Vail ski report and the Fleetwind ski club

Just a quick Vail ski report for you…..  November 26th and they opened Chairs 3 and 4 up out of Mid-Vail this Thanksgiving weekend in Vail.  It is the early ski season so we are thankful for the snow we have.  None the less, quite a few ski runs are open with Chairs 8, 2, 3, 4 the Vista Bahn, Gondola and some beginner chairs.  The Fleetwind Ski club from Chicago is in Vail at the moment and it is always a good time to do a few ski runs with them.  They had their blackberry brandy containers with the drinking schedule spelled out on the bottles.  Check it out…..

Jim, Robby and Scott from the Fleetwind Ski Club

Blackberry Sport drink, drinking schedule

That looks like the end

Chris Ratzlaff at the top of Hunk Dory, Chair 4 is open in the distance

Early Ski season skiers in Vail at the top of Eagle’s nest with the Gore Range in the background

Our Backyard

A few photos taken just a couple of hours ago of Lionshead, Chair 8, the Vail Gondola and Garfs Deck.  More terrain at Vail mountain opens tomorrow.  I love how colorfull this sport can be.
























Gobble, Gobble, Gobble and Happy Thanksgiving!

Save Up To 50 Percent with Antlers at Vail Hotel’s 2012 Spring Snow Package

Up to three nights free, Vail springtime events give skiers plenty to cheer about

Spring skiing at the Antlers at Vail hotel

Photo: JRM353

November 16, 2011 – Vail, CO – “Lighten up” takes on a whole new meaning during spring snow season, when Vail Resort’s 193 trails are uncrowded, lift lines are short, skiers and boarders shed heavy outerwear for lightweight vests and turtlenecks (or for some hardy souls, shorts), and a lighthearted joie de vivre abounds.

“Spring is absolutely one of the best times to experience Vail,” says Antlers at Vail hotel General Manager Rob LeVine, a Vail local for three decades. “April is actually Colorado’s second-snowiest month, and we often have magnificent snow days with plenty of sunshine late in the season.” The conveniently-located Antlers Vail offers its popular ‘Design Your Own Ski Package’ from April 8 to May 20 in 2012. Pay for three nights and the fourth, fifth – and even sixth night is free. A one-bedroom bunkroom that sleeps four people starts at just $355 per night for the first three nights, with up to three additional nights free. Coupled with Vail Resorts’ deeply discounted spring lift tickets and passes, late-season values can’t be beat.

Along with reduced rates, Vail Resorts’ “Spring Back to Vail” promotion features plenty of end-of-the-season activities including on-mountain snow events and street parties. The best party of the year is held at the top of Vail Mountain on closing day – tentatively scheduled for April 15 this year – when many revelers arrive in costume to celebrate another great season. Other attractions include end-of-season concerts, Vintage SkiFest at Beaver Creek, and the World Pond Skimming Championships.

Since 1972, the Antlers has offered a unique Vail lodging experience in a relaxed mountain setting. The Antlers Vail condominiums – named Green Business of the Year by the Vail Valley Partnership Success Awards – is also proud to be a Green Star rated property. 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

Media Contacts: Rob LeVine, General Manager, Antlers at Vail,, 970.476.2471; or Darla Worden, WordenGroup Strategic Public Relations,, 307.734.5335


Some Special Guests

You’re never going to guess who stayed here last weekend.

“Were they rich and famous?” you ask.  (must be Brad Pitt and George Clooney)

“Were they powerful and influencial individuals?”  (Maybe the G20 stopped by on their way back from France)

“Were they a famous sports team?”  (Gotta be the Women’s Brazilian Soccer Team)

Maybe this will help.  A picture in the lobby at check in.

Recognize any of these people?

They are the Women in Leadership Board of the South Metro-Denver Chamber of Commerce and were the winners of this years Antlers Free Company Retreat.

Several companies and organizations submitted a simple form to qualify for accommodations for 12 people, meeting space with complimentary beverages and crumpets, gift baskets and a morning after breakfast.

