I spent six months researching, writing and illustrating the state of redevelopment in downtown Henderson for Vegas Seven. Now the story can be told.
Today's Economic Crisis Moment of Zen: Skipco
On the corner of Charleston and Jones boulevards is a 34,000-square-foot eyesore that was once the toast of the local business services community. For approximately 287 years now*, this prime chunk of real estate in the central southwest part of Las Vegas has been available for ANYONE to lease, buy, babysit, etc. Once upon a time, back when I had considerably more hair on my head and less on my body, this was the home of Skipco, a copying/printing/etc. company that once provided real competition for the 500-pound gorilla that was then Kinko’s.
In 2001, the long-time business expanded its headquarters at 6029 W. Charleston Blvd. to the behemoth pictured above, lauded both in the business press and by the City of Las Vegas, whose mayor Oscar Goodman declared April 11 “Skipco Day” (also the birthday of a high school girlfriend — why I remember this but not today’s grocery list I don’t know). At the time, the company was a $22 million a year operation, mainly helped by its status as a showroom for copiers and printers manufactured by Toshiba, who bought the previously family-owned Skipco in 1996.
But within a few years — and man, don’t ask me when exactly — the business, by then renamed Toshiba Business Systems, closed. From what little Google-fied research I did in preparation for this story, it seems Skipco’s former president, Gary Harouff, got caught with his hands in the cookie jar, at least allegedly, and Skipco was later in some other legal trouble over contract issues with clients.
Either way, that building has been up for lease or sale for as long as I can remember (which, again, is questionable in my advancing years). If anyone thinks this economic crisis of ours is new, well, I offer for evidence Exhibit A, Toshiba Business Solutions.
Now, I’m in no position to drop however many greenbacks it would take to lease or buy this space, but I do have some suggestions to potential investors for the types of businesses that could make best use of a 34,000-square-foot building in Las Vegas:
- Roller skating rink. Hey, why should Crystal Palace hold the monopoly on that in Sin City?
- A strip club for suburbanites. Really, should we have to trek to unsavory, industrial areas when you could bring the T&A to a location that’s less than a mile from about a half-dozen schools, churches and fast-food joints?
- Copy shop-themed nightclub. You know, go-go dancers in nothing but aprons atop copy machines, drinks served from behind a Formica counter, DJ requests sent via fax machines on the dance floor, etc.
- Whole Foods. Um, just because it’s like a five-minute drive from my house, and I’d like it there. Thanks.
* Maybe it wasn’t 287 years. Who’s counting?