Written by Joe Kleiman, Senior Broker
So, this is the second blog I've been asked to write for our Mid-America website. I'm a little shocked (and chagrined) that I was asked to blog again as I shirked my responsibilities the first time and paid off my 16 year old daughter, Carly, to write it for me. The cost was a tank of gas.
In my defense, Carly was beginning her junior year in high school at the time with a talent for writing and she was very involved in her high school's publications. She had just gotten her driver's license so a tank of gas was fair compensation. I admit, I thought of asking Carly to write the blog again - a sequel of sorts - but this is the first Mid-America blog since the annual shopping center convention, RECON, held May 23-24 in Las Vegas and I felt obligated to write about it.
RECON is the retail industry's big kahuna of conventions (there are smaller, more regional conventions held throughout the year at other venues). Held at the Las Vegas Convention Center the third week of May every year, thousands of shopping center professionals and retailers from across the country gather to make deals, attend seminars, panel discussions, educational opportunities, parties and network. Most attendees refer to RECON as "The Show" and you hear it referred to this way throughout, ie. How's your show? Do you have a busy show?, etc.
I do not know how many deals are actually inked at "The Show" and I openly question with today's technology whether or not meetings at "The Show" are necessary to close deals and pitch sites. However, what cannot be underestimated is the importance of attending "The Show" to understand market conditions and trends in different areas of the country, learn about new retail, restaurant and hospitality concepts, and meet face to face with those we exchange hundreds of emails and phone calls with throughout the year. After all, our business is a relationship business and this is one of the best opportunities to forge new relationships and strengthen existing ones.
The 2016 convention saw attendance back at pre-recession levels with over 36,000 attendees and over 1,000 exhibitors filling the north, central and south halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center. The bulk of official activities mentioned in the preceding paragraph takes place on Monday and Tuesday. By the end of the day Tuesday, there are thousands of drained attendees with sore brains and feet that can't wait to get out of town.
All of that said, the highlight of my "Show" is Steak Tuesday. I think I can confidently say that it is the highlight of the other Steak Tuesday attendees, as well. Steak Tuesday's origins go back seven or eight "Shows" ago when a group of seven of us were looking to punctuate our "Show" by doing something a little different. That first Steak Tuesday took us to downtown Las Vegas and the spectacle of Fremont Street (live music, zip lining, an incredible canopy of lights, and of course, casinos with black jack tables).
This year, 16 people (our largest group to date) celebrated the end of another "Show" at Andiamo Italian Steakhouse at the D Hotel on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. Downtown has an entirely different energy and vibe than the strip. Downtown is old school Las Vegas, grittier and without pretense. The glitz of the strip is non-existent downtown and it seems we enjoy Steak Tuesday here more than on the strip. Needless to say, the night is not over after dinner and some have been known to get breakfast before calling it a "night." If I have any influence over the venue, there will be no more alternating and Steak Tuesday will be downtown from here on out.
I'm already looking forward to Steak Tuesday 2017.
And for the record, Carly is graduating high school this Sunday and will be going to Colorado State University in the fall. It's a cliché, but this has happened in the blink of an eye. I still remember walking with her to her kindergarten classroom over 13 years ago. Carly would cling to my leg not wanting me to leave her behind. Come August, the shoe will be on the other foot as I will be doing the clinging not wanting her to leave me behind.
Joe Kleiman | Senior Broker
Mid-America Real Estate – Wisconsin, L.L.C.
648 N. Plankinton Ave., Suite 264 | Milwaukee, WI 53203
Direct: 414.390.1408 | Fax: 414.273.4605
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