China is a no show at this year’s International Council of Shopping Centers conference, and the world power’s preleased space is testimony to the devastation that has hit the retailing and commercial development world.
But the absence of some large participants is giving Oklahoma City more opportunity to get noticed. Those leading Oklahoma City’s presentations at the Las Vegas Convention Center say they’re doing better than last year Oklahoma City’s setup is a mini-chamber headquarters with "hard walls” raised to create conference rooms where developers and retailers can have quick meetings with the city’s delegation. "It’s kind of like speed dating,” Cynthia Reid, vice president of marketing and communications, said. Depending on the potential "date,” the city’s team is sometimes represented by Mayor Mick Cornett and chamber president Roy Williams, or Assistant City Manager Cathy O’Connor and Planning Director Russell Claus, or Michael Carrier, director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Others attending the conference include Jane Jenkins, president of Downtown Oklahoma City Inc. and Jim Cowan, director of the Bricktown Association.