Cheryl Vetter was happily retired, but loved the team members and guests at Sunset Station, which she helped open 20 years ago, that she returned to work there in 2016, in time for its 20th birthday celebration. Now, having been promoted to vice president and general manager at Fiesta Henderson, Vetter took time to reflect on her career at Station Casinos and her life in Las Vegas.
What challenges and rewards come with having a career in gaming?
When I began my career with Station Casinos in 1996 at Boulder Station, I was the first female pit manager for the company. I stayed there for one year, then transferred to Sunset Station to open the property in 1997 as the company’s first female shift manager. I loved the challenge and hired many of the dealers who still work at Sunset Station today. I love interacting both with team members and guests. We’re in the guest service business, so the challenge of potentially turning a negative situation into a positive one is gratifying. I’ve also come to feel that many of the people I work with are my family.
Fiesta Henderson completed a major expansion a decade ago. Is there another expansion or renovation on the horizon?
Actually, we’re always reinvesting in our hotel-casino and renovated our hotel rooms a couple years ago, as well as refreshed the exterior of the property, complete with a new color for our building. A year ago, the Fiesta Henderson sports book was refreshed when it received all-new LED TVs, and installed new electronic odds boards and a sports information ticker that provides live scores and relevant sporting news in real time. New seating was added, and a more social sports book experience was the result.
Are there plans to fill the space formerly occupied by Amigo’s Mexican restaurant?
We do have plans to open a new dining venue in the space that was once Amigo’s. Stay tuned for more news on that. In the meantime, we’re launching a new “old Vegas” style menu at Fuego Steakhouse that we’re really excited to bring to the community. It will definitely give guests new, exciting items to try in addition to longtime favorites. We’ll feature items such as tableside salads, classic chateaubriand bouquetiere and lobster mac and cheese.
In addition, we’re adding live entertainment on Thursdays in Coco Lounge and a new happy hour at both Coco Lounge and Cerveza bar.
Fiesta draws in a lot of truckers. Are there special incentives for CDL drivers?
Yes, definitely. We offer special hotel discounts for CDL drivers, and we also offer plenty of RV and truck parking with power hookups and surveillance in the parking lot. That can be a big deal to those looking for power when they’re on the road.
What is the best business advice you’ve received?
“Never forget where you started, treat everyone like you want to be treated.”
I received this advice from one of my casino shift managers in Atlantic City as I moved from being a dealer into management, and I’ve never forgotten the words. They have served me well throughout the years.
Whom do you admire and why?
My mother. At 21, she left her family in England and moved to the U.S. to marry my father. He was the only person she knew in the U.S. She taught me to follow my instincts and told me that I would know what direction to take in life as she did: “Let the life path guide you.” That is what I have done. The path led me from Atlantic City to my wonderful life in Las Vegas.
How do you decompress after a long week?
I like to spend time with my husband. Walking is my escape, and I try to walk at least 40 minutes straight every day.
If you could change one thing about Southern Nevada, what would it be?
I would change all the careless drivers on our roads, because they put us all at risk.
What is your dream job, outside of your current field?
I would love to own a winery. I love to drink wine, and we go to Paso Robles in California a lot. We belong to a couple of the wineries there, and have met many of those owners. We love that atmosphere. It includes two things that I love — wine and meeting new people.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself either on a beach or traveling. We go on cruises a lot, and I’d love to go on a world cruise to be able to spend time wherever I feel like. I look forward to meeting people from all over the world and experiencing different cultures. I just love the freedom of not worrying about everything. It’s all positive when you’re out there on the water.
If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?
I’d love to live in Barcelona. We’ve been there a number of times and it has become one of my favorite places. It really is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It’s right at the mouth of the Mediterranean, and it’s accessible from most anywhere. The food is wonderful, and the city is serene. We like to enjoy all the different foods. And of course the Sangria is amazing. I actually wanted to visit there initially because I had learned about Antoni Gaudi from Sunset Station. The Gaudi Bar there is named for him and reflects his style. I wanted to visit Barcelona and see more of his works in person. I arrived in the city and learned more of his story, and I realized how amazing his art is. His buildings are all over the city and I felt a connection to his art. There’s this park near his home that is breathtakingly beautiful. The paths reflect his unique designs, and I want to be there and relax and take it all in. When I retire, maybe I’d like to go there every six months.
What is something that people might not know about you?
I listen to spa music all the time in my car. I like peaceful, calm music, and it really relaxes me. I like Andrea Bocelli. I’m excited to see him in December. I’ll probably cry during the concert, I’m that excited.