50th Annual Colorado FBLA State Leadership Conference in Vail during Vail’s 50th Anniversary

Welcome to Future Business Leaders of America for Vail's 50th anniversary!

Welcome to Future Business Leaders of America for Vail’s 50th anniversary!

The Antlers at Vail would like to extend a warm welcome to Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)! For more than 25 years, Future Business Leaders of America members have descended upon Vail for their state leadership conference and we are very happy to be able to host some of these young leaders here at the Antlers. The young leaders staying here at the Antlers come from all over Colorado. Though they are here to attend leadership workshops and to compete in business-related events in hopes of qualifying for the national conference in Orlando, we hope they manage to enjoy all of the fabulous amenities and activities that Vail has to offer. And, this year is the 50th annual Colorado FBLA State Leadership conference. It is apropos to be held here in Vail for Vail’s 50th anniversary.

Octogenarian, role model, Antlers friend

If you happened to be walking through the Antlers lobby on a January afternoon sometime in 2002, or 2003, or 2004, or …

You might have been lucky enough to see an elderly gentleman sitting on the couch, listening to a tape recorder making an awful whistling sound.  Although he may have appeared to be sleeping (who’s to say?) he was also listening to books on tape, having skied all morning on those 88 year young legs. Despite the fact that he could hardly see anymore (hence the audio books) he still had a twinkle in his eye that reflected a life worth living … to the max.  You may have also seen him whooping up on me with a monster cribbage board and a deck of cards big enough that you or I could read them across the room.  29, 2 … 29, 4 and a pair makes 6.

Carter Williams started staying at the Antlers back in the 80’s I think.  I remember his Canadian Mountain Holidays one piece.  He was no spring chicken, but I suspect he could ski your legs off even then.  In the Antlers lore of octogenarian, character guests … Vlasta, Brad & Jane, Bill & Jane (different Jane), Jim Porter, even my dad David … Carter will always hold a very special place in our hearts.

Recently there was an obituary that went viral about an everyman from Mississippi.  With all due respect to his daughter who authored that one (it was fabulous), I submit that Carter’s is better.  Maybe it’s just because I loved him …

Rob

 

Carter Williams passed away on Wednesday, March 27, 2013 in Wesley Chapel, Florida at the home of his daughter and son-in-law, Marnie and Kip Bennett, following a sudden, precipitous decline in health in his wonderfully long life.  His other three children, a granddaughter and a devoted caregiver were also by his side.  Carter was preceded in death by his parents Johnny and Ruth Williams, his beloved wife Judy Birch Williams, and his three younger sisters, Wanda Barthelow, Doris “Ducky” Burke and Nan Slusher.   Carter is survived by son Mark Williams of Seeley Lake, Montana and Mark’s daughters Katie and Madeline and their mother Ginger; daughter Marnie Williams Bennett and Kip Bennett of Wesley Chapel, Florida and their daughter Sydney Price and son Joshua Bennett; son Fred Williams and Mollie McGill of Boulder, Colorado and Fred’s sons Carter Williams, Issac Williams, Reece Yapuncich and his wife Jenel, and Mollie’s sons Jack and Alex Guerin; and daughter Beth Williams and Doug Pewitt also of Seeley Lake.

Carter Williams played his final hand in the cribbage game of life, pegging out at age 95.  He passed as he lived, persevering to the end and leaving the world in his wake.  He will be missed by the myriad of people whose lives he touched with his keen intellect and sharp wit. Born of humble beginnings on a ranch near Whitehall, Montana to Johnny and Ruth Williams, he spent his early years in a one-room mining shack with dirt floors in Elkhorn, Montana.  Dad later moved to Boulder when his father became deputy sheriff of Jefferson County.  Graduating from Jefferson County High School, he attended the University of Montana, graduating with a degree in economics and a subsequent law degree.

Refusing to allow school and later work to interfere with enjoying life became a recurring theme for Dad. He and his good friend Bob Fletcher lit out for Europe in 1937 billing themselves as Montana cowboys.  They spent ten months bicycling through pre World War II Europe where they encountered people from all walks of life including Mussolini’s son-in-law, members of Hitler’s Youth Movement and the ruler of Ireland.  One of the stories Dad told often was of sitting around a bonfire with two Scottish boys, Bertie Brash and John, and two German boys, Otto and Ivan, who were members of Hitler’s Youth Movement.  Otto posed the question, “What will you do when war comes?” a very foreign thought to Americans in 1937.  Carter took that question to heart and wrote an original oration, winning first place in both the University of Montana and later the Montana State Oratorical Competition.

Following his return from Europe aboard an Italian tramp steamer where he developed an aversion to anything resembling pasta, he finished his law degree, graduating at the top of his class.  After Pearl Harbor, he enrolled in the Civilian Pilot Training program, becoming a flight instructor prior to joining the Air Transport Command of the Army Air Corp.  Having dodged an assignment flying ”the Hump,” when one of his crew was diagnosed with trench foot and the crew was disbanded, Dad was reassigned and spent the latter war years stationed in Tripoli, Libya in North Africa.  Here he spent his time flying C46s east and west along the Mediterranean, playing tennis, winning poker games, riding motorcycles and generally making the world safe from serious military protocol.

