A version of this article first appeared in the May 2019 edition of the Forbes Real Estate Investor.
Every May for the past 20 years, I’ve made a pilgrimage up to Las Vegas. I call it a pilgrimage because it’s a long flight with potential – and probable – lengthy layovers. Plus, I go there for a very specific reason that has nothing to do with gambling, taking in the sites, or going to any shows.
I make this trek every single year because it’s where the International Council of Shopping Centers’ RECon takes place on an annual basis.
Believe you me… If I thought for a split-second that they’d listen to my input, I’d be the first person to vote for somewhere quieter. And less pricey. With more easily available food that you don’t have to wait three hours for.
My dislike of Vegas aside though, RECon is a great place to be. Back in the day, this conference began as a gathering place to meet retail movers and shakers, and make even more money happen through deals, deals, and more deals. These days, those conversations still take place. But they’re perhaps a bit more subdued as everyone talks about the “retail apocalypse” and other depressing news.
So why do I still go even while e-commerce keeps biting into brick-and-mortar stores’ backs? Again, it’s not because I love the slots. Instead, it’s my love of real estate investment trusts, or REITs, that keeps me coming back for more.