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We heard a lot of different things at our appointments at this year’s ICSC convention in Las Vegas. “People are busier than ever.” “There is significantly less traffic.” “We are totally booked with appointments.” “Not as many retailers are showing up.” “The downturn will end by the end of the year.” “It’s not getting better for at least another couple years.” “The consumer is bouncing back.” “Don’t expect apparel sales to improve any time soon.”Our thoughts are that, yes, the place seemed less busy than in recent years, especially in some of the sessions that we attended. But if this had been our first time, and some first-timers we spoke with concurred, we’d think the place was pretty damn crowded.The main message we took away is that growth has slowed due to retailer cutbacks and some projects aren’t getting built as quickly because of financing issues. But is it realistic to think an industry will, or even should, have major exponential growth every year?Also, it was really, really hot outside for the first couple days, which really sucks for those of us who have to wear suits.

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