Friday, Feb. 26, 2010 | 6 a.m.
Current job: General manager, Vdara Hotel & Spa
Education: Studied finance at UNLV
About Angela Lester: Angela Lester has been immersed in the hospitality industry for 18 years, launching her career in 1992 with a part-time gig as a front desk representative at the Golden Nugget as a student at UNLV. At the time, Lester was pre-med, but quickly switched gears to finance when she realized she had discovered her true passion.
For the 1998 debut of Bellagio, Lester was recruited to be on the opening team as front office manager, and was soon elevated to director of front office operations, also holding the special title of assistant director of food and beverage, a position that was created on her behalf. In 2002 she was appointed director of hotel operations at The Mirage, overseeing 12 operating departments and 1,500 employees.
Drawing on her comprehensive experience and expansive expertise, Lester now serves as general manager of Vdara Hotel & Spa at CityCenter, and was instrumental in designing and developing the Vdara project, having been focused on building the brand in Las Vegas since 2006.
“All of my time has been dedicated 100 percent to Vdara, a non-gaming, non-smoking boutique hotel,” Lester said. “It was amazing to build something from nothing and to have it come to life, and to successfully predict what people want before they know they want it.”
The most important issue facing the valley: Education. Unfortunately this state has not made education a priority. It hasn’t reached its potential to reflect the goals of this community.
My mentor and why: Bobby Baldwin, CEO of CityCenter. I met Bobby over 11 years ago when he opened the Bellagio. He has taught me not only how to operate a business but also how to deal with the challenges in life.
Favorite Web site: www.gilt.com
Hobbies: When I do have free time, it’s traveling that always pushed me to the next level—gives me the best perspective on what’s happening in the world.
Fantasy job: I would love to combine my many experiences traveling the world with the knowledge I have received opening Vdara and assist with hotel development around the world, launching my own brand.
One-word description of self: Loyal