Antlers at Vail Hotel Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Antlers at Vail hotel in 1972  

 The Antlers at Vail hotel, then (1972) and now.

For forty years the Antlers at Vail Hotel has welcomed guests of all kinds:  celebs like Venus Williams and Robert Kennedy, Jr., babies and octogenarians, bunny slope skiers and black diamond pros, rock stars and business executives, families and singles, brides and grooms, yuppies and hipsters, boomers and empty-nesters—and canines galore.

The hotel’s anniversary coincides with Vail’s 50th birthday festivities, celebrating the opening of the new resort for the 1962-’63 ski season. Ten years later, the Antlers was one of the first hotels to open in the Lionshead area of Vail. The condominium hotel has evolved and grown over its four decades—and general manager Rob LeVine has led the property through many of its significant transitions.

“I’ve been here since 1984, and I can remember many of the Antlers’ milestones: our first website back in 1996, our $22 million renovation from 2000 to 2002, and our new swimming pool in 2004,” he says. “I’ve also been here long enough to remember when it snowed on the fourth of July, the time our roof leaked like a sieve and the year we booked a truck drivers’ convention and a ballerina group during the same week.”

As part of the Antlers’ 40th birthday festivities, now through June 30, 2013 travelers can ‘like’ the Antlers at Vail’s Facebook page and submit their own memories, photos, anecdotes and videos about their past stays at the hotel. A panel of judges will review the submissions and award one lucky winner a two-night, two-bedroom suite stay for up to four people, including free parking, Internet, and health club access. The Antlers will be running other specials and promotions throughout the year.

The Antlers Vail offers condominiums ranging from studio suites up to four bedrooms with fully-equipped kitchens, fireplaces, outdoor balconies, free Internet access and free heated indoor parking – plus free equipment storage for skiers and boarders. Every room provides plenty of space to spread out and all the comforts of home, and the Antlers’ Vail-insider staff is on call to answer questions big or small.

Conveniently located 200 yards from the Vail Gondola, numerous restaurants, galleries and shops are within walking distance and the free Vail town shuttle stops just footsteps away.  Named the Vail Valley ‘Green Business of the Year’ in 2009, the Antlers Vail condominiums are also proud to be named a Platinum Service Award Winner by the Vail Valley Partnership.  For more information, call 1-800-843-8245 or visit  www.AntlersVail.com.

Bowling with the Governor

Not too long ago my friend Jenn Bruno, who along with her husband owns one of the nicest stores in Vail, Due Luca Bruno, told me that she was helping the Red Sandstone Elementary School with a fundraiser to hire a librarian (what an admirable goal).  She proceeded to tell me that the fundraiser was similar to the Mask Project, only it would be bowling pins that would be auctioned off.  Fun!  Then she said that Elaine Kelton told her I knew Governor Hickenlooper and asked if I could get him to sign a bowling pin.

Whoops … who said I knew the Governor?!  I’ve MET the Governor.  It would be a stretch to say that I KNOW him.  I guarantee you that the Governor doesn’t KNOW me.  Oh well, what the heck … I’ll try.

I called my friend Trisha Smith at CACI (who KNOWS people in the Governor’s office) and asked for her help.  True to form, she said that she’d try … bring her the bowling pin.   When I told Jenn that we’d do our best,  she asked if he would decorate the pin as well as sign it.

Uh, no … the Gov may SIGN the pin, he isn’t decorating anything.  He’s kinda busy.  After a little further discussion though, Trish suggested having someone paint the Capitol Building on the pin.  After all, it’s shaped a little like a bowling pin.  I passed that idea on to Jenn, and she loved it.  A week later she dropped off a fabulously decorated bowling pin, complete with the Gold Dome.

 

The fundraiser is February 1, so now we’re running out of time.  Fortunately, yesterday was the annual CACI Business Day at the Capitol and guess who was the keynote speaker?  How convenient.  As he approached the head table I cornered him and said, “Governor, I’ve got a crazy favor to ask … would you sign this bowling pin for an elementary school fundraiser?”  Being the affable guy that he is, the response was predictable … “Sure I will, got a pen?”

Larry Laszlo, one of the best photographers in Denver, was nice enough to send me these pictures.

For what it’s worth, the Governor’s subsequent talk and response to the Q&A cemented my admiration for him.  I can’t tell you how lucky I think we are in Colorado to have Governor Hickenlooper and his team running this state.

