Las Vegas Sun

February 19, 2017

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Downtown bar Insert Coin(s) closes after four years

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Beverly Poppe

Insert Coin(s) in April 2011

Updated Friday, July 10, 2015 | 4:34 p.m.

Insert Coin(s)

The gutted interior of a Fremont Street storefront is being transformed into an arcade bar and lounge called Insert Coin(s), shown Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011. Launch slideshow »

Downtown Las Vegas bar Insert Coin(s) has closed after a four year run “due to a rapidly changing DTLV business environment,” according to owner Christopher LaPorte.

The bar's management fell behind on rent and the property's landlord filed for eviction late last month, LaPorte told the Sun. LaPorte said the situation is temporary, and he plans to re-open as soon as possible.

In a statement, LaPorte said a commitment to Insert Coin(s)' nightlife/video game brand, combined with the downtown's economic environment, "resulted in financial challenges over the past year," forcing them to declare Wednesday night their last, for the time being.

“We couldn’t afford to keep losing every month,” LaPorte said. “There’s a lot of new competition. There are a lot of great new things downtown and we just weren’t able to keep up.”

An estimated 2,700 people turned out for the bar's grand opening in April 2011. A year later, a second InsertCoin(s) barcade opened in Minneapolis' downtown Warehouse District.

When the Downtown Project, spearheaded by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh and his $350 million investment, began the effort to revitalize the downtown, it brought with it a number of new restaurants and bars. Its success also encouraged others to open nearby.

Last year, LaPorte told the Sun he had observed a drop in business due to the concentration of bars along Fremont Street.

“Market share has definitely been cut to pieces,” he said at the time. “There are not enough people to split among all of us. There’s very little residential. Parking isn’t as easy here.”

On Friday LaPorte said parking has improved but that people should look at how downtown is doing. The area, he said, could expand residential accommodations and its connection to tourists.

“I really believe downtown is going through its ups and downs and there are ways to weather the storm,” he said. “You go through growing pains. Unfortunately it is a certain ache in the growing pains. But we’re looking forward to coming back.”

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