Millie says Farewell

Millie called today and wondered if this was OK to print in response to all the beautiful comments she has received on the BLOG.  I thought it deserved its own little space on the www

FAREWELL – MILLIE BARELA

Hello to everyone.

First of all, I want to thank you guys for all those beautiful comments you have left on the Antlers blog. Now, I think is time for me to write something as a reply or let’s say a farewell. I would like to express my gratitude for the professional as well as personal development I have gained working here.

I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to share my life over the past 37 years with so many people. I am thankful for the success of my work. To my beloved staff, I can’t say enough about them, they have been my backbone through this entire process and it’s because of them that I have been able to succeed at my job.  It would be very foolish and naive of me to believe even for a second, that I alone am the reason for the success of my career. It would also be very prideful and silly to say the Antlers’ success is because I have surrounded myself with all the right people!! But, the truth of the matter is, God has put all of these wonderful people in my path and for that I am very grateful. The list would be too long to print if I were to name all of them. They know who they are and I will never forget their contributions! I will mention some of those wonderful people.

Hmm…Let’s start in 1972, the very beginning of the great Antlers story. I remember the time when I came in this hotel, and Bud Benedict was the manager of Antlers. I will always be thankful to this special person who gave me the chance to prove everyone and most important – to myself, that I can handle all pressure and the expectation from the staff and the guests. Luckily, I was able to control that and deliver the best of me for my second home (Antlers).

Everybody knows that Antlers at Vail became such a beautiful place thanks to the great managing skills of Rob LeVine. Since I know our manager, I have a great relationship with him on business and social level too. We have always been cooperating with such a high level of understanding each other. Rob, there is so much to say about you, but I will be short and say thank you for giving me a chance to prove myself, thank you for all these years spent with you, for your kindness, for having confidence in me, and I want you to know that I will miss you, as a manager and as a friend as well. I am and I will be forever grateful for your leadership and friendship we established over my 37 years run at the Antlers. But I hope that we are going to stay in touch. Rob thank you for all the things you have done for me, all the lovely parties, naming the Millie Barela Boardroom after me.

Thank you Randi for being there for me when I needed you the most and making my job easier. You have always been here for me on business and social level as well. It’s been a pleasure and adventure working with you and I will miss you so much.

I also want to thank Magda and Randi for the flowers, and Magda, you are doing a great job at the meeting rooms.

I also want to express my gratefulness to Tom and the engineering staff.

Everyone knows how wonderful person Greg is, on social and professional level as well. Greg, I want to thank you for all those wonderful stories you have written for me, for the great article on the Antlers’ blog which left me without words, for your hard-working time you are dedicating for this hotel, and for all those lovely years spent with you.

Well, everybody knows that someone must continue with my job at Antlers, and I think there isn’t better person for this position than my sister Lora. We spent together a wonderful 35 years, and I am so proud of that. Lora, you know everything about this job, and what is most important everyone trusts you, so I don’t see a reason why you should be afraid of doing this job on your own. I know that we are going to see each other in future, but I am already convinced that it will be hard to get used to it on the life where I will not be able to see you every day like until now. I want you to know that I love you so much, and I am sure that you will do the job like no one before. You have the best housekeeping team in front with Gladys, and there is no reason to be afraid. I wish you luck and a lot of success.

The guests and owners of Antlers have always used to be satisfied of the cleanness in this hotel. As a executive housekeeper, I will always be thankful to my housekeeping team, especially to my sister Lora, Gladys, and all the rest of the housekeeping staff so and the people who have gone and come including my friends and family which helped me to reach this successful level I have today, at the ending of my career.

I also want to thank to Chris Ratz and the front desk staff. Thank you for your outstanding cooperation.

Well, I think it is time to end up my farewell here. I want to thank you for your time reading this article and thank to all employees in Antlers from which I have learned tremendously.  If it wasn’t your constant support and encouragement I would not have been able to perform my duties so well.  Professionally, I have gained a lot of knowledge and I shall always cherish this as one of the most satisfying phases in my career. Personally too I have shared a special bonding with all of you and I shall take away with me cherished memories of our times together.

Thank you so much for making my time at Antlers a truly enjoyable one. I invite any of you who would like to keep in touch, to speak to me before I leave on Monday and I will be happy to give you my phone and e-mail co-ordinates.

Now, it is time to dedicate all my time to my lovely husband Willie and my wonderful kids and grandkids.

I wish you all the best and I’m sure I will see you around somewhere.

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Best Regards,

Millie Barela

What Is A Legacy… Millie Barela

Quietly Going About Her Business

Quietly Going About Her Business

Grandson Brian is a Third Generation Employee

Grandson Brian is a Third Generation Employee

She came to Eagle County with her husband Willie in 1959. Think about that. What in the world was here in 1959? For those of us that say we have been here for 20+ years and think it deserves an award for longevity, take a seat.

Millie Barela was not even married a year when Willie was lucky enough to land a job with the Gillman Mine operation. Their plan was to settle right here in Minturn and start their forever adventure together. They rented a house “on the other side of the tracks” for $22/month. They saved what money was coming in and bought their first and last house for (and this is not an over or under exaggeration) $650.00. Life was good and Willie was making such a good wage ($1.20/hour) that Millie did not need to work. Her job was to get ready for the camping and fishing trips they would do in their free time.

