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Rick Piette, owner, Premier Mortgage Lending

What are you reading?

I’m presently rereading one of my favorite books; it’s titled “Free Spirit: A Climber’s Life.” It’s about the amazing climbing accomplishments of Reinhold Messner who summited the world’s highest mountains back in the 1970s and 1980s — without all of today’s modern technology and without intense Sherpa support.

What is your favorite restaurant? Where do you take clients to dinner?

A: Without a doubt, my favorite restaurant in town, if not in the world, is the Eiffel Tower Restaurant in Paris (Las Vegas). For client dinners, it’s all over the board … there are just so many great restaurants in this city.

Where do you work out or play your favorite sport?

I live in a community that has a full fitness center and pool. And, fortunately, all I have to do is walk across the street to use the facility. So I alternate my workouts between an hour in the gym and an hour swimming in the pool. My favorite sport would need to be a pluralized word, to “sports,” because I have so many. My present favorite passion is big mountain climbing at high altitudes, but I love anything in the outdoors, from hiking to skiing and snowboarding, backpacking, river running. I enjoy a wide variety of outdoor sports activities.

How do you decompress after a hard week?

I try to get out of town every weekend. I love to hike in Zion National Park or ride my bike down the boardwalk in Newport Beach, (California). But when I really need to decompress, I like to go Alpine mountain climbing. It’s a sport I started about 10 years ago, and just fell in love with the peacefulness and serenity of high mountains — along with the big adrenaline rush! To date, I have climbed most of the big Sierra mountains, (and) volcanoes in Mexico and Ecuador to make a very difficult traverse of Cotopaxi. I also summited Denali in 2013 and the highest mountain in the world that’s not in Asia — that would be La Montana Aconcagua in Argentina — in 2015.

What is the biggest challenge facing Las Vegas in the next five years?

That’s a hard question for me to answer because I’m uber-optimistic about Las Vegas’s future. I’ve been in town since 1979, and I’ve watched and prospered from our tremendous growth. I believe that all of the factors that made Las Vegas one of the fastest-growing cities in the world are still here. I think Las Vegas is still the great land of opportunity where ordinary people who are smart and willing to work hard can still make something of themselves. So, we will face challenges, but I believe in the saying “nothing good comes easy.” So, we’ll face these challenges, learn from our mistakes and come out to be a better community than ever.

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