Prince George’s officials say progress made at Las Vegas retail convention

Prince George’s top economic development officials say they are detecting signs of new interest from retailers.

Wrapping up a five-day trip to Las Vegas for a major retail convention, both David Iannucci and Gwen McCall said a county booth at the International Council of Shopping Centers convention logged about 200 unplanned visits from prospective retailers.

“The big difference this year is the walkups or the dropbys, ” said Iannucci, the county’s assistant deputy chief administrative officer for economic development. He said at last year’s convention of the International Council of Shopping Centers the county booth attracted about 50 companies making unscheduled stops.

“This is a record by about 150,” he said.

McCall, president and CEO of the county’s Economic Development Corporation, said that Prince George’s for the first time held a reception Sunday night as the convention got under way. She said the gathering was aimed a helping raise the county’s profile at the convention and attracted about 200 guests.

Iannucci said that some of the renewed interest is due to an uptick in the national economy. But he also credited efforts by his boss, County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) to streamline the permitting process, establish a $50 million economic development incentive fund, and take other steps to lure businesses.

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