Bryan Gay, vice president of sales at The Mirage Hotel and Casino, is excited to return to the team where his career in the hospitality industry began 20 years ago.
“The reason I am here is to make The Mirage one of the top convention destinations in the country,” Gay said of his move to The Mirage in August 2009.
Responsible for the catering, convention services, convention sales and leisure sales team, Bryan is also charged with contract negotiations, customer relations and ensuring the satisfaction of the property’s clients.
“Our team really focuses on customer service and our goal is to be recognized around the country for our elite customer service,” he added.
Bryan smiled when he recalled his start in the business some 20 years ago as a spa supervisor at The Mirage in 1989, while attending the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
He found himself at The Mirage again after graduating in 1992 when he was selected to be part of the Management Associate Program (MAP), where he spent six months training in various departments of the hotel prior to being on the opening team as a sales manager for Treasure Island. From serving as a bellman and valet to cleaning rooms and working at the reservations desk, he spoke fondly of his time in the program and his early learning experiences in hotel operations.
Though Gay is now happily entrenched in the meetings and hospitality industry, his childhood dream and even his degree derived from his entrepreneurial spirit. Hoping and planning to one day own his own business, Bryan realized his dream in the 1990s when he owned a fresh seafood company in Las Vegas. However, after a couple of years he missed life in the hotel and meetings world and rejoined the industry in 1996 as a national sales manager at Caesars Palace.
He left Caesars Palace in 2000 and has spent most of the last decade at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino before his recent move back to The Mirage. Gay began his time at Mandalay Bay as senior national sales manager working his way through the ranks until he was promoted to executive director of sales in 2006.
“I had the privilege of leading one of the strongest sales teams to record goals and achievements,” he said with a smile when speaking of his time at Mandalay Bay.
Though it is clear that he will always look back with wonderful memories and a great deal of fondness on his time and relationships at Mandalay Bay, his excitement was evident about his move to The Mirage.
With a 90,000-square-foot event center, a 40,000-square-foot ballroom and 26 meeting rooms, there are a lot of reasons to host meetings large or small at The Mirage. The Events Center offers pillarless space in a computer network-ready and broadband compatible setting that allows for more than 500 10-by-10-foot booths. The convention space is nestled in the heart of The Mirage, amidst a setting reminiscent of a South Seas paradise.
“The property has a real intimacy for clients along with a great staff,” Gay said of his new home.
In addition to an expansive and attractive meeting space, attractions include Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat, where visitors come face to face with lions, tigers, panthers, leopards and dolphins. Other attractions feature The Mirage Volcano, named Best Man-Made Wonder by Las Vegas Weekly’s Vegas’ Best and a 20,000-gallon saltwater aquarium located behind the resort’s reception desk.
Though Gay loves his job and is excited about his role at The Mirage, he has another passion that became evident shortly after I met him — his family. His smile stretched across his face when he bragged about his four boys and his wife. He laughed when he mentioned that one son is a golfer whose goal is to one day beat his dad’s score, another son plays wide receiver and defensive back for the varsity football team at Green Valley High School, one son is a soccer star and yet another son has won the Hawaiian Tropic modeling competition for kids, not once but twice. In addition to four kids that he adores, he also glowed when mentioning his wife, an actress and model, who he met at a baseball game.
When not coaching his sons in sports or working hard in his role at The Mirage, Gay can be found rooting on the Dallas Cowboys, golfing, skiing or collecting and drinking wine.
With such a fulfilling life on and off the Strip, I was curious what advice he may have for people just joining the industry.
“Follow up and customer service are some of the most important aspects of the industry,” he said. “Las Vegas has a reputation of not caring because people will just come. It is important that clients know we care and that we are here to support their needs.”
This advice seems to encompass Gay’s attitude towards his life and career.
“My role is all about the team and my supporting their needs,” he added. “My favorite part of the day is the pre-shift meeting where the entire team is present to talk about their schedules. It is a time to get engaged and motivated for the day ahead.”
His active role at The Mirage and involvement with his team is only matched by his commitment and devotion towards the role of dad and husband.
Julie Holzer Pazina, National Sales Manager for Edlen Electrical Exhibition Services, the nation’s leading independent temporary utility contractor for the tradeshow, convention and special event industry.
Based in Las Vegas, Edlen Electrical Exhibition Services (www.edlen.com) is the leading independent temporary utility contractor for the tradeshow, convention and special event industry. National Sales Manager Julie Holzer Pazina can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.