Las Vegas, Nev. (FOX5) – Downtown Las Vegas has been pushed for years to revitalize. Now, the business that was a big part of that effort for the past 10 years is pulling out because of safety concerns.
The Hydrant Club, a dog boarding, training and social club no longer operating on East Fremont Street, closed its doors for good last Saturday.
Not far from Atomic Liquor, you’ll see a giant yellow fire hydrant, the brainchild of Tony Hsieh, out of the doggy business. Owner Kathy Brooks says she had no choice but to close the location due to safety concerns in the Fremont East/downtown area.
“We officially closed on December 31. Our last day of school, the last day was the 29th and two people were shot about two blocks away about 2 hours after the last dog left the building,” said Brooks.
A decade ago, Brooks moved to Vegas to open a business.
“I worked in Silicon Valley for many years. I would say around 2010-2011, I knew I wanted to do something different and I wasn’t sure what Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos at the time and a long time friend… He said why don’t you come this summer. Visiting Vegas?” shared Brooks. In his apartment, there was a wall of Post-it notes with hopes and dreams for downtown.
“There were somewhere between a dozen and a half dozen post-post notes that had something to do with dogs,” Brooks revealed. Brooks says Hissey worked with her weekly to open the Hydrant Club, and she hopes his legacy, his commitment to downtown revitalization, lives on, but she can’t.
“The kinds of threats that really led me to the decision that this neighborhood was no longer a safe place for a single small business were things like gun violence, things like large groups of unruly individuals.”
“When 100 people are smoking high cans and throwing stones at their bikes on the back tire in the middle of the road throwing their bikes across the front of your property and you ask them really politely, ‘Hey, do you mind going that far? You’re not obstructing business and I’m being called all kinds of names… what am I going to do?” Brooks questioned.
For now, the business has no physical location. Brooks is in the process of finding a new one but made it clear there is zero chance it will be anywhere near the same neighborhood.
For now, Brooks is still running her dog training business, Unleashed Leadership, wherever she can while she looks for a new permanent location.
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