The month of October was crammed with regional conferences and advice from leading experts. However whether it was the 3rd Micronesia Real Estate Investment Conference the Second Annual U.S.-Asia Airport Issues Conference and Exhibition or the Micronesian Medical Symposium the buzzword was “infrastructure”.

We heard it over and over again — the island is poised to experience huge growth but Guam must prepare by having the infrastructure to support such growth. With the information still fresh in our minds we must use what we have gained otherwise the speeches or lectures from conference panelists were all for naught.

The island and its leaders have known for years that infrastructure is the key to opening doors to new economic opportunities; these conferences just reinforced what we’ve already known.

We stand to gain a renewed presence from the Marine Corps. About 4 000 troops should move in within the next couple of years. The military continues to make improvements within the confines of the bases at both ends of the island. As Col. Michael R. Boera commander of the 36th Air Expeditionary Wing at Andersen Air Force Base so succinctly points out in the “Q & A” in this issue of the Journal we all would like to have safe reliable power water and roads and any improvement benefits those who live here.

These conferences were interesting informative and enlightening. It would not have happened if it wasn’t for the aggressiveness of some of the local organizers. In one particular instance Frank Blas Sr. chairman of the board of the A.B. Won Pat Guam International Airport Authority helped to bring the 2nd Annual U.S.-Asia Airport Issues Conference and Exhibition to Guam. Blas approached the organizers at the last conference. Two other locations also approached them with the same desire to host the conference but Guam was chosen.

In the U.S. Anaheim Calif. and Las Vegas Nev. are the convention capitals of the world but how about creating that title for this part of the world? Convention tourism doesn’t sound like a bad industry. Asia-based companies could link with U.S.-based companies in an effort to improve corporate systems train employees discuss industry issues that span the globe these are just some of the ways Guam could break into the market. While we lack a convention center this paper is pretty certain the hotels would jump at the chance to play host because it’s already being done.

The message is clear — to develop our offering we need the government to show real initiative and move ahead on improving Guam’s infrastructure.