By Steve Smith on May 20 2009 - 12:12pm


Jet-Skiing On (Lake) Las Vegas

It is a little disconcerting to see jet skis being pulled around a freeway near Las Vegas.

But when you ignore new aspects to an area you visit two or three times a year, that’s what happens. I never realized you could jet ski at a place I never really heard of before … Lake Las Vegas.

A man-made lake was built there, and condos and resorts followed — one of the resorts being the Ritz Carlton

No jetskis visible, but here is part of the lake.

where the PRO Group is holding court with its suppliers this week.

In an interview with Dave Workman, executive director of PRO Group, I innocently asked if he had yet heard about any “product surprises” from its suppliers at meetings — really new items they haven’t told the press about yet.

Dave took the question the other way, “There are plenty of new products out there. Ask any of the vendors here and they will have plenty of new products. We [in the industry] are over stimulated because we live in the business of new products. I love it when someone says, ‘There’s nothing new to sell.’ Everyone has something, new and different to sell. You just have to find it.”

I agreed. I always say that I usually hear more and realize more about the magic the industry produces when I hear friends and family ask me questions about new products and technologies. It may be old news to someone like me — or a retailer and supplier — but to hear the questions about a new item or a category can get an industry insider like me re-energized technology we thought we knew so well.

It’s kind of like being reminded that, yes, you can jet ski right in the desert.

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