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Lathrop seeks retail jackpot during Vegas trip
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The City of Lathrop will be sending two staffers to Las Vegas next month in the hopes that they’ll hit it big.

Only instead of a slot jackpot or killer poker hand, Lathrop is hoping that by sending its Economic Development Director and Principal Planner to the International Council of Shopping Centers they’ll be able to land additional retail businesses to cater to the growing residential population that is clamoring for them.

And there’s good reason to think that they’ll be successful.

According to the staff report prepared for the council, traditionally the city has sent its staff to the western “Deal Making Show” in Monterey that only draws between 300 and 500 people. The same show in Las Vegas, however, draws upwards of 40,000 people – allowing staff to pitch Lathrop and its unique demographics to companies looking at expanding into the exploding region.

South San Joaquin County – primarily Lathrop, Manteca, and Tracy – has continuously ranked among the fastest-growing areas in the State of California. Given Lathrop’s unique placement in the middle of the state and in the shadow of the larger San Francisco Bay Area, the city has become a sought-after destination for both logistics companies looking for a central location to house their products and commuters looking for more affordable housing options.

With nearly 20,000 homes currently in the planning pipeline – with as many as 15,000 in River Islands and thousands more in Central Lathrop – the city is emerging as a viable options for retail businesses looking to cater to the growing community that has historically been used to having to travel to neighboring cities for routine shopping.

Lathrop will soon be home to a Sprouts grocery store – adding an additional option to residents besides Save Mart, which opened in 2005. Since Lathrop opened as the city’s only full-service chain grocery store, the population of Lathrop has tripled.

Starbucks, In-N-Out Burger, Panda Express, Sonic Drive-In, and Dutch Bros. Coffee have also joined the city in recent years.

The estimated cost of sending both staffers to Las Vegas from May 22-24 will be $6,317 – which includes event registration, airfare, transportation, hotel, food, and participation in the Team California exhibit booth.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.