Passion for Possibility: Happy Ten Year Anniversary to The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Ten years ago, things were scary.  We had a soft economy, a divided government, and in the hospitality industry, the outlook wasn’t the greatest.  Sounds eerily familiar.

Enter, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas; December 14th, 2010.

The goal wasn’t to be bigger or better; or break records in Las Vegas.  

The goal was to not only make a difference, but a difference that matters, for people who worked at The Cosmopolitan and for people who visited The Cosmopolitan.  

I was fortunate to be on the opening team and stayed for the next four years.  I learned so much about life, leadership, and what really matters when it comes to loving, serving, and encouraging people.

Differences matter

We realized that our differences – differences in age, experience levels, ethnicity, race, faith, gender, lifestyle, orientation, and even varying preferences in cocktails – made all the difference in overcoming challenges and creating special experiences for people. 

Diversity in thought, opinion, and ideas can often be the spark which results in new ways of working which serves everyone better in the long run.

Giving more matters

At The Cosmopolitan, we had a mantra then which they still have today – Give MORE.  It wasn’t only a good idea to give more of yourself, try new things, or color outside the lines of your own, personal job description.  It was encouraged.  

M.O.R.E. stood for magic, original, relevant, engaging.  If anyone had an idea that would add to the experience of a teammate or most of all, a valued guest, they were allowed to try it; as long as it supported our mission, which was to be different in how we created stories worth telling and feelings worth returning to for everyone in our community – inside and outside the workplace.

For example, I had an interest in writing, speaking, and encouraging people because of how special past leaders, earlier in my journey had inspired me in the same way.  I was allowed to write a blog on our internal company intranet, and I was invited to be a guest speaker most Thursday afternoons to welcome newly hired CoStars to our community.  

Little did I know at the time that I would eventually become an author of leadership books.  I knew I had the passion and The Cosmopolitan gave me the courage to find out what may be possible.  

Caring matters

In a 24-7 business, in a 24-7 town, it’s easy to get swept up in the whirlwind and spend all day and all night at work.  While it’s certainly common to work long hours, nights, and weekends in the hospitality business, it’s uncommon to have leaders who care enough to make sure people experience balance between work and life.

I had a leader with whom I had conversations daily, whether I was at work, at home, or even on vacation.  A couple of years into my Cosmopolitan experience, I met a girl who lived in Seattle.  We had so much in common and one conversation led to another.  I told my boss about her early on, but at the time I didn’t think a long-distance relationship could be or would ever be possible.

My boss was also from Seattle and she not only encouraged me to give it a chance, but we collaborated on some creative scheduling which allowed me to visit Seattle frequently for over twelve months straight.  My onetime long-distance girlfriend is now my wife of over four years.  It was possible, and at The Cosmopolitan people care enough about each other to nudge them to pursue what may be difficult, but at the same time possible, with enough passion.

Hospitality matters

The very sentiment and idea of hospitality is all about taking care of other people.  Sure, hospitality is often defined as the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.

But take a closer look at what it means to entertain.  One definition is to of course provide amusement or enjoyment to others.  But another definition says it all – give attention or consideration to…

Having a true heart for hospitality is to give the best of one’s self while looking for and bringing out the best in others.  It’s certainly about caring, loving, and serving.  

Thank you, to The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas for ten years’ worth of stories, feelings, lessons, memories, and most of all, your heart for hospitality.  

Happy 10th Anniversary.

#PassionForPossibility  #DifferenceThatMatters


One for the road

Colleen, my boss the final two years I worked at The Cosmopolitan knew I loved basketball. We’d always talk about games, point spreads, and of course, my Kentucky Wildcats. The last year of my time at The Cosmopolitan, she invited me to sit front row at the Pac 12 Tournament in March. It was great entertainment and great hospitality; just one of many memories and lessons in how to lead with hospitality I learned from The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

It’s certainly different, and it continues to make a difference that matters.


Pre-order my next book, Lead with Hospitality here. Release date is April 27th, 2021.

I’ve compiled twenty years’ worth of leadership lessons, stories, and applications for how to lead with hospitality and why it makes a difference that matters for everyone in your life, at work, at home, and in your community.