Kathy Falkensammer, co-owner and president of Prestige
Travel & Cruises of Las Vegas and a longtime figure in the travel industry, died at her home over the weekend after battling cancer. She was 74.
Falkensammer with her husband Leo started Prestige in
1981 by acquiring a small agency, and it blossomed into the largest seller of
travel in Nevada.
“She lived her
life’s dream,” said her daughter Ellen, who works in the business and is one of
Ellen Falkensammer said there would be no immediate
changes to the day-to-day operation, which is run by her father, herself and
her brother. “It’s going to remain the same,” she said. “Things are going to
continue as in the past."
Among her accolades, Falkensammer was recognized on
Travel + Leisure’s selective A-list and was named to CLIA’s Hall of Fame. She
served on advisory boards for American Express and Holland America Line, among
The agency currently has eight locations in Las Vegas and
a large online cruise division doing business as PrestigeCruises.com.
Vicki Freed, senior vice of president sales and trade
support at Royal Caribbean International, called Falkensammer “truly an icon in
"Always a guiding light, she instilled in me the
importance of travel agent education and leading with your heart,” Freed wrote
in a Facebook tribute.
In a 2001 profile in Travel Weekly, Falksensammer said
fostering a collegial atmosphere was one of the keys to the agency’s success.
"I like to come to work because it's a fun place to
work thanks to the people and the products we sell. We all work together and do
any necessary office tasks, even if we have different titles," she said.