LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The owner of a Downtown Las Vegas dog training and boarding facility said she can no longer compromise the safety of herself and the dogs to continue the vision that late entrepreneur Tony Hsieh once had for the area.
Cathy Brooks, the owner of The Hydrant Club, met Hsieh in 2012 when they decided to open the dog facility as part of the Downtown Project.
“This was a dream that I didn’t know I had. That the blessing was Tony Hsieh,” Brooks said.
The Downtown Project’s goal was to give the area a new vision from crime and grime, to thriving businesses.
“You would walk by and there was this oasis that gave everybody a sense of home and peace in the middle of Fremont street,” Brooks said.
However, she said unhoused people have taken over the area which has made it nearly impossible to get through her day safely.
“I’ve had rocks thrown at my head; I’ve been spat on I had someone throw a drink at the fence at me,” Brooks said.
However, she said the last straw was during an overnight shift at the facility this past October.
“By 10:15 p.m. I’m awakened by the sound of gunfire right outside the wall where my head is resting,” Brooks said.
Just this weekend, someone broke off the doorknob at the facility.
“I have clients who stopped coming here saying I don’t feel comfortable coming downtown anymore,” Brooks said.
Ultimately Brooks was not sure she was safe anymore which meant she could not jeopardize the safety of the dogs.
The Hydrant Club will be closing on Saturday, Dec. 31.
Brooks did not say whether she will open up at another location however, she told 8 News Now that she will be taking a break for now.
8 News Now reporter Victoria Saha reached out to Las Vegas City Councilwoman Olivia Diaz about the growing safety issues in the area. In a statement she said :
The city of Las Vegas has worked for many years to improve and expand the Fremont East Entertainment District into the popular destination that it has become today featuring restaurants, bars, and shopping. Public safety remains the city’s top priority and our Deputy City Marshals are working closely with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to ensure that our city is safe for everyone. In fact, in 2023 we will be opening a new police substation on Fremont Street. In addition, the city’s Courtyard Homeless Resource Center is open to any who may be experiencing homelessness and serves as a hub to help our most vulnerable residents to become hired, housed and healthy. The city has also deployed a Conditions Team, a group of Marshals that work with businesses on public safety issues. This team has worked with the Hydrant Club.
While it is always sad to see a business move on, there are many successful businesses and new opportunities coming to Fremont East and downtown. We wish Cathy and the Hydrant Club all the best.Las Vegas City Councilwoman, Olivia Diaz
The Downtown Project declined to comment on the story.