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Joe Schoenmann

Downtown Las Vegas Reporter

A native Wisconsinite, Joe earned a journalism degree to get out of college early but wanted none of the craft after graduation. Need for a job landed him at small Wisconsin weeklies before moving to Las Vegas in 1997. He has been recognized for his magazine profiles and his investigative stories that exposed police bias against minorities.

Story Archive

  • Joe Downtown

    Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013

    "It’s not the sight of someone sleeping under a tree ... or wherever they happen to pass out from street fatigue or drunkenness; it’s entering a realm where many of the people suffer from mental illness."

  • Joe Downtown

    Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013

    Plans to build an art museum, renovate the Reed Whipple Cultural Center and reopen the Huntridge Theatre are all underway. But who will supply the dough?

  • Joe Downtown

    Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013

    "He’s that rare strain of original cool whose personal vibe becomes a statement that others follow in fashion or thought."

  • Joe Downtown

    Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013

    Downtown — largely East Fremont Street, the Fremont Street Experience and the Arts District — has turned into a center for festivals and events.

  • Joe Downtown

    Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013

    The creation of neo-Downtown as a company town is coming into vogue.

  • Joe Downtown

    Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013

    Barricades were up and police presence was down, but so was business in several east Fremont Street bars last Friday night. Some say that’s the price of success on the first Friday of the month.

  • Joe Downtown

    Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013

    The Life Is Beautiful Festival made the neighborhood feel like a true city. When will it consistently be like that?

  • Joe Downtown

    Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013

    The fight over the name of a Mexican restaurant destined for the Downtown Container Park is over. Pinches Tacos is going to keep its name, despite a Las Vegas councilman’s suggestion to change it.

  • Joe Downtown

    Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013

    A new urban lounge will bring more competition to downtown’s loaded bar scene, but it won’t be located on East Fremont Street, where much of the property is already owned by Downtown Project.

  • Joe Downtown

    Monday, Oct. 28, 2013

    Despite a few minor arrests and injuries, city and police officials said Life is Beautiful was successful and that they'd like to see some parts of it become permanent. Over the two-day event, five people were arrested for misdemeanors and three people suffered minor injuries when a roughly 30-foot tower holding streamers tumbled in the wind at the entrance Sunday. Beyond that, however, the festival appeared to be a roaring success.

  • Joe Downtown

    Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013

    The opening comes six-and-a-half years after the closure of the Lady Luck, which was gutted by investor CIM Group and converted into the Downtown Grand.

  • A&E

    Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013

    The inaugural Life is Beautiful festival downtown continued to run smoothly on its second and final day, with an expected 24,000 attendees flocking to the festival grounds to take in dozens of bands, gourmet eateries, art installations and lectures at the weekendlong celebration. However, the day was not completely without incident. One of the towers at the entrance to the festival on 6th Street at Carson Avenue toppled in the wind around 4:45 p.m. No injuries were reported.

  • Joe Downtown

    Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013

    “We take people who are on the path of hopelessness and get them back on the path of hope.”

  • Joe Downtown

    Monday, Oct. 21, 2013

    Tony Hsieh came off as a modest voice of calm amid former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman’s outspoken ex-mob-lawyer-turned-mayor persona, as both addressed questions about downtown’s rebirth at a luncheon today.

  • A&E

    Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013

    Work on the first of 14 murals to adorn the walls of various downtown buildings has begun.

  • Joe Downtown

    Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013

    The free ride, which has been described as “Burning Man on wheels,” begins at 7 p.m. at the Huntridge Tavern, 1116 E. Charleston Blvd.

  • Joe Downtown

    Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013

    The answer is coming, largely by way of ... Iowa City, Iowa.

  • Joe Downtown

    Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013

    The complex took a big hit with the city's denial of liquor licenses for Krave and Drink & Drag.

  • Joe Downtown

    Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013

    Downtown business operators seemed satisfied, and Metro Police had fewer arrests than in many months on Fremont Street last Friday night.

  • Joe Downtown

    Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013

    As someone who had read scripts with the goal of finding good ones for Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company, Franklin Leonard hadn’t found a good script in so long, he began to doubt his own script filter.

  • Joe Downtown

    Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013

    Many are working Downtown, but more need to actually move to the area.

  • A&E

    Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013

    Fifteen blocks of the city’s urban core will be carved out and fenced in later this month to make way for a cultural playground of music, art, food and learning.

  • Joe Downtown

    Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013

    Nearly 500 jobs, 440 new parking spaces, a job fair, a new nachos joint and Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning — all were on the menu of the monthly rapid-fire roundup of Downtown Project plans, activities and businesses Monday night.

  • Joe Downtown

    Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013

    In February, Nicole Phillips moved from her apartment on the outskirts of the city to downtown Las Vegas in February for one reason: She wanted to be part of what’s happening down here. On Saturday morning, she proved it with a brush and some white paint.

  • Joe Downtown

    Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013

    Joe Schoenmann wonders: Can Downtown be both garish and smart?

