This year Las Vegas provided a particularly appropriate backdrop for the annual ICSC Spring dealmaker extravaganza. If anybody in the real estate business needs a reminder that these are uncomfortable times this overextended desert market provides a wake-up call in spades.

A Dubaiesque building spree in the face of stalled demand suddenly hits the skids. Even in the best of times how many high rollers want to own condos along the strip? That scene may work for a few visits a year, but a regular diet of swarming tourists and eight lane traffic jams can get old pretty fast, except for a hardened few. Cheap land and housing attracted Californians wanting out of high prices and high taxes. Now housing values have tanked nearly 30%. As for all the new hotel rooms, when you hear sky’s the limit talk about convention and tourist trends, you know developers are getting ahead of themselves. The tight economy comes at a very bad time for all those casino operators.

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