Excerpted from Orlando Business Journal story.
There’s a dark joke in Central Florida real estate circles that if a Southwest flight to Las Vegas goes down in late May, then chances are many people in Orlando’s retail brokerage community are dead.
Each year, dozens of people in Orlando retail real estate board a flight to Sin City for the annual International Council of Shopping Centers’ conference, which runs May 19-22. It’s billed as the largest global gathering of retail real estate professionals with roughly 30,000 attendees already signed up this year for the conference, according to its website.
And the travel itself has become a networking tradition in Central Florida’s chatty real estate community, where brokers and developers meet up, discuss deals and schedule social events for the week.
Estimates vary, but real estate sources say perhaps half of the airplane cabin headed to Vegas is filled with Orlando’s retail real estate community. “I always wonder if there was anyone on the flight who wasn’t in retail,” said Terrence Hart, a senior director with the Orlando office of Tampa-based commercial real estate agency Franklin Street.