Why Zappos' CEO Lives in a Trailer, and 13 Other Things You Don't Know About Him

This CEO is worth nearly a billion dollars but has chickens for neighbors.

ByABC News
August 12, 2015, 3:10 AM

— -- There are more than 500 billionaires in America, but you’ve probably never met one like Tony Hsieh.

The 41-year-old CEO of online shoe company Zappos could live in any multi-million dollar mansion he pleases. But he chooses to live in a 240-square-foot trailer that costs less than $1,000 per month in downtown Las Vegas.

“I've probably lived in ten places in my entire life; this is definitely my favorite so far,” Hsieh told ABC News.

Hsieh invited ABC News cameras exclusively inside to capture the uniqueness of the area known as Airstream Park. His neighbors include a pet alpaca named Marley, dog Blizzy and four chickens.

Hsieh said the best part is the sense of community.

“I love it at night here. There's campfires going. All these lights ... sometimes musicians playing music, just jamming together, people cooking. I really like the unpredictability and randomness of it," he said.

The community consists of families and friends living in 20 Airstream trailers and 10 tiny Tumbleweed houses. Hsieh said he bought the empty lot nine months ago as part of an experiment. His original plan was to turn the area into an Airstream hotel but he and his friends liked it so much they decided to stay.

Airstream Park and the recycled shipping container park for small businesses, just a few blocks away, are all part of Hsieh's $350 million investment to rebuild downtown Las Vegas.

ABC News' chief business and economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis wanted to tap into Hsieh's head to find out where the man who is known for his quirky ideas gets his inspiration.

Here are 13 things you likely don’t know about Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh.

1. Where did Zappos get its name?

It derived from the Spanish word zapatos, which means shoes.

“We took out a couple letters, added a P, and we collectively came up with Zappos," he said. "We wanted something that didn't necessarily mean anything, so that one day, there could be a Zappos airlines or Zappos hotel,” Hsieh added.

2. How many pairs of shoes does Hsieh own?

Four pairs of shoes.

“A pair of flip-flops and slippers that I wear at home. And a pair of Donald Pliner's that I'll wear when I'm not allowed to wear sneakers,” he said.

It’s kind of funny to find out the CEO of the online shoe company Zappos owns only four pairs of shoes, but it makes sense -- he likely doesn’t have a great deal of closet space in his 240-square-foot trailer.

3. How much sleep does Hsieh get?

Three to eight hours during weekdays. Typically getting up at 6 in the morning.

4. Which planet would Hsieh rather move to -- Mars or Pluto?

“Mars. If Elon Musk gets us there,” he said.

Hsieh said he believes the probability of aliens existing are "pretty high" but joked that he has never “knowingly” met one.

5. Favorite movie?

“Tossup between 'Terminator II' and 'Pretty Woman,'” he said.

Hsieh tried to downplay how much he loves the movie "Pretty Woman." But we got the inside scoop from Zappos staff. A source close to Hsieh said he knows every scene and every line in "Pretty Woman" by heart.

6. Favorite food?


7. What would Hsieh spend his last dollar on?


8. What type of phone does Hsieh carry?

iPhone 6

9. Most frequently used app?

Waze. He said he really enjoys the special feature where you can choose the voice.