And I’d say that even if he hadn’t signed the bowling pin.

 

Dinner and a Show at Sushi Oka in Vail Village

I had friends in town last night so we decided to go out for dinner, with the all the restaurants in Vail it can be overwhelming at times trying to decide where to go. For us though any where would be fantastic since we come from a small town where majority of the restaurant choices involve order by number meal deals, and drive through windows. Even though I have lived here for over 12 years it’s still nice to have a variety of places to choose from.  I thought it would be a nice change of pace for all of us to go to Sushi Oka in Vail Village. It’s a Japanese restaurant with Hibachi tables and also a sushi bar. We chose to sit at one of the hibachi tables which is always fun. Our chef was very entertaining

The onion volcano is always a crowd pleaser!

Overall we had a good time, the food was good and we did get there early so we beat the crowds and didn’t have to have a reservation, which is always a huge plus!

Annual Big Beers, Belgians, and Barleywines at Vail Cascade

If you are looking for something a little different to do this weekend and really like beer, the annual Big Beers, Belgians, and Barleywines festival is starting Thursday January 10th at the Vail Cascade hotel. In it’s 13th year here in Vail this festival is different from most mainly because the 2 main criteria for the beers is they must be Belgian style and must be more than 7% alcohol! It features a homebrewers competition, beer paring dinners, and tasting for the public on Saturday afternoon.  For more information and to purchase tickets to events visit their website here. Want to be even more adventurous check out two of our local breweries Crazy Mountain Brewery located in Edwards Colorado has a tasting room. Bonfire Brewing CO located in Eagle Colorado has a bar and tasting room, they do have live music sometimes on the weekends.

Antlers at Vail Hotel Offers Complimentary Snowshoeing for Guests

Snowshoeing at the Antlers at Vail hotel

Photo: Dee and Tula Monstah

“Do something I’ve never done before” is a popular New Year’s resolution, and the Antlers at Vail hotel is making it easy for its guests to try the sport of snowshoeing. “If you can walk, you can snowshoe,” says Antlers General Manager Rob LeVine. “Because our guests love hiking so much in the summer, we decided to invest in snowshoes so they can explore the Vail Valley on foot in the winter.”

Snowshoeing is easy to learn and suited for people of any athletic ability. Beginners might enjoy an easy stroll at the Vail Golf Course, while more experienced athletes can get off the grid with a hike at Vail Pass or take a short drive to Meadow Mountain in nearby Minturn. The Antlers staff is happy to recommend trails, and snowshoes are available on a first-come, first-serve basis to registered guests.

The Antlers Vail offers condominiums ranging from studio suites up to four bedrooms with fully-equipped kitchens, fireplaces, outdoor balconies, free Internet access and free heated indoor parking – plus free snowshoe rental. Every room provides plenty of space to spread out and all the comforts of home, and the Antlers’ Vail-insider staff is on call to answer questions big or small. Conveniently located 200 yards from the Vail Gondola, numerous restaurants, galleries and shops are within walking distance and the free Vail town shuttle stops just footsteps away. For more information, call 1-800-843-8245 or visit www.antlersvail.com.

Last Vail Chairlift Ride of 2012

I haven’t often been FIRST at anything (other than some seriously age-handicapped events), so I thought I’d go for LAST.  And I succeeded.  On the afternoon of New Year’s Eve, I found myself above Eagles Nest with only a few minutes before 3:30 lift closure time.  It was the last day of my Vail vacation, and I just wasn’t ready to embark on the final run to the bottom of the mountain (and the welcoming fireplace in The Antlers).  So, I blasted (and that is a very relative term) down Simba hoping to get to the Pride Express lift for one more trip to the top and, then, El Ultimo run.  The lift line corrals were completely empty when I got to the bottom of the chairlift and, when I cruised through the “singles” lane, I found that the rope was tied across the entry to the lift with the dreaded “closed” sign.  But I went into a tuck, stood up on the other side of the rope and looked beseechingly at the lift operator, saying “dude, it’s the last run of my vacay…”  And, he compassionately replied, “you’ve overwhelmed me.”  And, thus, I gained passage to the lift and became THE LAST SKIER OF 2012 TO RIDE UP THE PRIDE EXPRESS LIFT!

Epilogue … Wayne Skigen happily sitting in front of the Antlers at Vail lobby fireplace