Last week, several members of our team attended the annual RECon Convention in Las Vegas. Some might think we did a lap or two at the convention center, handed out some business cards, and hightailed it to the pool. We wish! There wasn’t blood (thankfully) but definitely sweat (from walking 7-8 miles each day) and possibly some tears (from the blisters). (Do you see how tired we are?)
Let’s back up and learn a little about RECon. It’s quite possibly the largest retail real estate convention – ever. This year, nearly 40,000 people attended representing 58 different countries. The convention brags about being the place to do a year’s worth (maybe more) of business in just a couple of days.
At this year’s convention was department Director, Lara Fritts, and Marketing Manager, Annie Davis. The two were joined by EDCUtah (who managed the Utah booth at the convention), representatives from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), and more than a dozen other Utah cities.
Lara and Annie met with 14 different developers over two days which is already showing a return on investment. With the City’s extremely low vacancy rate, their focus was to meet with developers and get them interested in investing in SLC.
As expected, many of these out-of-state developers were not very familiar with our city, but just about all of them were so impressed with the city’s new Department of Economic Development, the great things happening, positive business environment, and ultimately the story that our data shows – they agreed to come and visit!
So what does this mean for Salt Lake City? If we have more developers building the much-needed buildings and office and retail space, the more companies we can have starting, expanding, relocating, or staying in the city, and the positive ripple effect goes from there. Keep in mind, going from an initial meeting to a new building in the city is a process that can take years, but what this recent RECon convention has done is start that process between the City and these developers. We are very hopeful and optimistic that these relationships will continue to strengthen and we will ultimately see more investment in beautiful Salt Lake City.