Kathy Falkensammer
Kathy Falkensammer

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 four co-owners.

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 others.

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 our industry."

"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.

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