I wasn’t on the committee that ultimately chose the winners, but from what I understand, it was a very difficult decision.  Magda King, our Sales Manager compared it to the “America’s Got Talent” show.  “Simon would have had a hard time eliminating some of the entries” she told me.

All the gals considered the weekend a total success and promised a return visit when it wouldn’t be “all work and no play”.

Ali told me "We've never had our annual meeting in such a comfortable atmosphere".


After 5 hours, it's time to decide where to have dinner.








Because of the success of this contest, we have decided to make it an annual event (dates to be determined).  Stay tuned.






“As the Antlers Turn”………19

From the Lost and Found Department.

In our travels, we have all had this conversation in one form or another …

Whether you’re alone or with your spouse or with the entire family, it’s time to check out of your hotel room (or in this case, one of our well appointed condominiums).

Mom looks at Dad, or any of the kids, and says “Do we have everything?  Did you check the dresser drawers?”

Dad replies “Yes we do and I did (?) check the drawers but I will check them again.  OK, let’s get out of here if we’re going to catch that flight back to Cleveland.”

The housekeepers arrive shortly after the room is empty and ready it for the next group of weary travelers.

In spite of the thorough efforts to pack all of  your personal items, these are some of the things the housekeepers will turn into the front desk after that family, or anyone for that matter, departs.  A favorite pillow, a cell phone, a teddy bear, a book, sunglasses, shoes, medication, business documents, a wallet or an entire suitcase.

Housekeeping doesn’t always find everything though……

Tom was working in unit 208 on a remodel project this summer and found a piece of jewelry.  The fireplace was being torn out and under the old gas line was a ring.  A class ring from Exeter High School in New Hampshire.  The date was “Class of 1963”, the initials were “DB”.

It's been under a pipe for quit a while. But how long?


Tom took the time to search the web and found that Exeter H.S. is still in business and has been graduating students since the 1800’s. He called and gave the information to the Alumni Director, Sandy Parks, and it was all she needed. The ring belonged to David Blaisdell and she would take it from there.  Tom promised to forward the item.

We in turn wondered when did he visit the Antlers?  We could only speculate that it was between 1972 and 1995.  (That is quite the window).

I recently talked to Sandy Parks after the piece of jewelry was in her possession and she told me she was trying to get information on Mr. Blaisdell.  This is the next correspondence I received:

Hello Mr. Ziccardi,

 My name is Sheila Blaisdell Oliver. I just wanted to email to say THANK YOU!  To know that so many people went through so much trouble to find us, is very heartwarming. The ring could have been kept as a find but instead a chain of people have made sure that it was returned to family. This is not something that is seen very often any longer. Please thank every person involved in the recovery of this ring for us.

 I am not sure if Mrs. Parks has told you yet but my father passed away in June of 2008 and my mother passed away five months later. I wish I knew how the ring came to your facility but it would all be a guess. We moved from N.H.  to New Mexico in 1984 and stayed for eight years. My father worked with Raytheon Missile Systems and traveled quite extensively.

 Mrs. Parks said that you would like to have an article written up in regards to this. I would love to do this for you. I cannot tell you when my father was ever in that area but I can give you a brief history of him, his family and what this all means to us. If you would give me time I would love to do this. I will also send you some pictures of the ring (as soon as it arrives) and our family, my father etc.

 I am the oldest……hurts to say that! I have three younger brothers. One who has a son named after my father. The ring will go to him unless everybody has another vision for it.

 Again, thank you from all of us. Our parents died far too early and this ring coming back from the past is such a wonderful thing.

Thank you,

 Sheila Oliver

Thank you Shiela Blaisdell Oliver.

It’s obvious this story has not ended.  I will pass along the happy ending when it arrives.  Stay tuned.


Guess What We Woke Up To

We were walking around in the courtyard in short sleeve shirts on Tuesday and put on a few extra layers on Wednesday with the recent Vail snow.

Wax those skiis and boards.  Find that parka and wool socks.  Make that reservation.