  • Joe Downtown

    Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013

    Next time you look around Fremont Street and lament so many police officers, remember: You have a drink in your hand.

  • Food

    Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013

    Walking the few blocks of Fremont Street between 6th and 9th streets can be scary, downtown Las Vegans say. It's a virtual no-man’s land, drastically different from the bustle of the bars and restaurants just a few blocks away.

  • Joe Downtown

    Friday, Sept. 13, 2013

    Beers, new fall drinks and a temporary speakeasy top this week’s Downtown Drinking News. Take a look at what's going on at the Velveteen Rabbit, Atomic lounge and Downtown Brew Festival. For one event, you'll even need a password.

  • Joe Downtown

    Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013

    Naked City in downtown Las Vegas, an area roughly west/northwest of the Stratosphere, is one of those zones you have to make an effort to visit. And it’s a place that, once there, you might wish the effort had never been made.

  • Joe Downtown

    Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013

    Residents and business owners will get credentials and vehicle tags so they can get into and out of the perimeter of the Life is Beautiful festival this October.

  • Joe Downtown

    Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013

    The coming casino's proximity to Zappos headquarters, convenience and friendly amenities will help it make a big impact Downtown.

  • Joe Downtown

    Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013

    "Martial law." "A police state." That's how downtown regulars described the police presence Friday night on East Fremont Street. Metro Police blocked off traffic to the bar-filled block and made people walking outside dump their drinks.

  • Joe Downtown

    Monday, Sept. 9, 2013

    Almost 1,600 people, the majority of them Zappos employees, streamed into their new headquarters in downtown Las Vegas today, many of them seeing the rehabbed former City Hall for the first time.

  • Joe Downtown

    Monday, Sept. 9, 2013

    Zappos employees will take six weeks to completely move into the company’s new downtown headquarters, the former City Hall the company has spent millions of dollars renovating. Some 200 employees who already worked downtown, in a building at 3rd Street and Bridger Avenue, moved in over the weekend, said Zach Ware of Zappos. The remaining 1,300 or so will fill the building over the next six weeks.

  • Joe Downtown

    Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013

    Complaints have been made that Downtown's police are too heavy-handed.

  • Joe Downtown

    Friday, Aug. 30, 2013

    Details were not immediately available, but the City Council on Wednesday is set to consider an item to extend a temporary tavern license for a change of ownership from Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon to Krave Massive.

  • Joe Downtown

    Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013

    The City Council and various city departments might be on the small screen soon.

  • A&E

    Monday, Aug. 26, 2013

    Closed since July 1, the Bunkhouse Saloon will reopen in November, not in 60 days as originally planned. Downtown Project sources, however, say that when it reopens, the longtime live music venue/dive bar will have retained much of the vibe that locals grew accustomed to over the years.

  • Joe Downtown

    Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013

    Downtowners aren't all trust-fund kids with nothing better to do than work on apps.

  • Joe Downtown

    Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013

    One of the truisms about redevelopment is that urban zones forgotten and left for dead only turn around when perceptions do. For decades, east Fremont Street was no-man’s land to most residents. But redevelopment has changed perceptions of the area.

  • Joe Downtown

    Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013

    The tech conference attracted Millennials by the masses.

  • Joe Downtown

    Monday, Aug. 12, 2013

    Tony Hsieh’s mantra is unwavering, especially when he’s addressing some 1,000 techsters who would like to do nothing more than to do what he did, and turn their app and website ideas into millions.

  • Joe Downtown

    Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013

    Eleven years after it opened, dozens of businesses have come and gone from Neonopolis, the cuboid mall at Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. Lately, though, some businesses have managed to stay open long enough — Denny’s, Heart Attack Grill and Drink & Drag — and downtown is growing just enough that other entrepreneurs are starting to move in.

  • Joe Downtown

    Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013

    Local activist Angie Morelli is bringing the fight against GMOs to the voters.

  • Joe Downtown

    Wednesday, July 31, 2013

    "I’ve never seen them like here. It’s like with some of them, ‘Why are you still alive?’”

  • Joe Downtown

    Wednesday, July 24, 2013

    Trains on the road would connect UNLV to the Huntridge and other Downtown hangouts.

  • Joe Downtown

    Wednesday, July 24, 2013

    A new grocery store is heading downtown. Sources with the Downtown Project say an urban grocery store is planned for East Fremont Street in the space formerly occupied by Mamita’s Mexican restaurant and the Fremont Street Market & Deli.

  • Joe Downtown

    Wednesday, July 17, 2013

    August's First Friday will unveil “antARTica,” an immersive streetscape.

  • Joe Downtown

    Wednesday, July 10, 2013

    More and more taverns are coming to Downtown and some, if not all, will be targeting tourists.

  • Joe Downtown

    Tuesday, July 9, 2013

    Downtown’s recent success as a nightlife hub is ratcheting up fears that the area is becoming so awash in booze and underage drinking that violence is growing, creating an expensive need for more law enforcement.