Archive for March, 2013

An All-Day Planning Session on Sustainability… Fun? Really?

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Last week I got an invitation to volunteer an entire day to do an “alignment workshop” with the Eagle Valley Alliance for Sustainability.  On the surface, that offer was slightly less than compelling.  Given my somewhat stressed schedule (so what else is new?), I was really tempted to just say, “Sorry”.

Because it was my friend Kim Langmaid (the new President of EVAS) asking, and because the Antlers has been the Official Hotel of EVAS and largely because Bob Vanourek was facilitating (who’s at the very top of my all-time business heroes list), I said yes.  It turned out to be the best decision I’ve made in awhile.

Fifteen of the brightest people I know, led by a genius, in an incredibly valuable planning session.  What’s more, it was actually fun.  Bob’s alignment process addresses everything from Purpose, Vision, Values and Goals, to Strategy, Structure, Action Steps and Communication.  Much of that is covered in his book Triple Crown Leadership, plus a whole lot more.  

We spent the entire day on the initial “high-level” pieces.  As a sidebar, when we were talking about the Purpose of the organization (what many call a “Mission Statement”) I was particularly struck by one of Bob’s slides.  It reflected the stated purpose of the United States Humane Society … Celebrating Animals, Confronting Cruelty.  Wow … how’s that for powerful?  It made me think that every Mission Statement ought to be limited to four or five words.

At the end of the day, I admitted to feeling somewhat guilty that I had only spent half the time thinking about the future of EVAS, and the other half applying it all to the Antlers. I can’t wait to put it into practice.  Happily, EVAS has already started to.

Rob

5 Reasons to Visit Vail in April

Friday, March 8th, 2013
Vail skiing 50th anniversary

Early Vail ski instructors line up for photo op (credit: Vail Resorts)

Celebrating  Vail’s 50th remains the name of the game for the 2013 Vail ski season, right through its April spring skiing finale, with plenty of special late-season festivities – many of them free. The fun ranges from a new Nordic twist on the venerable Taste of Vail’s 22nd year through a tricky closing day event featuring “floatable athletes” launching from snow to icy pond. To keep all those good times company, the Antlers at Vail hotel is offering a 30-percent discount on its lodging rates for the month of April, bringing the rate for a studio suite below $200. The insider Vail travel experts at the Antlers also recommend these five reasons to enjoy their home resort this April:

1)    Taste of Vail – the iconic spring food and wine festival turns 22 this year, showcasing the area’s finest chefs and nation’s top vintners. A new Nordic Wine Tour kicks off the Taste with cross-country ski/snowshoe wine and cheese stations on the Vail Golf Course. April 3 – 6. Event tickets start from $50.

2)    Spring Back to Vail Celebration – a week-long end-of-season bash in honor of Vail’s 50th, featuring free live concerts including reggae legend and Grammy-winner Jimmy Cliff, performing April 14 at the Solaris Plaza in Vail Village. April 8 – 14.

3)    50th Anniversary Film Night – a look back at Vail’s 50 years in film from Roger Cotton Brown, who created the first ever promotional film about Vail in the early 60s. April 4 and 11. Show is free with ticket, available at Lionshead Vail Welcome Center from 9 a.m. on the day of the show only. Film starts at 5:30 p.m.

4)    Skiing Heritage Week – a U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame induction ceremony April 13 is a highlight in a week of events that also includes the Ishpeming International Film Festival of classic ski movies. April 8 – 14. $350 for the All-Access Pass.

5)    Vail World Pond Skimming Championships – thousands watch as costumed skiers and snowboarders vie for fame and glory as they attempt to clear a 100-foot, ice cold pond in this wacky annual close-of-season event. April 14. Lake Golden Peak at Vail Mountain’s Golden Peak Base Area. Free to watch; $75 to participate.

Antlers at Vail’s April discount includes 30 percent off regular rates for the month, with a $285/night studio suite available for $199. Check the Antlers at Vail website calendar or chat with Antlers staff for additional events – from family snowshoeing to a Segovian pig roast – to accompany an April Vail visit.

Antler Vail Luggage … Who Knew?

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

I love unsolicited crazy ideas.  I even have a reputation for sending emails with nothing in the subject line but “Crazy Idea #627″ (or 395, or 822 or…).   So I get this call the other day from Maria at VeraLuca Media.  She tells me that she represents Antler Luggage.  My first thought is, “How would you make a suitcase out of old, shed antlers?”

Silly me … she’s not thinking, “How would you make a hotel out of the same?”  It’s just a name, nitwit.

Anyway, Maria explains that Antler Luggage has just expanded their line of products with a series called “Vail”.  How amusing … no wonder she’s calling me … I guess.  She asks if we’d be interested in doing some kind of co-promotion with them.  They’ll provide a couple pieces of luggage (Vail luggage, of course) that we can give away.  No strings attached.   Really?  No strings attached?  You’re going to GIVE me something nice, that I can GIVE AWAY, and now you’re actually waiting for me to respond?  Say, this IS crazy.

For one who likes to say, “The answer is ‘Yes’, now what’s the question”, this is WAY too easy. 

True to form, if someone is willing to do something nice for us, we want to return the favor.  So not only will we come up with some kind of a contest to give away these lovely duffels with wheels, (keep an eye on our FB page), but I told her that we would also offer an immediate $40 one-time discount off anybody’s total room bill, who arrives with a piece of Antler Luggage.  It doesn’t even have to be AntlersVail Luggage …. just any old Antlers Luggage.  The $40 is representative of this, our 40th year in business.  Uh-oh… that promotional  message may be a bit too mixed.  Oh well … tough … $40 it is.  Who’s going to argue?