“As the Antlers Turn….” scene 8

“Only the Cool Kids”.  

Here at the Antlers, it’s a job title and the translation is “Front Desk Personnel”.  We lost a few from last season and they have been replaced through an arduous hiring process.  Darci and Chris will screen millions of applicants and ultimately decide who will be accepted to join the crack staff.  This seasons winners are…….

Sara Bangert from Buena Vista, Colorado.  She loves anything that is done outdoors.  She is recently married, loves kids, has an education degree, and a great smile.

Mark Dupont is from Morgan City, LA and still has a bit of a draaaawl.  He operates a bed and breakfast with his wife in Palermo, Sicily in the summer and returns to the Antlers to make coffee in the winter.  His hobbies include Guinness and a Movie. He also has a great smile.

Joe Pellar is from Schererville, IN and is a huge bear lover.  I thought that was why he moved here but realized after conversation that he was speaking of the Chicago football team.  He is involved in politics and loves to ski when he’s not working.  He is single, available and looking.  Look at that smile.

Dan Curtin came here a few years back from Traverse City, MI.  His football team is the Detroit Lions and that’s why he moved here.  An avid skier who loves the snow, he also hikes hundreds of miles in the summer. I’m not sure of his personal status, but I do know he’s never on the mountain alone, if you catch my drift.  Warm / Fuzzy smile.

Tyler Schiffer has assumed some of our front desk “geek stuff”.  He hails from Boston but does not speak the language.  Mr Big Time Boarder / Skier, he also is single, available and looking.  From what I’ve seen, he runs in a pack.  All smiles, all the time.

Ryan Leland is new this season but not at the Front Desk because he would not fit.  I think he’s like 6’10”.  He is the newest member of the Engineering Staff.  Originally from Seattle, he does everything in the snow.  Personal status:  has a girlfriend that is 5’2″.  Another continuous smile type.

Speaking for myself, I like everyone that has joined the Antlers Staff this season.  I asked Darci and Chris “How do you widdle down all the applicants to a few and then manage to hire such good people?”

Ratz then told me of the secret interview question “Do you know how to smile?”

Coming soon “I was on call the other night when a 911 emergency came through at 3:00AM…….”

Greg Gone Green

“Going Green” in the lodging industry is not a trend anymore; it’s a way to do business.  Since the early eighties, the Antlers have been committed to green practices.  Recently we have introduced even more initiatives.  Our Sustainability Coordinator believes the new innovations available to all of us not only save energy and reduce waste, but often save the other kind of green ($) at the same time.  “There truly is a balance, sacrificing comfort or quality is not part of the equation anymore.”

A few examples that are now in place, or soon to be in place are the refillable amenities containers that are in all the guest condominiums. Standard globe lighting is being replaced with more expensive but longer lasting L.E.D lighting. Energy management systems are being installed in some of our condominiums which recognize when a room is not occupied and activates a “sleep” mode for energy consumption. We are investigating and considering the idea of “staging” the energy consumption in our building in order to not reach peak demand periods as other properties do.

Some of these ideas and many more are unique to the Vail Valley.  We have taken the lead once again and hope to continue to set an example for all others to follow.

Vail Summer Activities Guide | 30 Days of June Giveaway

Share Your Favorite and You Could Win a 2-Night Stay at the Antlers

It’s not too soon to think about next summer — especially when the Antlers offers special pricing during June 2011 as part of its “30 Days of June” promotion. A studio suite starts at just $140 per night for a two-night stay, and June’s packed calendar guarantees that guests of all ages will find plenty to see and do.

We’ve included a list of some of our favorite fun warm-weather activities in the list below, and we’d love to hear about your favorite reasons to come to Vail in the summertime. Leave a comment below and you’ll be automatically entered to win a free 2-night stay at the Antlers. We’ll choose the lucky winner on July 1, 2011. Be sure to include a working e-mail address with your comment, and don’t worry — we won’t share it with a soul.

Good luck!

30 Days of Fun Things to Do in Vail This June:

1.    Mountain Biking

2.    Horseback Riding

3.    Teva Mountain Games – June 2-5, 2011

4.    Rebound Trampoline at Adventure Ridge

5.    Hiking

6.    Kayaking

7.    Rollerblading

8.    Cattle Round Up at Four Eagle Ranch

9.    Betty Ford Alpine Gardens

10. Dino Dig at Adventure Ridge

11. Golfing

12. Mini-Golf

13. Fishing

14. Whitewater Rafting

15. Jeep Tours

16. Year ‘Round Ice Skating at Dobson Ice Arena

17. Zipline Rides

18. Laser Tag

19. Bowling

20. Ride the Vail Gondola

21. Vilar Center for the Arts

22. Adventure Ridge Discovery Center

23. Hot Air Ballooning

24. Night Vision River Rafting

25. Colorado Ski Museum

26. Skateboarding at Lionshead Skatepark

27. ATV rides

28. Art Walks

29. Vail Farmers’ Market and Art Show

30. Hot Summer Nights Concert Series

“As the AntlersTurn….” scene 7

Let’s review.  If an accident (or incident) should happen to you and it’s totally unexpected, it ultimately makes you wiser.  It’s also been said “That which does not kill you, makes you stronger.”  The point I am trying to make here is that we all bounce back in some form or another.  Allow me to continue with a few more examples.