It has begun.

Courtyard Scare Crow wasn't ready for this

No matter what the weather, these guys never get along

“As the Antlers Turn”………18

Twenty Minutes on Thursday Morning.

It’s October and it has gotten quiet in Vail happy valley.

The staff uses this time to prepare for the upcoming ski season.  Housekeeping is fall cleaning the condominiums to a ridiculous level, the maintenance staff is tightening knobs after they clean and the front desk is sending out confirmations for the anticipated winter guests.

It’s 10:40 in the morning and suddenly Darci, working the front desk, completely alone, chatting on the phone with a travel agent, can only watch as things UN-ravel in front of her.  She dropped the phone.

One of the three guests staying with us fills her cup at our world class coffee station and gives a polite smile and good-bye to Darci as she pushes the lobby door open.  She just wants to enjoy the sunshine on the other side.  Darci smiles and waves to her while still talking to the travel agent.  Our guest walks through the opening with an Antlers cup and the door falls off.  The top hinge has let go.

The UPS guy is coming across the courtyard with a stack of packages on a dolly and he thinks the guest is holding the door open for him.  Actually she is balancing the 100 lb door with one hand and holding her ceramic Antlers coffee cup in the other.  He peaks around the packages he is wheeling and says “Thank you.  Great day isn’t it?”

Darci is now on the radio saying “Someone from maintenance please come to the front desk!”

“Give us a minute.”  was the reply.

NOW”, was her response.

Meanwhile……Magda walked into the Lobby and wanted to help after she saw the situation but she didn’t know Miley, (Rob and Evelyn’s dog, who he was tending for the day because Evelyn was out of town) was behind the closed door of the office.  She opened it and Miley immediately ran past the UPS guy and toward the opened door that was still being held up by the guest who now has dropped her Antlers mug that has shattered on the cobblestone.  The UPS guy helped her after realizing what was going on.  He propped the door up against the wall.

Darci yelled to Magda “Get the dog!”  She got back on the radio with her next announcement.  “Does anyone know where Rob is?  His dog is out and he’s fighting with Maggie in the courtyard”.  (Maggie is Chris’s dog and apparently they didn’t hit it off.)  Miley ran to the wild, not interested in a dog fight.  Tom, Ryan, Cayatano and Magda split up on the back side of the property. I was on the fourth floor and heard this exchange.

“Anybody see her?”

Tom:  “I’m on the bike bath.  She’s going west.”

Ryan:  “Did you say east?”

Cayatano:  “I see her.”

Tom:  “See her too.  She’s on her way up Forest Road.”

Magda:  “Please, please, please get her.  I’m the one that let the boss’s dog out.”

Tom:  “This dog is friendly until you get close.  Then she bolts.”

Ryan:  “It’s a Border Collie.  They’re friendly and smart.  She’s playing games with you.”

Tom:  “I don’t have time for games.”

Darci is now on the phone calling Rob’s cell.  “Miley got out.”

Rob calmly assures Darci that it will be fine.  “I’m in 506 and I’ll be right down.  I’m sure she is already having separation anxiety and is looking for me.”  He hangs up the phone and runs toward the creek thinking “Evelyn is going to kill me.”

I come down to the lobby and see the door leaning against the wall.

“What in the world is going on?”

Darci looks at me and says “All I know is I’m the only one here, the phones are ringing like we’re giving away free units for Christmas, dogs are running through the lobby and fighting in the courtyard, the front doors are falling off, everyone is out looking for Rob’s dog who is probably in Eagle by now and (she takes a deep breath) it’s only eleven o’clock.”

I turn and look toward the courtyard and Rob is riding one of the cruiser bikes and right behind him is Miley.  Her tongue waging in the breeze and a smile on her face.

Ryan comes back to hang the door and Tom meets with a contractor who has just pulled in.  Normal again.  Except for Darci who decides to take an early lunch.  She walks away and I hear her mumbling “You can’t make this [expletive] up.  I’m going to happy hour.”