Another New Challenge

From time to time I have conversations with young professionals in the hospitality industry (usually twenty-somethings).  These days it’s not unusual for them to recount the six or eight different employers they’ve had in a similar number of years. Eventually they ask me how long I’ve been working at the Antlers. When I tell them it’s been thirty-one years they immediately form an “L” with their thumb and forefinger, plaster it to their forehead and proclaim loudly for all to hear, “What a Loser!”

Ok, whatever.

After working at the Antlers since 1978, and the last twenty-two years as General Manager, even people who respect longevity often ask me, “Don’t you ever get bored?” My answer is always the same … The hospitality business is NEVER boring. The old cliché that “every day is different” could not be more true. However, I also have the fabulous good fortune to work for a very unique Homeowners Association. Unlike most HOA’s who operate almost entirely out of self-interest, the Antlers owners have always had a much more worldly view.

With a long history of good corporate citizenship, the Antlers HOA generously supports a plethora of local causes and non-profit organizations. Sometimes that’s a donation of cash or more frequently complimentary rooms as in-kind support. That good will alone makes this an incredibly rewarding place to hang my hat. Beyond that though, the condominium owners here not only give me the freedom to pursue outside interests, but encourage me to do so. While that generally serves the Antlers well in the long run, it takes people with real vision to recognize and understand it.

The local Chambers of Commerce, Bravo Music Festival, the Vail Symposium and others have all benefited (I’d like to think) from the Antlers willingness to participate in a somewhat modified form of executive loan. Needless to say, none of that would be possible if it weren’t for Chris Ratzlaff and the rest of our wonderful staff, picking up the slack.  Ultimately the time and monetary commitment from the Antlers is significant. Of course it also provides for a serious amount of growth and reward for me personally.


Which brings us to this past Tuesday, when I had the honor of being named chair-elect for the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry. CACI serves as the state chamber of commerce ( I’ve enjoyed being on that board for a number of years and on the executive committee for the past couple. I was surprised when they asked me if I’d serve as chair in 2011, since the majority of the board members represent large companies like Lockheed Martin, MillerCoors, Qwest, Wells Fargo, etc. I often feel like the country mouse in that arena, with my 40 employees and $5,000,000 in sales. Nevertheless, I guess the collective wisdom was that someone in tourism from the Western Slope, who truly represents small business, would be a healthy departure from the norm. I hope they’re right.

One way or the other, this … a boring job?  You’ve GOT to be kidding. 


Vail snow report October 30

Light snow in Vail today!  We’ve received perhaps 2 inches in the last 4 hours down near the Antlers at Vail.  We have a blanket of white around the Vail Valley.  9-10 inches settled snow up on Vail mountain according to the Snotel computer sensors.  It is cold and they are making snow over at Golden Peak.  However, the Golden Peak area will be open to Ski Club Vail only for the early season.  They are using it for race camps, etc.  Vail Resorts starts making snow on Born Free on November 1st (Sunday).  Let’s hope it stays cold for them over the coming weeks.

Reminder, if you are looking for some Vail Lodging, our Book by November 1st promotion will soon end and be replaced with something different on Monday (November 2nd).   Chris R

Antlers visit to Ocean Summit Travel

Being one of our great friends in the hospitality industry, Pamela and Melissa from Ocean Summit Travel were kind enough to allow us to treat them to lunch and garnish them with Antlers swag. Not only were they wonderful company but adventurous enough to wear some antlers. Thank you Ocean Summit Travel for lunch and all you do!

It's a little fuzzy...sorry.

It’s a little fuzzy…sorry.


Melissa’s daughter Mackenzie; an Antlers fan

Rob LeVine, Antlers GM, Named Chair-Elect of CACI

October 27, 2009 – Denver, CO – Rob LeVine, General Manager of the Antlers at Vail hotel, was named Chair-Elect of the Board of Directors of the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry (CACI), the state chamber of commerce; LeVine’s term will be 2010-2011. The Chair for the 2009-2010 term is banker Tom Flanagan, Division I President, Citywide Banks. 2008-2009 CACI Board Chair Peter O’Connor, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel, AngloGold Ashanti North America, became Past Chair.

CACI was created in the mid-1960s when Colorado’s business leaders merged the Colorado Chamber of Commerce with the Colorado Manufacturing Association.  Almost 500 companies, local chambers of commerce, trade associations and local economic development organizations belong to CACI.  CACI’s mission is to champion a healthy business environment.  To achieve this mission, CACI has key four objectives: (1) maintain and improve the cost of doing business; (2) advocate a pro-business state government; (3) increase the quantity of educated, skilled workers; and (4) strengthen Colorado’s critical infrastructure (roads, water, telecommunications and energy).


50 Years ….

Charley and Helen have trouble putting cake in their mouths

Charley and Helen have trouble putting cake in their mouths

Three generations later....

Three generations later....

…..and the Wachendorfer’s are just as handsome a couple as they were back then.

Charley and Helen celebrated with 85 of their closest friends on Saturday night, October 3rd right here at the Antlers. Actually the celebration started on Friday and continued until Sunday brunch was over and the final group picture was taken on the pool deck. They came from all over the country (and China) to hold their glasses up for two of the nicest people you’ll ever want to meet.

Their 4 children and all the grandkids along with many from the original wedding party, were treated to old story telling, sing along’s, a wonderful dinner, and a whole lot of dancing. Arguably, this was one of the best weddings I have ever attended 50 years after the wedding.

Thanks Charley and Helen for letting us be part of a very special evening.

Rob and Randi enjoy dinner with ” Greggy, The Blow-Up Doll”Rob And Randi enjoy dinner with Greg, the blow-up doll

Dusting of snow in Vail this Sunday morning

A little dusting of snow in Vail this Sunday morning.  Maybe an inch down here and maybe two inches up on the mountain.  Picture was taken from the Antlers at Vail 6th floor.  It is cold up here and they are still making snow over by Golden Peak as of 12:30pm.  Usually they have to turn them off during the day as it warms up, but not today.

October Vail snow from Antlers balcony
October Vail snow from Antlers balcony

First Day on Snow!

There’s a nip in the air, the leaves have changed, and there’s a dusting of snow above 10,000 feet.  All of which means one thing: it’s time to start skiing!  Just a 50 minute trip from Vail lie Loveland and Arapahoe Basin ski areas, both of which are already open for the season.  I decided to brave the so-called white ribbon of death at Loveland and start making some turns this past Saturday (making me the first Antlers employee this year to do so).  There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, it was a beautiful 50 degrees, there were two top-to-bottom runs open and I skied onto the lift most of the day. Sure, the snow wasn’t so great, but who cares?  We were skiing in October and starting our daycount for the season.   R  Gray

Looking for something free?

Looking for something free to do in Vail?

The Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum offers free admission and parking so you can check out 1500 pieces of memorabilia covering 130 years of skiing.

Vail has the nation’s largest free bus system, offering transport from East Vail to West, including Lionshead, Vail Village, and Cascade Village.

And as always, we here at The Antlers offer free underground parking, free internet, free coffee and hot chocolate, and free passes to the Vail Athletic Club. Check back later for some more tips on how to do Vail on the cheap.