If Ronald Corso had any doubt about his new business’ viability, he found reassurance at its future 11th and Fremont location Downtown. “There’s a security guard who mans the [adjacent] Bunkhouse alley, and she says every day, people come up and ask her where the record store is. People are already coming down looking for it.”
For now, 11th Street Records is unofficially based at Corso’s home, where the Vegas-scene mainstay and three employees have been preparing its vinyl inventory for a first-quarter launch. “We have a little factory set up in my garage. We bring a couple of crates over from storage, clean ’em, grade ’em,’ sleeve ’em, price ’em and then box ’em up and start again.”
Corso’s endeavor, into which the Downtown Project poured a significant capital investment, will also include a new recording studio (National Southwestern Recording) behind the retail space, along with an in-house label component. But it’s the shop—and Corso’s faith that an old-fashioned, physical record store can not just survive but thrive—that has music fans here talking most.
“Wall Street guys like to use the term ‘market correction’—people invest in one direction too heavily, then come to their senses and correct it. And that’s what’s happening now: People are realizing streaming music is not as satisfying,” he says. “Vinyl sales have doubled every year for the last five, and all the factories are running at capacity. So I’m expecting this thing to do well.”