You could say that Tony Hsieh takes rundown buildings on their last legs and turns them into oases once again bustling with life.
Last week the Zappos CEO, who is passionate about transforming downtown Las Vegas, was on hand for the ribbon cutting to launch the Oasis at Gold Spike. The three-story property has been completely gutted and renovated by Downtown Project, his revitalization group. This is their first foray into operating a hotel.
“Every room is different and unique, and that’s part of the fun of this place,” said Hsieh.
Originally opened as the Travel Inn in 1962, it has been closed for many years. Siegel Group bought it in 2007 and sold it to Downtown Project along with the adjacent Gold Spike in 2013. The transformation the Oasis at Gold Spike has undergone is nothing short of spectacular.
The hotel retains the aura of years past with rooms and suites reminiscent of the original 1960s design. As you might expect from Downtown Project, it’s got a hip, effortlessly cool vibe. The property’s 38 standard rooms (called “Premier Crash Pads”) and six suites (called “Ultimate Crash Pads”) all have a blend of modern amenities – like Wi-Fi and 42-inch flat-screen TVs – with vintage furnishings.
In addition to funky light fixtures and faux wood flooring, my favorite thing about these rooms is a skinny revolving full-length mirror/mini closet that makes clever use of its small space.
The accommodations in the Oasis at Gold Spike are nestled around a courtyard. At the center is a really beautiful pool with two small waterfall features, a shallow shelf and a tanning pad. You can order the hotel’s rum-based signature drink, fittingly named the Oasis, out here and sip it while relaxing on a hanging egg chair. A raised deck by the pool is perfect for a DJ setup…so we have little doubt that by next summer this will be a hotspot for chilling out while listening to great music and meeting people.
Tip: Be sure to pop into the pool area’s unisex bathroom. Alongside the communal sinks are nostalgic murals depicting summertime swim fun of yore.
One final thing to mention about the Oasis at Gold Spike is the lounge. When you walk through the front door (past two classic cruiser bikes that guests can rent and ride on downtown’s growing number of pedal-friendly streets), it actually does feel like you’ve entered an oasis. Sofas with big fuzzy pillows flank a huge flat-panel TV. But what’s really unique is the media corner dubbed “The Library.” You can peruse lots of books offering inspiration to entrepreneurs – like “Startup Mixology,” “The Idea Factory,” “The Bite Me School of Management” and, of course, the must-read autobiography “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson.
And there’s a record player in The Library. Yes, you read that correctly – a record player. It makes for a novel attraction as most guests are unlikely to have seen or touched a turntable before. A nearby shelf contains a selection of vinyls to play by artists including the Beastie Boys, Neil Diamond, Sheena Easton, Liza Minnelli, Huey Lewis & The News and Elvis.
Situated on the corner of Ogden Avenue and North Las Vegas Boulevard, the Oasis at Gold Spike feels wonderfully secluded even though it’s just steps away from the Fremont East Entertainment District and Fremont Street Experience, where you’ll find an almost limitless choice of bars, restaurants and entertainment.
“It’s secure and has immediate access to the Gold Spike,” said Mayor Carolyn Goodman at the grand opening festivities, “and you can walk to and enjoy everything in downtown.”
Like most of Hsieh’s endeavors with Downtown Project, which have produced a whopping 923 jobs over the past three years, as well as changed the face of downtown, the Oasis at Gold Spike now looks to be standing on fertile ground.
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