Being the progressive young woman that she is, Millie decided she wanted a car. It was 1964 and Vail was a place that still wasn’t on the map, but things were starting to happen. The Christiania Lodge was hiring and Ted Kindal gave Millie one of the first housekeeping jobs ever in Vail. She car pooled with her friend Lucille until she could buy her Jeep. She learned to ski with the originals on Vail Mountain, but really preferred skiing Meadow Mountain in Minturn. Yes there was a ski area where sled hill is now and as Millie describes it, “they had a chair lift and a place to drink coffee at the bottom”.

The years past at the Christiania and Millie commanded the respect she was due. Her pay escalated to $1.90/hr. In 1972, when the Antlers was still operated by Gore Range Properties, she applied and was hired as Head Housekeeper “by a guy named Richard, I think”. I asked her why she changed jobs and she simply said “more money, they paid me $2.50/hour”.

That is the rest of the story and it ends this year. After 37 years with the Antlers, Millie Barela is going to retire and this time she means it. We could speak all the stereotype phrases, “she will be missed”, “how can we replace her”, “the place won’t be the same”, but Millie deserves more than that. It’s not very often that an employee and a beautiful person can walk away from your daily life and truly have an impact on how you carry on.

Her gift to all of us, our owners, and guests is the gift of example. We all need to pattern ourselves as she has lived and worked. That is the legacy of Millie Barela.

Greg Z

(Of course she will be missed, but we can understand she wants to spend more time with Willie and all those beautiful grand-kids). We love ya” Millie.

Have a story or a fond memory?  Feel free to leave a comment for her.

Antlers Afternoon with Lilly Ledbetter

Lilly Ledbetter, a woman of change, came to visit the Vail Valley and the Antlers was privileged to attend the special event on August 26, 2009. If you have not heard of her then you may not know the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which approves equal-pay legislation. Coincidently this was the first bill President Obama signed as the new president on January 29, 2009.

Ledbetter’s story is a long and hard one but one that proved perseverance and trial can lead to success. Her history and message was one to be heard and we are thankful for the opportunity to have been in her presence.

Photo taken by Wendy Griffith
Photo taken by Wendy Griffith

Photos taken by Wendy Griffith

Scenic Autumn Drives, Free Sunday Night Stay at the Antlers

Vail, Colorado – August 20, 2009 – It happens for just a few fleeting weeks every year: the Rocky Mountains are blanketed in glorious gold as the region’s famous aspen trees change color, making autumn one of the most spectacular seasons to explore the Colorado high country. Rob LeVine has been the general manager at the Antlers at Vail hotel for three decades, and guests often ask him about the best places to drive to see the gorgeous fall foliage.

“You can’t beat what I call the ‘Leadville loop,’” LeVine says. “You drive from here to Minturn, then take Highway 24 – a National Scenic Byway – to the old mining town of Leadville and follow it down through Copper Mountain. The drive takes about an hour and a half, the views are breathtaking and you’re practically guaranteed to see some beautiful fall colors.”

For people with a 4-wheel-drive vehicle who want to get off the beaten path, LeVine recommends the drive to Piney Lake. “It’s about 12 miles from here; the area is remote and rarely crowded. You could drive a regular car up the dirt road in about 45 minutes, but it’s pretty rugged and washboarded. In an off road vehicle, however, it’ll only take you about 30 minutes.”

Beat the weekend traffic with the “Autumn at the Antlers” getaway package, which offers free Sunday night lodging for leaf lovers who book two consecutive nights or more. Autumn is a wonderful time to experience the Vail Valley; summer crowds are gone, the days are sunny, the evenings are cool — and the values can’t be beat. The Antlers autumn lodging deal is offered from August 28 through November 22, 2009.

Since 1972, the Antlers has offered a unique Vail lodging experience in a relaxed mountain setting. The Antlers Vail condominiums – recently named the ‘Green Business of the Year’ by the Vail Valley Partnership Success Awards – is also proud to be a Green Star rated business. With condominiums ranging from studio suites up to four bedrooms and plenty of space to spread out, each room at the Antlers offers all the comforts of home including fully-equipped kitchens, fireplaces, outdoor balconies, free Internet access and free parking in a heated indoor garage. The Antlers Vail is conveniently located in the Lionshead area of Vail with numerous restaurants, galleries and shops within walking distance, and the free Vail town shuttle stops just footsteps away. For more information, call 1-800-843-8245 or visit the Antlers web site at www.antlersvail.com.

Media Contacts: Rob LeVine, General Manager, The Antlers at Vail, (970) 476-2471, RLeVine@antlersvail.com or Darla Worden, WordenGroup Strategic Public Relations, (307) 734-5335, darla@wordenpr.com

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Congrats to Jack Burch

Congratulations go out to Jack Burch for graduating from the Colorado Rocky Mountain School Graduation in Carbondale back in June.  The Antlers “antlers” are really getting around. 

Vail Pass new Highway clean up sign for Antlers at Vail

The Antlers at Vail has a 2 mile section of Interstate 70 up on the top of Vail Pass that we clean up.  This past June a number of guests even gave us a hand!  It is one of the most beautiful sections of highway through the State of Colorado.  And guess what?  We just got some new signs placed by the highway department this summer.  They look great.  Thanks to the Colorado Department of Transportation.


Antlers new Highway clean-up sign near Vail Pass bike path

Michela family enjoy another Vail Summer

Once again the Michela family enjoyed a Vail Summer vacation at the Antlers at Vail.  Bob and Catherine had daughters Danielle and Stacy with them, and of course the five grandchildren.  They were busy.  Gondola rides, hiking, biking, dinner at Blu’s, dinner in the condo, adventure ridge, rebound trampoline, etc.  Hope to see you again next summer…..


Michela Family at the Antlers (grand kids are taking the picture)