An inspiration to those who know him, Roger Owens moved to Las Vegas to have fun while working in the hospitality industry. A part of the community since 1984, there were some personal obstacles, but Owens overcame them and today is the director for catering and events sales for SpringHill Suites as well as a well-respected real estate agent for Signature Real Estate Group.
He began his hospitality career managing a country club in Philadelphia. Owens impressed a representative from Aramark (then ARA Leisure Services) with his handling of the LPGA McDonald Kid’s Gold Classic. Offered a position, Owens loved the idea of moving and living in Las Vegas and accepted it. Working as food and beverage director of Cashman Field for both the convention center and stadium, his first job was to sell hot dogs—15,000 hot dogs per game.
But in order to advance within the company, Owens would have be willing to relocate and he decided to stay in Las Vegas. He sought out drugs, alcohol and gambling and Owens would become homeless but still maintained his entrepreneurial spirit selling cigarette butts he found to other homeless people. As for his recovery, Owens explained, “A real simple statement regarding a very complicated issue and disease. I did not get clean and sober alone and there are those in Las Vegas that I owe my life to. I can’t talk about my sobriety without really giving credit for the love and support of my wife Eva, who saw the person I could be while I was fighting my demons.”
While working as a bartender in a small bar, Owens looked for a new path in his sobriety. In 2000, he decided on real estate and got his license. But Owens admitted that he really did not comprehend what was involved with the selling of real estate and failed. He decided to try again, did research and worked hard to understand all of the intricacies. This time he was very successful and was selected best new agent of the year.
When the real estate market declined, still deeply rooted in hospitality and service within the hotel and casino industry, he took a position in catering sales for the Riviera Hotel and Casino. SpringHill Suites was located close to the Riviera (shared parking lot) and Owens made a connection. He was offered and accepted a position with SpringHill Suites five years ago. He built the business up from almost nothing in catering sales to almost $1 million. He attributes this success “being part of this community for so many years, I have developed relationships with many and keep a large categorized database to help others with referrals and business contacts.”
Owens still maintained his real estate career on a smaller level but has recently been devoting more time to this aspect of his professional life. “I enjoy both careers and plan on working in both of them.”
On a personal level, he gives back to his community and volunteers for Heart and Soul Hospitality led by Li’ Shey Johnson and Val Woods. “I assist and guide a group of fantastic students and individuals,” he said. Heart and Soul Hospitality provides education, training and employment enhancements to those who might temporarily be under economic hardship or disparity.
With the planned expansion of SpringHill Suites and the real estate market rebounding, Owens is looking forward to 2017 and beyond.SpringHill Suites by Marriott,
Las Vegas Convention Center
2989 Paradise Road | Las Vegas, NV 89109
Signature Real Estate Group
The District at Green Valley Ranch
2200 Paseo Verde Parkway, Suite 300
Henderson, NV 89052
702.985.6625 | www.roger.realtor