One of Our Best Startups Is Going to Silicon Valley

Rumgr Las Vegas startup stuff

Not sure how I missed this but apparently one of Vegas’s best tech startups — Rumgr — has been bought by eBay and is leaving town. They’re also shutting down their site and teaming up with another group of developers to create something similar but better.

It kinda sucks to be losing such a cool company but I’m definitely happy for them. They’re poised to do some very big things, especially now that they’re part of one of the most powerful ecommerce sites/companies in the world.

I told a friend a couple years ago that Rumgr had great things in its future. He told me it seemed “dumb” since we already have Vegas Craigslist, Vegas Reddit, the RJ’s Marketplace feature, etc.

But, as anyone who has every tried to use those platforms knows, they really aren’t that great. In fact, they often lead to scams, ripoffs, thefts, and even worse — like having to deal with weird guys who almost never leave their parents’ basements.

As others have said, one of the “big boys” of the tech world should have developed a Rumgr-like app years ago. It basically combines all the good stuff about Craigslist and local garage sales and gets rid of 99% of the bad stuff.

The basic idea is a great one — create an easier, safer, more fun way sell your stuff to the guy down the street (or on the other side of town). The original Rumgr platform never really “exploded” in popularity but it did have a loyal local following here in the Vegas valley.

The startup’s founders are all ex-Zappos guys and were helped out a lot by some seed funding via Tony Hsieh/VegasTechFund. Looks like that was a very smart investment. Rumors are that Rumgr got $1.7 billion in the deal.

Just kidding.  :)

Supposedly eBay engineers and the Rumgr coders developing a new app called Close5, to be launched this month. It should be interesting to see how it turns out. Targeted, location-based marketing/networking is one of the waves of the future so it’s very likely we’ll all be using the app soon.

Anyway… I hate to see Rumgr go… but I definitely wish them good luck in the Yay!

BTW, here’s one of the videos that originally got me very interested in this VegasTech startup:

You can learn more about the deal here: e-Bay Acquires Las Vegas Startup Rumgr

 

 

top image via Instagram

Re/code’s Nellie Bowles: Tony Hsieh is Creating the US’s “Most Ambitious” Utopian City Experiment

Tech Utopia in Downtown Las Vegas

Not everyone in Vegas loves Tony Hsieh. Some actively dislike him. But every honest local has to admit one thing: the guy has turned Downtown into a vastly better place to live, work, and play than it was before.

Not that long ago “DTLV” was basically a semi-ghetto with some beat-up “old-school” casinos, bars, restaurants, and hookers. Oh, and lots of banks, attorney’s offices, government buildings, homeless people, and the strange Fremont Street Experience. The “Old Downtown” really wasn’t a very fun place to be unless you were a drunk tourist on a budget.

Fast forward to late-2014: the casinos, hookers, lawyers, homeless people, and inebriated visitors are still there, but a vibrant technology oasis has sprung up around them. Mr. Hsieh and his army of startup geeks have turned Downtown into something very special, in an incredibly short amount of time — a type of 21st century mini Tech Utopia.

So how the heck did he do it?

Re/code’s Nellie Bowles moved there this summer to find out. In the process she has created an incredible series on Tony and the very smart people helping him transform the Downtown area. It’s easily the best stuff written so far about Hsieh, the Downtown Project, and the entire VegasTech scene.

Here’s a video form the first article:

We highly suggest reading the rest here: Downtown Las Vegas Is the Great American Techtopia

Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments below!

 

Photo credit: 8 News Now

Downtown Summerlin Drone Videos = Cool

When I first heard the phrase Downtown Summerlin I chuckled pretty hard. If there’s one part of Vegas that’s hard to imagine with a real “downtown” it’s this affluent suburb full of huge homes, manicured golf courses, millionaire casino bosses, and wealthy retirees.

And, after all, Vegas already has a pretty famous downtown area… and it’s about as real as you can get.

But apparently the people in charge of this giant master-planned community (the Howard Hughes Corporation) decided to create a 400+ acre “urban core” full of high-end stores, restaurants, office space, and condos. According to the main website, everything will be connected via “centrally located neighborhood parks, lush streetscapes and enhanced pedestrian corridors.”

Sounds kinda cool to me.

But here’s what’s really cool: the Downtown Summerlin developers have been releasing aerial drone videos showing the progress of the site’s construction for the past few months. They’re very high quality and surprisingly fun to watch.

Here’s the earliest “fly thru” vid I could find, from May:


Here’s the most recent:


What a difference 4 months make! All these videos are missing is a good Frank Sinatra soundtrack.

We’ll be following the progress of Downtown Summerlin so check back soon!

– J

 

A Great Time To Live in Vegas

High-Roller-LINQ-EarthHour

There are some exciting things happening in Las Vegas these days.

In fact, after several years of suffering though Great Recession misery, the entire valley seems to finally be getting back on track, economically speaking.

Casino revenue is up (thanks baccarat!). New businesses are popping up everywhere. The Vegas Tech scene is exploding. Zappos boss Tony Hsieh is slowly turning the town into a startup Mecca. And the nightclub industry is hotter than ever.

Hell, even the Vegas real estate market is zooming back up into the stratosphere… something many “experts” didn’t expect to happen until around 2020-ish!

And here’s some fantastic news from UNLV’s Center for Business and Economic Research: Southern Nevada’s economy is expected to rebound to pre-recession levels by 2016!

That’s good great news for us long-time locals.

No one knows for sure what the future holds for Vegas. But, one way or another, we’re betting the next couple of years are going to be pretty exciting.

That’s exactly why we’re launching this little website/blog!

We invite you to tag along as we highlight some of the coolest and most interesting new stuff in the Vegas valley.

Enjoy the ride… :)

JC

 

Cool photo of the High Roller by Earth Hour Global

Welcome to the Show!

photo of a flower in the Mojave desert

Hi and welcome to the new blog!

Our goal is to show off some of the coolest, most interesting, and most innovative stuff in Las Vegas, NV. This unique city in the middle of the Mojave is quickly becoming known for much more than just casinos, giant hotels, and pool parties.

We plan to showcase everything from hot technology startups to the best new “mom and pop” businesses from all around the valley. The focus will be on local Vegas people, places, products, and events. We hope to create something fresh, exciting, and special.

Please stay tuned… and enjoy the show… :)

– The Vegas Demo Team

 

Mojave desert flower photo by purpletwinkie