Founded in 2018, the Wine Academy of Las Vegas is the region’s first local WSET-affiliated school. Primarily for hospitality professionals seeking certification, many attend to develop their wine skills. This school believes WSET-certified programs represent the world standard for wine experts. Despite that belief, they also offer the French Wine Scholar and Italian Wine Scholar programs from the Wine Scholar Guild.
The school is just minutes from the Las Vegas strip. Certified professionals teach their wine courses with a deep background in hospitality and hospitality and wine education. Oddly enough, there used to be a Los Angeles Wine Academy that disappeared sometime in early 2022. They do not seem to be connected.
A blend of practical experience and academic achievement marks Gina Marano’s impressive career in the wine and hospitality industry. Her journey began at Perkins Family Restaurants in Idaho Falls, where she worked in various roles from November 2006 to January 2012. This early experience in a family restaurant chain laid the foundation for her understanding of the food and beverage industry.
Marano’s career trajectory significantly turned towards luxury hospitality with her stint as a Banquets Intern at the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in Las Vegas, Nevada, from March to June 2013. This experience was followed by a role as the Foundation Room Operations Manager/Large Party Dining Manager at House of Blues Entertainment in Las Vegas from June 2013 to November 2014. These positions allowed her to gain valuable insights into high-end hospitality management and operations.
In January 2015, Marano joined the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) as a Graduate Assistant, where she worked for over a year assisting Hotel College faculty with research and undergraduate classes. This academic involvement was a precursor to her more extensive role as an Instructor at UNLV starting in August 2016, a position she holds to this day. Her teaching repertoire at UNLV is diverse, covering subjects like New World Wines, Old World Wines, Restaurant Management and Operations Capstone, Hospitality Purchasing & Cost Control, and The Business of Wine.
Parallel to her teaching career, Marano pursued doctoral studies at UNLV, focusing on Hospitality from August 2017 to October 2020. During her PhD program, she taught additional classes in Hospitality Service Management, Hospitality Purchasing & Cost Control, Hospitality Internship, and Special Events Management.
The pinnacle of Marano’s career is her role as the Founder and Managing Director of the Wine Academy of Las Vegas, which she started in January 2019. The academy is Las Vegas’ first local WSET Approved Program Provider (APP). Under her leadership, the academy emphasizes quality educational practices, with educators holding high academic degrees and employing approachable, non-intimidating teaching styles. The school is dedicated to providing a state-of-the-art learning atmosphere, ensuring student success and fostering a passion for continuous learning in the field of wine education.
Marano’s career is a testament to her dedication to the wine and hospitality industry, blending practical industry experience with academic rigor to provide comprehensive and high-quality wine education.
I’m tired of schools relying on WSET to give them all their material. How lazy do you need to be to pay someone for PowerPoint?