Magda had a surprise last year.  I remember when she told me that her and Tony were pregnant.  “I don’t even know how that happened” is what she told me.  How often have you heard that from a couple that is still reeling from the news?  Of course they knew how it happened.  They just weren’t expecting it to happen.  Now they are wiser and “do things” that will prevent another “accident”.  (May I share a little of my own experience with you Magda?  When I had my first “I don’t know how that happened”, we “did things” to…and my second child was born 13 months later.  There are some destinies we just don’t have any control over.)  Congratulations!  Isabelle is a beautiful, little girl. 

Darcy was walking to work one sunny, dry, gorgeous morning and missed a step by Billy’s Restaurant.  After the tumble, she came to rest on her back and was mad as hell.  “No excuses.  That was really stupid and my shoulder hurts.”  It still hurt in May, June, July, August, September and in October the doctor diagnosed the problem.  She works everyday in pain and you would never know it.  (I only know it because she reminds me a half dozen times a week when we have coffee in the morning.  Don’t mention this to her when you check in.) She is scheduled for surgery in the Spring. 

When I saw this picture, it reminded me of that scene in “The Wizard of OZ”.  After further review, it’s Amy.  Her setbacks can be read in the American Medical Journals. Too numerous to mention is an understatement.  She will greet you at the Front Desk during normal business hours with a smile and if you need to talk to her anytime after that, she has a private line at the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic.

Our most recent mini-drama involves Randi.  A couple of Saturday’s ago, she was simply gliding to chair 17 after a Yonder run when she created a traffic jam.  She just fell.  “I’ve fallen” she said to Danny “and I can’t get up”.  She has been working around here on crutches and will be having fix-it surgery on the knee this week.  “The doctor says I’ll be back in just a few weeks.”  In the mean time, we miss her on the slopes and the bowling team (not necessarily her average, just miss her on the team).  She is quite the trooper and only cries when she is alone.  Time goes by and she will heal and be dancing at Oktoberfest before you know it.

  Finally, I need to give  myself an honorable mention.  I slept the wrong way two weeks ago and my neck is still stiff.  I whine and cry about it everyday to anyone that will listen.  But I’ll be alright.  I’m wiser now and I avoid sleeping on the couch, between the cracks.

We have some new employees on the “Only the Cool Kids Staff” and I’ll be introducing you to them soon…..

Global Book Club

Not all found books are lost books, some are left in places and meant to be found, read and enjoyed. As someone who dearly loves their books and can’t ever seem to part with them I am having to come to terms with the fact that I just don’t have the space to keep so many, so I have decided to join a global community of people who also love books but also want to share them with the rest of the world. BookCrossing encourages people to share books by leaving them in public places for others to find and enjoy, each book is tagged with an ID number and people can enter the number on the web site and you can track where it has been and read notes people have written about the book.  I will be starting small by creating a library in our Antlers Vail business center and placing books in there with a book plate telling about the program.

Baby steps for me in getting rid of my beloved books they aren’t going far away right away so I can still go visit them from time to time. Hopefully people will join in and leave books for others to enjoy. If you would like to contribute all you have to do is a leave a book in a public place and relish in the fact that someone else is enjoying it as much as you did!


“As the Antlers Turn…” scene 6

Did you ever plan on getting hurt? 

I don’t think anyone gets up in the morning and thinks “Today would be a good day to break my ankle.”  I don’t know anyone who says ” As soon as I’m done with breakfast, I’m going to slam the car door on 4 of my fingers or slip on the ice, fall forward and break my nose again.”  Injuries happen and it’s always a surprise.

We here at the Antlers hotel have had our share of mishaps over the years.  Some serious and some not so. Regardless of the severity, we heal.

Let’s say you are out skiing with your friends and you fall down. My personal observation of everyone that gets “bit by a snow snake” is as follows.  First you’re surprised that you just fell down.  Then you believe it hurts.  Then you wonder why it hurts. Then you apologize to your friends for having to wait for you to get up.  Then you feel really bad because you think you just ruined every one’s day.

Reality ultimately sets in.  You are the one that has to have surgery.  You are the one that goes through therapy.  You are the one that has to use crutches or learns to write with your left hand because of the cast.  Then you heal and you realize it really was just a bump in the road.  It’s another notch in your belt.  Something to talk about with your buddies.  You’re right back where you were and just a little wiser, not cautious, wiser.  There is a difference.  Regardless of how or where you sustain an injury, you can chose to not ever participate in that activity again.  That’s being cautious.  To continue and participate and know not to make the same mistake again, that’s being wiser.

