Reveling in Retail: Attendees Share Their Takeaways From ICSC’s Red River States Conference

Each year when Rafael Tapia attends ICSC’s Red River States Conference, he goes in with the goal of having as many face-to-face meetings as he can. As the executive director of the Alamo Economic Development Corporation in Alamo, Texas, he’s working to bring new retailers to his community. “ICSC allows for one-on-one meetings with these contacts, which creates a sort of familiarity,” Tapia says. Just five minutes from McAllen on the Texas border, Alamo is quickly becoming one of the most vibrant cities in South Texas. The area boasts a robust economy, low cost of living, as well as a skilled and bilingual workforce. “Since 2014, the city has seen at least an estimated $21 million of private investment in commercial projects,” Tapia says. The list is impressive for a city its size. A fast-food franchise and Goodwill recently opened locations in Alamo. Also of note: the relocation of a small distribution company into a new 12,000-square-foot facility, the establishment of a 130-bed, 51,000-square-foot skilled nursing facility and the repurposing of a 97,000-square-foot facility for distribution. “Alamo offers plenty of opportunity for growth,” emphasizes Tapia. Click to read more at