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ICSC in Las Vegas

Updated: Friday, May 24 2013, 02:43 PM EDT


Early on Sunday morning, I boarded a Southwest plane at BWI for a five-hour flight and landed at 9 a.m. in sunny, balmy Las Vegas. The annual International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) was taking place, and a very large contingent of Marylanders always comes to town for the event. Commercial real estate people, politicos, developers and retailers all make this a regular jaunt. Howard Perlow, of Commercial Settlement Services, organizes the Maryland-based activities, including a Maryland pool at the Wynn for several of the days, and the massive Maryland party, held Monday night at the Encore Beach Club, adjoining the Wynn resort. Fellow Baltimoreans who are on the flight with me include Cana Devlopment's Mike Morris, attorney Joe Woolman, developer Toby Bozzuto, auctioneer Jon Levinson, and developer Bill Struever.


After cabbing to the Wynn and checking in, I changed into swim gear and headed down to the Maryland pool, where a full-blown pool party (with lots of networking) was in full swing. I was greeted by Terry Ann Hearn of Commercial Settlement Services and next by Hollin Hinkle. The next thing you know, there's a cold mojito in my hand and I settle into a lounge chair and proceed to talk to a slew of Baltimore folks: insurance agent Tracy Kwiatkowski, all the Polakoff boys: Larry, Sam, Tony and Ben, Kevin & Jill Kamenetz, John Marsh, city councilman Ed Reisinger, and Michelle Mutert. Later, dinner at SW Steakhouse included designer Patrick Sutton, the Polakoffs, and attorney Avery Strachan.


Monday, the pool scene was much the same, but the day capped off with the Maryland party, where 1,500 guests milled around the Encore pool and cabanas, sipping cocktails, nibbling hors d'oeuvres and enjoying strolling performers and celebrity impersonators (I'll confess: I had my photo taken with Dolly Parton). Among the guests I chatted with were Andy & Heather Segal, mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Morgan Gilligan, Peter O'Malley, and Atty. Gen. Doug Ganzler. Our group of 10 stayed late at the party, then adjourned to dinner at Allegro (excellent lasagne, by the way). The official Maryland afterparty featured at special roped-off section within XS, the mega-club on the lower-level lakeside of the Wynn/Encore complex. After a brief showing, I exited to the casino floor and the B Bar, the better to watch the craps pit action. By 4:30 a.m., it was past time for bed.


Tuesday was another day of brunch, poolside lounging, and dinner with friends at The Barrymore, a favorite "off-strip" little supper club that we discovered last year. Marylanders were beginning to trickle out, winging back eastward to Charm City, so I caught my flight early on Wednesday morning, leaving a sunny day expected to reach 86 degrees-- for Baltimore-- where I landed in 89-degree humidity. Home sweet home.


(Shown above: The Maryland party, taking place at the Encore Beach Club at the Wynn in Las Vegas.)

ICSC in Las Vegas


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