Stephen Singer joined the gaming and hospitality industry at a challenging time. The Great Recession was on. Jobs in Las Vegas were few, but on graduating from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Singer landed an internship at the Cosmopolitan.
As a member of the strategic planning team, he knew his colleagues
wouldn’t be slowed down by a recent grad with little experience. With hard work and an entrepreneurial spirit, he got through the ramp-up period and ascended to where he is today—chief strategy officer at the Drew Las Vegas.
If you aren’t working on making things better, Singer says, someone else probably is.
“The hope is that when opportunity presents itself, you’ve put in enough work to be considered and ultimately succeed,” he says.
“The entrepreneurial spirit has driven me to continuously seek new opportunities, both in traditional and untraditional work environments, working for others and for myself.”
In 2014, he left a stable job and pursued an idea that was under development. That startup turned into a partnership with John Unwin, and ultimately, led him to the Drew Las Vegas.
“Risking it all for a new opportunity was the only way to get to where I am today,” Singer says.
He spent more than two years with Unwin refining the business model. At the Drew, Singer has established a cognitively diverse team of talented professionals who seek to challenge, disrupt and invent. His believes the best way to learn is by doing, so everyone tries their hand at solving different business problems and onboarding new responsibilities.
“Being open to exploring different options unlocks new opportunities, increases the size of your network, and broadens your experience, fostering further growth,” he says.
The Drew culture embraces ideas, diversity of thought and collaboration. Singer and his team have the opportunity to create an entirely different way of working in Las Vegas and intend to be thoughtful with how they realize that opportunity.
Singer believes technology and data will be the great growth areas in hospitality. With the sheer number of systems used in the industry, the complexity of those systems and the levels of integration achieved, this area is in need of smart people who think about business differently. He believes marketing is another key trend area, particularly with the proliferation in data and the need to intelligently attract and target customers.
A long-term bull on the Las Vegas market, Singer hopes the city remains true to the customer through these times of growth.
“Las Vegas is a globally recognized brand with a powerful heritage,” he says. “Remembering what the customer experience is founded on will only support our growth story.”