large city in the world”.

Yeah, yeah.

Hsieh puts his money where his mouth is, we’re told. He and a “group of passionate people” have invested $350 million in something called Downtown Project, helping to bring new people, new businesses, art, music and culture downtown.

Yeah, yeah.

On November 25th, a new retail/entertainment complex, built with some of Downtown Project’s money, opened on at 707 Fremont Street (7th and Fremont). The place is called Container Park or “Downtown” Container Park. Most of the retail and food-related outlets in this complex are housed in repurposed shipping containers.

Shipping containers? … So how attractive can that be?

I, too, was skeptical….until I visited Container Park.

This view of Container Park was taken from the walkway in front of Bolt Barbers and behind the performance stage.
Photo by Diane Taylor

My visit is chronicled in the attached video which gives a brief view of Container Park and my enthusiasm for it. Not only are the containers attractive in an industrial-chic sort of way, the retail stores and food outlets are creative, cute, environmentally friendly and people friendly. The fun element is also all around, from the signs at the entrance and the play area for kids (and adults) to the evening drum circle and praying mantis outside the park. Talk about comfortable seating? Several non-commercial lounge areas offer great views in plush chairs and couches. Otherwise, lots of chairs and small tables are sprinkled throughout the venue. Of course, restrooms (six of them) and an elevator are also available. The events schedule (music performances, children’s programming, outdoor fitness classes, variety acts, etc.) can be found here.

We’ve been told Container Park is family friendly, and that seems to be especially true, from the foods to eat to the games to play.

Tony Hsieh says among his missions is to “deliver happiness”. From my view, Container Park is a happy place, but the other important point here is that Container Park, in a relatively short time, has been “delivered”. Container Park is up and running, and downtown should be very proud.


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