Zach Ware is counting down to September 3, 2013. On that otherwise ordinary Tuesday, Zappos employees will ditch their suburban office park and start descending on the company’s new Downtown headquarters. The guy responsible for navigating the old city hall’s transformation into a modern, creativity-stimulating urban campus? That’s Ware.
The 31-year-old self-proclaimed nerd admits that staring down the big day is “a little terrifying,” but sitting upstairs in Emergency Arts he’s more excited than intimidated. Born on a North Carolina tobacco farm, Ware moved to Vegas from the Bay Area in 2010 to work for Zappos and quickly found his way to an apartment at the Ogden and a role in Tony Hsieh’s Downtown brain trust. Today, he’s involved in many of the special sauces adding new flavor to the neighborhood—from overseeing Zappos campus development to partnering in the Vegas Tech Fund and working on transit issues with Downtown Project. And last year Ware added another item to his agenda: Work in Progress, a company dedicated to making Las Vegas the “co-working capital of the world,” so companies like his won’t have to start in someone’s apartment or with their laptops on an old beer pong table. WiP’s first shared workspace, at 317 S. 6th St., is slated to open next month, and three more spaces are in the works.
It sounds like a lot to handle, but Ware tackles it all with a head-first enthusiasm for the town he’s adopted—and that’s adopted him.
“This is my fifth city in six years. Everywhere else I’ve lived I’ve always felt the sensation of what’s next?” Ware says. “I’m not even slightly thinking about what’s next. This is home."