Mathis reports on Vegas trip, plans to return next year

Grady County’s chief economic development official says his recent trip to Las Vegas to attend a real estate convention was an “excellent opportunity” to partner with the Electric Cities of Georgia in an effort to recruit more retail businesses to this community, as well as the state.
Chadd Mathis, executive director of the Grady County Joint Development Authority, traveled to Las Vegas last week to attend RECon 12, the Global Retail Real Estate Convention, as part of a delegation of Electric Cities of Georgia member cities.
“We had our own Cairo booth space that included aerial graphic renderings, traffic counts and current demographic marketing literature,” Mathis said.
Mathis said he worked the booth each day of the show and provided interested prospects with information on Cairo and Grady County, as well as contact information for himself and the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
“We would likely never be able to attend this event on our own. This is another example of regional cooperative marketing that we participate in,” he said.
The JDA executive director said his “primary focus” was to “court retail concepts that fit Cairo’s demographics.”
“I also identified certain prospects that may fill out vacant infill space like the former Harvey’s supermarket building. The retail focus group that Mayor (Richard) VanLandingham organized and I participated in last summer identified the need for retail including shoe stores, clothing stores, restaurants and agri-supplies,” Mathis said.
While in Las Vegas, Mathis said he was able to obtain updated contacts for Tractor Supply, Shoe Show, One Price Clothing, Simply Fashion, Cato, and others who may be interested in expanding to Cairo and Grady County.
In addition to retail contacts, Mathis also established contacts with national brokerage firms including Barry Wolfe of Marcus Millichap and Jason Powell of Ackerman & Company.
Mathis also took the opportunity to learn more about industry supply materials, specifically regarding roofing materials. The JDA has done a lot of roof work at the Heritage Industrial Complex and Mathis said he was interested to learn what was new in the industry.
“We need to be proactive in our retail and industrial recruitment and this event is part of my commitment to change our mission statement to include a multifaceted approach to stimulate private investment in this community,” Mathis said
Mathis said he plans to attend the convention again next year, as well as a smaller, similar event being held in Atlanta this fall.

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