Downtown Las Vegas' Container Park open for business - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Downtown Las Vegas' Container Park open for business

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Container Park, which looks and feels like a mall, welcomed shoppers during its soft opening on Monday, Nov. 25. (FOX5) Container Park, which looks and feels like a mall, welcomed shoppers during its soft opening on Monday, Nov. 25. (FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Following months of construction, the Downtown Project's Container Park is open for business.

It's designed as a place for startup companies to gain footing in Las Vegas. The park, located near Fremont Street, feels like a mall or shopping center, but you won't find any chain stores.

"We opened the doors at 1 o'clock with a line outside, and it hasn't stopped since," said Ernie Loya, whose Big Ern's BBQ is one of several restaurants you'll find in the park.

Big Ern's started as a catering service that built up a reputation online and by word of mouth. Now it has a brick and mortar location.

"To be able to have four walls, for people to come in and be warm and be able to sit down and have a seat, have a cold drink - it's really been something special, that's for sure," Loya said.

The Downtown Project said low overhead will allow businesses to keep more money and expand.

"[It's] very much an incubator scenario – startup businesses, people that have never had a business in four walls before," said the Downtown Project's Doug McPhail.

Along with 43 retail business, restaurants and bars, the park features a playground, observation tower, dome theater and stage.

"You see parents playing with their children. You see adults coming in and going down our slides," McPhail said.

About a year and a half ago, the Downtown Project demolished an old Motel 6 in order to make way for the park. The final pieces were put in place quickly.

"A week ago, it was basically a raw skeleton of stores, and the playground had just gone in. The stage had just gone up," Danielle Capitanl with retailer American Vagabond said.

Capitanl said the park has fulfilled her dream of running her own fashion boutique, which is slated to open on Friday.

"Today is a big moment for me, because to have this shop and remembering as a little girl, thinking I'm going to have my own shop, this is a big deal for me," she said.

Monday marked the soft opening for Container Park. A grand opening is scheduled for Dec. 5. Most of the retail stores are open from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Container Park isn't intended as a permanent location for businesses. It's intended to give startups a chance to thrive before they find bigger, permanent locations.

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