Two large building wraps have gone up in downtown Las Vegas near the casino district to honor former Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. The Las Vegas investor died in November from injuries in a Connecticut house fire.
The wraps at Zappos headquarters feature a likeness of Hsieh and the words, “Thank you, Tony.” Hsieh retired in August after 20 years of leading the online shoe-and-clothing company. He spent millions revitalizing neglected areas in downtown Las Vegas near the casino district.
The wraps are 69 feet long by 36 feet tall, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
In a statement, Zappos officials said the wraps were a “commemoration for the passion and service Tony brought to Zappos and the downtown community.”
We hope it brings some happiness to Tony’s friends and family to see his legacy honored,” according to the company statement.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said Hsieh’s “vision, generosity, and spirit have forever changed our city for the better.” Goodman has said she wants to establish a memorial for Hsieh somewhere downtown.
James Swanson, who owns Screaming Images, the company that made the wraps, said Hsieh “did a lot of good things for the city, especially the downtown area as far as development.”
“Me being a business owner also, I kind of always liked to try to pattern my styles after what he did,” Swanson told the newspaper.
When Hsieh died in November, the downtown casino district honored him with a video tribute. The tribute was displayed on the electronic canopy covering the Fremont Street Experience pedestrian mall. Fremont Street, known as Glitter Gulch, is lined on both sides with casinos.
Death Investigation Continues
An investigation into the cause of the fire that led to Hsieh’s death is not expected to be completed at least until this month, officials said.
Authorities have ruled the 46-year-old Hsieh’s death was caused by complications from smoke inhalation.
On Nov. 18, fire crews were dispatched about 3:30 am to a waterfront home in New London, Connecticut, with reports that someone was “barricaded” or “trapped” in a storage shed. Firefighters broke into the attached shed and removed Hsieh. He was unresponsive.
Hsieh was flown to a burn center in Bridgeport, Connecticut, about 65 miles west of New London. He was pronounced dead at the hospital on Nov. 27.
Jewel’s ‘Blunt’ Letter
Hsieh had been at the home in Connecticut visiting his girlfriend, Rachael Brown, and a brother, according to news accounts. The $1.3-million house belonged to Brown. She is a musician who began working at Zappos in 2004.
Toward the end of his life, Hsieh moved from Las Vegas to Park City, Utah, and was experimenting with drugs, according to media reports.
After briefly visiting him in Utah, the recording star Jewel wrote a “blunt” letter to Hsieh, a longtime friend. The letter asserted he was “taking too many drugs,” according to Forbes magazine.
The day before the fire, he was making plans to check into a rehabilitation clinic in Hawaii, the Wall Street Journal reported.
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