Fontainebleau Las Vegas, set to debut later this year, is the pride of Colleen Birch’s career so far. “All of my work and experience—more than 25 years in this industry—has led to this,” Birch said, “and I’m incredibly proud to take on the responsibilities of Chief Operating Officer and lead our team through our opening and beyond.”
Birch knew that hospitality was the industry for her after her first course on the subject at UNLV in 1997. Her parents had both been involved in hospitality in different ways, but this was the first time she saw the industry as an opportunity to combine her interests and as the direction she wanted for her career.
Since then, Birch has been busy making her mark on the Las Vegas community. She served as a member of the opening team of the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas as its Vice President (and later Senior VP) of Revenue Optimization. During her time there, she worked closely with hotel operations, convention and conference services, brand marketing, entertainment and food and beverage, giving her a well-rounded outlook of operations. All those experienced prepared her to become Chief Operating Officer at Fontainebleau.
Even with all of her responsibilities, Birch is hands-on in her efforts to lift the individuals in her community. In addition to the personal mentorship she provides for other women in the hospitality industry, she also serves as the Chairwoman of the Board for Epicurean Charitable Foundation. “I was fortunate to have people and financial resources to help me navigate and fund my education, but not all children are in that position,” Birch said. “It’s our job as community business leaders to serve as an example and offer opportunities to our students.”
Birch is also a member of Women Leading Travel and Hospitality, and regularly returns to her alma mater to speak to students about her professional experience.