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The Top 11 Things You Need To Know About Real Estate's Most Exclusive Retreat

1. What is it?


Ascent is Bisnow’s annual invite-only retreat for the top investment and development professionals under the age of 45(ish).

2. When is it?


Nov. 7-9, 2016. The retreat is 42 hours. It has been strategically designed over the past five years to create a meaningful, thoughtful, high-impact event compressed into a streamlined schedule that suits the modern executive.

3. Where is it?


The 1 Hotel South Beach. It's the newest hotel in the heart of South Beach, formerly the Gansevoort, redeveloped by Richard LeFrak and Barry Sternlicht. If you're unfamiliar with South Beach it's well-regarded—on a similar plane as Manhattan with an array of high-caliber luxury development recently delivered and currently under construction.

If you're unfamiliar with's tropical and warm in November, a welcome respite from the chilly fall for many.

4. Who attends?


The audience is comprised of 300 of the industry's best and brightest from top investment and development firms. Our diverse list of participants can be broken down into three categories:

  • Individuals responsible for investment activity within institutional private equity and debt firms and development activity for national scale developers

  • Professionals being groomed to take over their families' companies in the sector
  • Young founders and entrepreneurs in the sphere

5. Do I know anyone on the guest list?


If you don't already, you'll want to. Ascent's a networker's dream, and we promise your cellphone's contact list will thank you for your participation. You can access a list of this year's Ascent attendees here. You can also see who attended Ascent 2015 here.

6. Who speaks?


Well, first we should tell you who doesn’t speak: owners and investors. No panels at the Ascent retreat—instead we model our inspiring and stimulating content off what you’d see at Ted Talks, Aspen Ideas Festival or Davos Economic Forum.

7. Who has spoken in the past?


In the past we’ve had:

  • Sean Stephenson (here), motivational speaker and author
  • Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos
  • Esther Perel, Relationship Expert and TED MainStage Speaker
  • Michael Saylor, CEO, Microstrategy
  • Chris Wink, Founder, The Blue Man Group
  • George Friedman, Founder, Stratfor, and author of The Next 100 Years
  • Adam Neumann, CEO, WeWork
  • Bob Rice, Managing Partner, Tangent Capital

8. Why it it called a retreat?


Ascent is an ultra-luxury event. Relationships are built over hugs, not handshakes. Our guest list is carefully curated, and invites are selectively distributed to attendees who we believe form the most elite group of individuals in the industry. The content is futuristic and provocative. Big ideas supplant the typical cap rate and cash flow discussions.

9. Will Ken Bone be there?


We tweeted at him. Waiting to hear back. Fingers crossed. Even if the definitive winner of the second presidential debate can't attend, our lineup of speakers, comprised of Sarah Quinlan, Dan Bernard, Bob Rice and Mark Mills, among others, promises to excite, motivate and inspire.

10. OK, well what about Kanye?


We tweeted at him too. He may swoop in and swipe the mic from one of the aforementioned speakers confirmed to speak. Don't worry—he'll let them finish, which is fortunate because their remarks promise to be just as entertaining—and a little more informative—than a trademark Yeezy rant. Robert Herjavec (above), who you probably know from Shark Tank, will deliver the executive keynote and supply the star power.

11. How can I snag a spot on the guest list?


Registration is about to close, as we're nearly at capacity.

To apply for one of the remaining spots, click here, and if you’d like to nominate someone from your firm to attend, you can add their name here.

Related Topics: Ascent, Escape Ascent