'Pawn Stars' TV star plans stores near famous shop
By MICHELLE RINDELS
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- The long parade of tourists who regularly stop by the downtown Las Vegas shop featured on the History Channel reality show "Pawn Stars" could soon have something better to do while waiting in line.
Gold & Silver Pawn Shop co-owner Rick Harrison has drawn up plans for a Pawn Star Plaza shopping center that could boast six restaurants and about 16 small shops. The company's general contractor has submitted the proposal to the city planning department, and a review is expected in September, according to pawn shop general manager Theo Spyer.
"We have always tried to improve our customer experience while waiting in line," Spyer said, pointing to misters, benches and a hot dog stand at the premises. "Now we intend to take it to the next level. We are currently working on a line system that will enable the fans to patronize Pawn Star Plaza without losing their position in line."
The plaza, which Harrison estimates would cost $2 million to build, would consist of several colorful, modular units fit together like a Rubik's Cube. Harrison said he was inspired by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh's nearby Container Park, which is built out of shipping containers commonly found on trains and barges.
"It was more of the look, flexibility, ease of construction and simplicity of design that created Rick's vision for the space," Spyer said.
The pawn shop, which is open 24 hours a day, is located in a gritty area near bail-bond offices and a now-closed tattoo parlor. Harrison told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he wants to help rejuvenate the area without using city redevelopment funds.
"I really want to see this part of town do great," he said.
But the prospect of profiting off the steady stream of visitors is also driving the project.
"Making money is my third or fourth most favorite thing in the world," Harrison told the newspaper.
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