Walls 360, a local wall-graphics producer, has just announced a partnership with Moshi Monsters, an online virtual pet community (think Neopets meets Pokémon) with 65 million registered pre-teen users. And the company, which is based just south of the Orleans, isn’t about to stop there: It has plans to launch several more licensing partnerships this summer, adding pop-culture snap to a wall-decorating lineup that already includes images from Star Trek, children’s books such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and EA videogame titles.
Those deals are emblematic of the company’s growth since moving from San Francisco last August. But the reasons the firm came here in the first place say a lot about Las Vegas’ future.
“Vegas was perfect,” co-founder John Doffing says. “Much cheaper cost of living, no corporate or personal income taxes and a highly trained work force in digital printing from all the trade shows. We knew our money would go three to five times further here, and it’s close to shipping hubs.”
But all of that wasn’t enough to close the deal for Doffing, who says he was the company’s “last holdout” in the decision to move. Only when he got wind of downtown’s revival and Tony Hsieh’s feverish activity in the urban core did he realize this was the place to be. “Seeing First Friday and the Downtown Project pushed me over the edge,” he says.
Thanks to the upturn since relocating and the new deals, Walls 360 is doubling its size over the next few weeks—good news for those who need a life-size repositionable Mr. Spock or a Thai beach panorama. But even if you’re not looking to redecorate, Wall 360 is worth watching. Las Vegas has been clamoring for economic diversification, and this is what it looks like.