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April 18, 2014

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Joe Downtown: Garth Brooks reportedly visiting downtown, meeting Zappos brass

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Garth Brooks.

Updated Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013 | 4:26 p.m.

Garth Brooks @The Wynn

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It’s still pretty hush-hush and on the down low, but Garth Brooks is coming downtown later this week.

Brooks is the country-western, cross-over musician who has sold some 70 million albums in a little more than two decades.

On a social media website, some Zappos employees gushed about Brooks’ visit. One high-ranking employee contacted by The Sun said she didn’t know why Brooks was visiting but was excited to meet him.

One can speculate, of course, given that Zappos is the megalithic online retailer of clothing, shoes and more. Is Brooks looking to get into the clothing business? Cowboy boots, maybe?

But people typically do what they know, and Brooks knows music. More than a year ago, one high-ranking Zappos employee told me the company was interested in digital music, something akin to iTunes.

Maybe Brooks, whose popularity is at times compared to the Beatles, is looking at some kind of partnership.

That might make more sense, too, given that two weeks ago, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh was seen showing recording artist Kanye West downtown sites. Several sources told the Sun that West is considering moving his record label from New York to Las Vegas.

Brooks is said to be meeting with Hsieh and other high-ranking company employees.

Hsieh said late Tuesday he is "giving a tour and meet-and-greet" with Brooks.

No stranger to the Las Vegas Strip, Brooks was under contract with the Wynn, performing there for some three years. Sources said he has never visited downtown Las Vegas.

Brooks’ publicist in Los Angeles had no knowledge of the visit. Brooks is in town this weekend to perform at Encore Theater on Friday and Saturday.

Joe Schoenmann doesn’t just cover downtown, he lives and works there. Schoenmann is Greenspun Media Group’s embedded downtown journalist, working from an office in the Emergency Arts building.

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