By Faith Hope Consolo, chairman, retail sales & leasing, Douglas Elliman
Spring means many things to people – but for anyone involved in the shopping center industry, ICSC’s RECon in Las Vegas is as much a part of the season as the warmer temperatures and budding blooms.
Every year the crème de la crème of retail real estate professionals descend upon Las Vegas for the largest gathering of attendees from all around the world that provides networking, deal making, and educational opportunities.
This convention is not for the faint of heart, not only do you have to dress for success at all times, but you have to know the logistical shortcuts.
Let me start with the key secret: stay where you can get around seamlessly.
I always stay at the Encore Tower Suites (3131 Las Vegas Blvd. S.) where I have the private drive entrance and registration lobby, access to the exclusive Tower Suites pool and the Private Access Concierge (they are in the know and ensure a stress-free stay for the elite guests).
The last thing I want to do is battle crowds in any way shape or form. The private entrance allows drivers and Ubers to pull up so you can enter and exit quickly and a dedicated elevator brings you straight up to your suite. Year after year,
I stay in the same room closest to the elevators to avoid unnecessary walking. Time is money. You never know who you might miss by one second. My elegant home away from home complete with butler never disappoints.
Let’s talk fashion and self-preservation.
Drink a lot of water. You are in the desert, running around for hours on end, not sleeping and dare I say enjoying your share of champagne at all the parties. Stay hydrated! And despite the climate and the hustle DRESS to IMPRESS.
You are there to meet and mingle with the top; put your best foot forward (in Louboutins of course) and make them remember you.
It is a long day with multiple events in all different venues so make sure you pack accordingly; my rule of thumb is three to four “costume changes” per day. Pre-plan everything so there is no room for error and you can freshen up and quickly change for your next meeting.
Before I travel, my stylist works with me and we choose every aspect of each outfit and take a picture for reference; from jewelry to shoes to lipstick.
All is pressed and steamed and hung in garment bags inside my luggage, so I can concentrate on why I’m there, to make deals, learn and always be camera ready.
Through experience, I have found a dining spot that is elegant, comfortable, and five-star with great acoustics to meet with clients and set the stage.
Encore is my “home base” so my entire trip revolves around it.
Tableau is literally steps from my Tower Suites elevator and is perfect for breakfast, brunch or lunch and I can sit in the conservatory to enjoy the gorgeous garden and pool views or dine outdoors, poolside on the patio.
Another spectacular go-to is Jardin in Encore, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is a bit more relaxed but still picturesque and high style.
I am always asked where the Queen of Retail slips away to shop while in Vegas; The Forum Shops at Caesars. Open until 11pm at night, I can check in with my favorites; Dior, Chanel, Fendi.
Wynn/Encore Esplanade right at my home base is the biggest temptation; Cartier, LV, Prada. This is why I always plan for a little extra room in my suitcases.
Where to party with the pinnacle of the retail elite… The 21st Annual NY Developers Party at the Bellagio.
This gala event never disappoints and adds fun to the frenzy. You certainly see another side of the movers and shakers as they circulate in the elegant ambiance.
RECon is a valuable opportunity to achieve business goals while balancing the art of mingling and networking. Each year draws a crowd of old and new that never disappoints.
These are the only tidbits I can share, because after all whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas … Hope to see you there!