Here’s a few things that have befallen some of the Antlers employees.

Gladys and Lora have both had their share of set backs.  Lora tripped on the carpet and broke her clavicle last year.  Gladys has pushed a vacuum with her right arm for so long, she needed surgery on her elbow.  They’re healed now and still participate.  Lora continues to walk on carpet and when Gladys needs to use a vacuum, she alternates elbows.


We had an employee picnic a few years back and brought a volleyball net with us.  Tom is a tall guy and we wanted him on our team until he “did a smash” and landed awkwardly on his ankle.  He took himself out of the friendly game and watched his ankle balloon.  He found out the next day that the ligaments in his ankle were all torn.  Follow doctors orders and he was bowling at the next employee get together.          

Can anyone guess who belongs to this leg?  It was a great run down Windows in Sun Down Bowl when a large snow snake reared his ugly head.  “Just another notch on my belt and a bunch of screws in my leg.  Worst part about it?  I couldn’t fly anywhere because I couldn’t get through security.”  He has seen and experienced worse in the years he has played here and he continues to be a constant participant.  Nothing keeps him down.  On Sunday, he will ski in the morning, play golf in the afternoon and then text everyone that he’s at the bowling alley if anyone wants to join him.

Magda has a good one in recent months.

I have something to say about myself.

Darci is still in the process of fixing herself.

And Randi is the most recent participant on the playground.  All that coming soon……..

Wine and Cheese party

The tradition continues, every Tuesday this winter the Antlers will be hosting a complimentary wine and cheese reception for our guests. Join the Antlers staff after a day of skiing or shopping and share your adventures and also to get ideas of where to go on your next outing. And, of course enjoy some complimentary wine, cheese and a hot appetizer prepared by our Chef Barry Robinson.

Starting December 14th 2010
5:30pm to 6:30pm
Millie Barela board room

Wine and cheese

Yoga at the Antlers

The Antlers at Vail hotel will be starting up our free yoga classes again on Wednesday December 15, they will be running twice  a week on Wednesdays and Fridays from 4:30pm to 5:30pm. The classes are being given by Tracy Long who also teaches at the Vail Athletic Club. They are complimentary to guests so please join us for an afternoon of relaxation and stretching after a great day on the hill!

If you would like to do yoga more than twice a week Antlers guests can pick up a complimentary day pass for the Vail Athletic Club at the front desk.Yoga Pose

Vail’s Chair 5 High noon express opening Friday Dec 10th

Here is the latest press release:  Incredible news, Vail’s newest high-speed quad chairlift, the High Noon Express Lift (#5), also known as “Chair 5,” is set to officially open for the season on Friday, Dec. 10 at 9 a.m. The long-awaited lift boasts a ride time of six minutes, just half that of the fixed-grip triple chairlift it replaces. With the opening of the lift and surrounding terrain, Vail’s skiable acres will climb to 5,000 on Friday. 

To celebrate the lift’s debut, guests are invited to gather at the top of the lift for complimentary cookies, hot cocoa and commemorative lapel pins while supplies last. Long-time Vail local’s Pepi and Sheika Gramshammer’s inaugural ride up the High Noon Express Lift (#5) will kick off the opening of the High Noon Express Lift and surrounding terrain at 9 a.m.

 “There is nothing on earth like Vail’s Back Bowls on a powder day, and with 70 percent more capacity and half the ride time of the old lift, the new Chair 5, will allow our guests to move quicker up and around the mountain and get even more out of their days,” said Chris Jarnot, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain.

 The legendary Back Bowls have been part of the ski scene since Vail opened in 1962 with only a gondola out of the village and two chairlifts, including the original lift out of the bowls. The area surrounding the new High Noon Express Lift (#5) is made up of Sun Up Bowl on the east side and Sun Down Bowl on the west with High Noon Ridge standing between and sweeping vistas of the Colorado high country that made the Back Bowls famous amongst skiers and snowboarders worldwide. Pepi himself was amongst the first to ski the terrain prior to its public opening in December 1962 and will be eternally linked to the long and infamous trail “Forever,” which he skied with Vail pioneers Dick Hauserman, Bob Parker and Morrie Shepard before the lift was installed, remarking that he thought it would take them “forever” to hike back out.

 Manufactured by Leitner-Poma of America, the High Noon Express Lift (#5) will improve skier and rider circulation in the Sun Up and Sun Down areas and will also provide an alternate route for guests moving west from the top of the Teacup Express Lift (#36) at the end of the day. The new lift increases Vail’s uphill lift capacity to 59,092 people per hour.

Chair 5 rides up that ridge straight ahead, picture taken from Sun Down Bowl looking East towards High-noon Ridge