Politicos and organizers associated with the High Point International Home Furnishings Market would do well to adopt a new slogan: "It's the infrastructure, stupid."
Back in June we reported that Las Vegas was building a huge new facility with the expressed intent of going after the sprawling High Point event.
High Point officials have been in overdrive trying to retool transportation access to the area. But even they admit that more work needs to be done.
Regardless of transportation improvements, there is almost no way to combat the "market sprawl" of showrooms spread throughout the downtown area, Cutler said. The layout of the market is inconvenient to many visitors.
"The market is tantamount to herding cats," said Tom Mitchell, GM and VP of Merchandise Mart Properties..
While they remain optimistic I'm wondering if any of them have actually been to Las Vegas. McCarran is five minutes from the Strip, about 15 minutes to downtown. The Las Vegas World Market Center will be one humongous building encompassing 7.5 million square feet when completed. How much more convenient can you get?
High Point has its work cut out. At risk is the $300 million that furniture buyers attending the two High Point Market events pump into the Triad economy each year. Not to mention High Point's brand as THE source for quality furniture.
At least they haven't started talking about building casinos.
On the other hand, it does sound like the infrastructure improvements will make getting in and out of High Point easier than the Javits Center. You can still get a cab when it rains.