Palm Springs looks to draw business


With the revitalization of the Desert Fashion Plaza, Palm Springs is sending city staff and council members to talk up the city alongside John Wessman, who will attend on his own to drum up tenants for his project.

“It gives the opportunity to connect with most of the retailers in a 48- to 60-hour window instead of traveling all over the country to have face-to-face meetings,” said Michael Braun, senior vice president with Wessman Development Inc.

Rancho Mirage, which hadn’t participated in the last few years, has noticed a jump in the real estate market and this year plans to send its economic development manager to help spur the revitalization of the Rancho Las Palmas Shopping Center, which is expected to be sold in the near future.

Various projects across the valley — El Paseo Village with Apple and Mastro’s in Palm Desert, Super Target and Marshall’s in Indio and Dollar General in Desert Hot Springs — are direct results of conference attendance, said respective city officials.

“The main thing is to get new businesses interested into coming to town that increases our sales tax, property tax and TOT … so I can afford to pay the cops,” said Desert Hot Springs City Manager Rick Daniels.

ICSC holds similar conventions in different cities throughout the year, but the one in Las Vegas is the biggest gathering of developers and retailers across the country. Those in attendance include shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, retailers, brokers, and public officials. Approximately 30,000 attendees are expected.