SPEEDVEGAS, the new $30 million, 100-acre supercar driving experience, announces its management team comprising seasoned travel and tourism marketing executives and staff. These individuals are responsible for creating the most sought-after exotic-car-driving and event destination, collectively bringing decades of tourism industry expertise to Las Vegas’ newest adrenaline attraction. SPEEDVEGAS will open this spring.
The SPEEDVEGAS team includes five executives led by co-founders Aaron Fessler (chief executive officer), and Tom Mizzone (chief financial officer). The new members of the SPEEDVEGAS executive team are as follows:
Allison Raskansky, executive vice president of business development, has focused her career on one goal: attracting global visitors to Las Vegas. Raskansky oversees marketing, public relations, sponsorship and partnership campaigns. She is a passionate tourism marketing professional, and held key positions for popular travel destinations such as Grand Canyon West and the world-famous Grand Canyon Skywalk. There, she led all brand marketing efforts and established the attractions as “must-dos” for travelers from around the world. Earlier in her career, Raskansky achieved global marketing success as director of sales and marketing at Sundance Helicopters, one of the first aviation companies to offer helicopter tours of the Grand Canyon tours.
Darren Strahl, executive vice president of operations, brings a distinctive combination of experience in the automotive and hospitality industries to SPEEDVEGAS. He is responsible for ensuring visitors’ supercar driving experiences are both seamless and exhilarating from the moment they arrive at the SPEEDVEGAS Welcome Center. In addition to being a lifelong racecar enthusiast, Strahl has owned and managed eight restaurants and three nightclubs. His own passion for buying and selling muscle cars led him to start a transport company for such vehicles. This business grew steadily, primarily serving athletes and entertainers. In 2006, Strahl was recruited to manage World Class Driving’s operations. There, he became a pioneer for automobile entertainment experiences and used his extensive hospitality expertise to consistently earn a No. 1 rating on TripAdvisor.com.
Gina Mann, vice president of groups and events, brings 30 years of experience in promoting Las Vegas to SPEEDVEGAS. She is responsible for soliciting and securing groups and special events for both the SPEEDVEGAS event center and racetrack. Mann began her career in diverse roles at the historic Sands Hotel and Casino, where she acquired expertise in everything from accounting to reservations to food and beverage. Next, she held a coveted sales executive position at the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, where she created the Las Vegas destination expert program for travel agents. From there, she became vice president of Baskow & Associates, a full-service destination management company, where she led sales and marketing strategy and executed more than 2,000 events.
In addition, SPEEDVEGAS is pleased to announce the addition of two directors of sales:
Pavy Mueller, director of global sales, has brings a 20-year career in the hospitality industry to SPEEDVEGAS. A fluent speaker of three languages and having earned a master’s degree in speech communication, Mueller’s penchant for effective communicating has driven her successful career in sales and marketing. Prior to joining SPEEDVEGAS, she held leadership roles at some of the most popular hotels and attractions in the world, including Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, Mandalay Bay, Hilton International Taipei and Sundance Helicopters. Most recently, Mueller successfully led group and corporate sales efforts at Four Seasons Hotels in Las Vegas and Sydney, Australia.
Grant Blakeman, director of regional sales, brings 20 years of Las Vegas tourism industry experience to SPEEDVEGAS. Blakeman has successfully represented numerous tourism destinations in customer service and executive sales and marketing roles, from helicopters to airplanes to luxury excursions. These companies include Primm Valley Resorts, Adventure Photo Tours, Papillon Airways, Grand Canyon Tour & Travel and Pink Jeep Tours. Before joining SPEEDVEGAS, he served as executive vice president of Detours of Nevada, a travel company specializing in guided tours of the American Southwest’s most iconic destinations, including the Grand Canyon; Sedona, Arizona; Death Valley National Park and others. Prior to working in tourism, Blakeman became a decorated veteran after serving in the Army, Army National Guard and the Air Force.