Santa Fe looks to downtown Las Vegas for inspiration

The revitalization of Fremont Street continues to intrigue outsiders, but does it really have something to teach historic Santa Fe?

Looks like we’ll soon find out.

Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales and representatives of Creative Santa Fe are scheduled to meet Tuesday in Las Vegas with Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh and Downtown Project officials to explore the possibilities.

“This group of New Mexican entrepreneurs, philanthropists and activists is coming to Las Vegas to see how the downtown revitalization projects have fared, seeking lessons learned that might be applicable to their own project to revitalize Santa Fe’s downtown,” the group said in a message announcing the visit titled “A City to City Encounter.” “Creative Santa Fe seeks to support the reinvention and revitalization of Santa Fe’s economy, leveraging existing strengths in arts and culture.”

After hanging with Hsieh, Creative Santa Fe representatives will meet with a group of locals at the Mob Museum. Hsieh gave a presentation in Santa Fe earlier this year that intrigued business owners, according to New Mexico press reports.

SCHOOL SCORES: It was announced earlier in the week, but it’s worth shouting about one more time. Isn’t it great that C.T. Sewell Elementary in Henderson won the $100,000 technology grant from Farmers Insurance?

The school serves a high percentage of underprivileged children.

Principal Holli Ratliff and teacher Brenda Moynihan should be proud. Not only of winning that needed funding, but of engendering such an outpouring of community support. It’s well-deserved.

FAIR CATCH: New UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez, who just signed a four-year deal, is set to receive a $10,000 bonus if the team wins seven games.

That’s seven games in the same season.

ACADEMY BOOKS: Last week’s note on the sad impending passing of Dead Poet Books got reader Bill Donati reminiscing about one of his favorite used book stores, Academy Books at the corner of Eastern and Charleston.

The store was a grand mash-up of books, papers, collectibles and surprises. The new owners were interested in selling the stock at auction.

“I asked if I could grab a children’s book for a Christmas present,” Donati says. “They apologized because they didn’t know where the children’s section was located, but I knew, so I bought ‘The House That Jack Built.’ I was the last customer.”

NEW CHAPTER: While a couple of venerable used book stores are closing doors, some intrepid souls opened an independent bookstore at 1020 Fremont Street called Writer’s Block.

More on this soon.

ON THE BOULEVARD: So far, the World Cup soccer betting scheme playing out in U.S. District Court has mostly resulted in wrist slaps and fines for the defendants. … What has become of the Frontline documentary on the controversial success of Macau’s casinos? … For some reason, those critical of the money spent to reopen F Street showed no outrage when the thoroughfare was improperly and unethically closed.

BOULEVARD II: It’s hard to remember any time in recent history that a group of legislators, in this case conservative Assembly Republicans, has been so cuffed around and marginalized prior to the start of a session. Firebrand Michele Fiore is the latest to feel the sting after being ousted, and then reinstated, as head of the Taxation Committee. … If Las Vegas fails to win a Major League Soccer franchise, as the Toronto Sun predicted this week, the plan to build a downtown soccer stadium encumbering millions in public funds is no longer necessary, right? … Controversial ride-sharing outfit Uber continues to get its fenders dented in city after city as it challenges traditional transportation companies. I wonder if that will eventually encourage its officials to carve out a compromise with cab companies and state regulators.

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