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Zappos, DTP and Las Vegas partner to honor Tony Hsieh

Updated December 17, 2020 - 3:36 pm

Less than a month after Tony Hsieh died, a memorial fund has been set up to honor his memory and his impact on downtown Las Vegas.

A steering committee with representatives from online shoe seller Zappos, Hsieh’s side venture DTP Companies and the city of Las Vegas will consider ideas, submitted by the public, on how to spend donations to the fund.

Donations are tax deductible and can be made through the Moonridge Foundation, an arm of the Moonridge Group, a Las Vegas-based philanthropy advisory firm.

Hsieh’s father, Richard Hsieh, said in a news release Thursday that the city, DTP and Zappos “have been overwhelmed by the messages, love, and support” in the wake of his son’s death.

“The outpouring of requests from individuals and businesses Tony had an impact on asking how they can contribute to celebrating Tony’s life and legacy has been sincerely moving,” he said.

Hsieh, the former chief executive of Zappos, died Nov. 27 at age 46 from complications of smoke inhalation after being injured in a house fire in Connecticut.

The tech guru had famously turned Zappos into a retail powerhouse, sold it to Amazon in a $1 billion-plus deal in 2009 and moved the company from a suburban Henderson office park to the former Las Vegas City Hall in 2013.

He also launched his side venture, then called Downtown Project, in 2012 to pump $350 million into the Fremont Street area, a slice of downtown that had grappled with prostitution and drugs.

Through DTP Companies, as the venture was later renamed, Hsieh spent a fortune on real estate, restaurants and other ventures, becoming the face of downtown’s revival and one of its biggest property owners.

After the coronavirus pandemic abruptly ended his once-regular stream of interactions, events and good times in Las Vegas, Hsieh, who was unmarried, emerged in the wealthy ski town of Park City, Utah. He bought several houses there this year, was surrounded by new people and hosted plenty of parties.

He also seemed to display erratic behavior, and reports of his drug use sparked concern, people familiar with Hsieh’s life in Park City have told the Review-Journal.

Hsieh was replaced as CEO of Zappos this summer without a formal announcement from the company he led for two decades.

Lawyers for Hsieh’s family have filed court papers stating they believe he died without a will. A judge has granted a request to appoint Hsieh’s father and brother as administrators of his estate, giving them “full access to all historical and current financial information,” the Review-Journal previously reported.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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