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Different sites in downtown Las Vegas both feature Airstream trailers

One downtown site is a square block used for trailer homes and a “living experiment” where a well-known Las Vegas resident gets his shut-eye.

The other nearby downtown spot is a block away being used for commercial purposes but also with similar trailers.

The two sites have no formal business connection. But they do have one striking visual commonality: Their familiar silver Airstream trailers.

It only takes a few minutes to walk from the Airstream 2 Go LLC trailer rental center at 123 N. 10th St. to Tony Hsieh’s Airstream residential village at 1001 Fremont St. in the heart of Hsiehville, the Fremont Street corridor that Hsieh’s Downtown Project is trying to redevelop.

Remarkably, the Airstream rental center owned by a former Airstream Inc. CEO and the Airstream residential village where Zappos CEO Hsieh lives have no direct business tie except that Hsieh’s Downtown Project owns the land where Airstream 2 Go does its business and is Airstream 2 Go’s landlord.

Despite no direct Airstream business connections, the rental employees and the residential village folks are friendly with each other, with Airstream 2 Go occasionally bringing over mail mistakenly dropped off at its lot or advising confused visitors seeking the residential trailers that their destination is a block away.

Airstream 2 Go is open to the public and invites people to tour the trailers that are rented for about $1,200 a day, while the Airstream village near The Bunkhouse Saloon is guarded by security and closed to the public. So, there’s no Hsieh Airstream tour like there was at Hsieh’s apartment in The Ogden a few blocks away.

“It’s very unique. I can’t think of another place in the country that has these Airstream sites one block from each other,” said Josh Rogers, Airstream 2 Go assistant manager. “It’s wonderful to have this number of Airstreams in such a local area.”

Hsieh put it this way: “There’s no formal relationship with them and no day-to-day interaction with them, but we are friends with them and knew the president prior to (Downtown Project) becoming landlord.”

Airstream 2 Go, incorporated as an LLC in Nevada in 2013 and owned by former Airstream Inc. executive Dicky Riegel, opened in downtown in May 2013. The business liked Las Vegas as a rental location because popular national parks such as Grand Canyon and Zion are three to five hours away by car.

Riegel picked the Downtown Project-owned location on 10th Street because he has a friend at DTP, Rogers said. Hsieh launched Downtown Project with $350 million to redevelop an area along the Fremont Street corridor from the Fremont Street Experience to Maryland Parkway.

Both Airstream locations are former Western hotel RV sites and have spaces equipped to handle RVs — which is why they’re ideal for their current uses.

“Both properties already had RV hookups, which is why it made sense to choose those locations,” Hsieh said.

At the Las Vegas location, Airstream 2 Go keeps ten 28-foot trailers, which are each paired with a Chevrolet Tahoe as the towing vehicle. The company also has rental locations in San Gabriel, California; Bozeman, Montana; and Fort Davis, Texas.

Annual sales are up by 50 percent over last year, Rogers said. “We expect that number to climb again this year,” he said. The company is adding 10 more trailers in the first quarter of 2016, Rogers said.

Hsieh began living at the Airstream village more than a year after Airstream 2 Go opened. It’s only a 10-minute walk to Zappos headquarters. When the Airstream village opened a year ago, Hsieh described it, “as an urban camping experience with everyone sharing the world’s largest living room (which has a community kitchen and campfires).”

About two or three people looking for Hsieh’s Airstream village mistakenly wander into the rental business lot every week, Rogers said. Whenever a story about Hsieh living in the Airstream village runs, that number increases, he said.

“We’re happy to give people tours of the trailers,” Rogers said of the downtown visitors who come to his trailer site by mistake.

Rogers said he gave tips to new Airstream residents about their home trailers a block away after they moved in and still offers maintenance advice.

“We help them here or there, but we don’t have an actual business relationship,” Rogers said.

The Airstream is considered a luxury TV trailer and is based in Jackson Center, Ohio. Airstream 2 Go is exclusively authorized by Airstream Inc. to rent the current model year trailers. Over at the Airstream village, there are about 14 2014 Airstream International model trailers and also some Tumbleweed Tiny Houses, Rogers said.

Attempts to reach Airstream village manager Brad Johnson were unsuccessful.

Contact reporter Alan Snel at asnel@reviewjournal.com. Find him on Twitter: @BicycleManSnel

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