ICSC RECon Vegas Convention Suspended Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

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The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) canceled its annual RECon event in Las Vegas today and suspended all of its events until the end of June because the coronavirus pandemic has “rapidly escalated,” the organization announced.

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The RECon event, which draws nearly 40,000 people and 1,000 exhibitors to Vegas, was originally set to take place May 17 to May 19 but organizers decided to suspend it this year due to concerns of COVID-19, the disease caused by the highly contagious new coronavirus. ISCS said it was “evaluating potential new dates and alternatives for later in the year” to reschedule RECon.

“The health and safety of our events is ICSC’s top priority,” the group said in a statement about the suspension. “We recognize the importance of RECon in helping you build and grow your businesses, and we appreciate your patience as we manage this situation.”

The coronavirus originated in China in December 2019, but has since spread to nearly 125,000 people in 118 countries, according to the World Health Organization, which categorized the virus as a pandemic this week. In the United States, there have been 1,215 reported cases with 36 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent numbers.

The pandemic has caused the stock market to plummet and led organizers to cancel sporting events, parades and other large gatherings across the country. Last week, Reed MIDEM rescheduled the annual Le Marché International des Professionnels de L’immobilier conference in Cannes, France — one of the biggest real estate events in the world — by three months due to coronavirus concerns.

Yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency in New York City while Governor Andrew Cuomo banned most public gatherings of more than 500 people across the state to combat the outbreak.

Real estate brokerages around the city have taken steps to slow the spread of the disease by limiting the number of people at corporate events and encouraging employees to work from home, with Newmark Knight Frank taking the step to station a nurse at its office to check if visitors and staff have a fever, as Commercial Observer previously reported. So far, Brookfield Property Partners and Meridian Capital Group have had employees who have tested positive for coronavirus.