Dad and his friend Bjarne Johnson joined their law practice with the established firm of I.W. Church and George Harris, creating the firm of Church, Harris, Johnson and Williams in 1949.  He met his wife of 62 years, Judy Birch during his early years working as an attorney in the Ford Building.   They married in March of 1949.  They began their life together doing three of his favorite things; skiing in Sun Valley, dancing with his beloved Judy, and playing poker.  Later they would travel together to the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo, Norway, the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, sail through the Caribbean and visit Mexico with friends.    Kids showed up, beginning with Mark in 1951, Marnie in 1953 and Fred and Beth, the twins in 1958.  His time in Great Falls was divided between family, the law firm, his various real estate adventures and his many civic duties.   In addition to forming the United Way of Cascade County, he was president of the Cascade County Chapter of the American Red Cross, a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers farm club Board of Directors, President of the Montana Tennis Association and a founding member of the Benefis Hospital Foundation.   He was also, and perhaps most importantly a founding member of the Great Falls Ski Bums, a group dedicated to fostering the irresponsible pursuit of fun on long upturned sticks on a steep, slippery surface.

Dad often credited his success, professionally and personally, to his ability to pick good partners:  Bill Croft of Croft Petroleum; his boyhood friend Glenn Kyler and the Kyler Ranch; his law partners, starting with Bjarne Johnson; his tennis partners; his indispensable assistant of 34 years, Janet Connolly; and the greatest partner of all, his devoted wife Judy.    Other business success included Big Sky Lake Properties near Seeley Lake and Sourdough Creek Properties in Bozeman. 

Dad enjoyed the challenges of his business endeavors, which helped keep his fertile mind engaged.  Although none of his children followed his path into the world of law or ranching, they did school him in skiing, windsurfing and hunting.  In a moment of introspection, he said all things being equal he would have rather been a ski instructor.  He did give it his best shot, taking to the slopes every chance he got until his 90th year.  Ever generous he included the extended family, in-laws, out-laws, kids, grandkids and peripheral friends on his ski vacations.  He effectively imparted the ski gene to his kids and grandkids and their lives are richer because of it.

As much as Dad was devoted to enjoying his recreational pursuits, he was also devoted to family, extended family and clearly understood the importance of giving back and leaving a positive legacy.   The Williams—Ario Emergency Room in Great Falls and the Glenn Kyler Tennis Courts in Boulder, Montana are testaments to Dad’s generosity.

Vacations and family gatherings – at the cabin on Seeley Lake, skiing in Vail, Purgatory and Sun Valley, windsurfing on the North Shore of Maui, scuba diving in Martinique and Kauai, or helicopter skiing in Canada – often centered around the cribbage board where he schooled all comers in the finer points of the game.  Although at times these gatherings seemed more like “cribbage camp” than family fun, they demonstrated Dad’s passion for engaging with his family.

Following the loss of his beloved Judy in November of 2011, Dad went to visit Marnie and Kip in Wesley Chapel, Florida last April.  The warmth of Marnie and Kip’s welcome and the Florida sunshine were enough and he, in true Carter fashion, invited himself to stay.  With the exception of a five-week visit to Montana and the cabin on Seeley Lake last summer, Dad spent his final months with Marnie and Kip.  

Dad exited the world in the same way he inhabited it, fiercely determined to do and be the best in all aspects of his life that he could control.  In his later years with deafness and blindness overtaking him and shrinking his environment to a cocoon of family and an inner circle of caregivers and friends, he looked upon life with happy bemusement, still claiming to be the luckiest guy on the planet. He truly woke each morning with a song in his heart.  He provided a role model for all.  Humble yet wise, smart and yet unassuming he always expected the best of himself and his kids.  He will be remembered as the man who taught us to snow ski, water ski, windsurf, hunt and treat people as equals regardless of their social standing.  Every cribbage game well played, ski run enjoyed, joke well told and poem recited by memory provide a testament to this remarkable man.

Carter Williams has caught the first gondola to the Pearly Gates and in Ski Bum parlance he is “skiing elsewhere.”  Après ski, if you listen you might hear “one more sip, won’t sink the ship.  Hallelue!”

Please join the family in a celebration of Carter’s life on April 19th, 2013 in the Grill Room at the Meadowlark Country Club from 4:00 to 8:00 pm. 

 

 

One for the Record Books: Ski Season Extended!

With two feet of new snow since closing day, and more than three feet over the past three days, Vail will reopen for skiing and snowboarding Friday, April 19 through Sunday, April 21.

With two feet of new snow since closing day, and more than three feet over the past three days, Vail will reopen for skiing and snowboarding Friday, April 19 through Sunday, April 21.

Today, two days after the ski season ended, Vail Resorts made an announcement that set social media abuzz–they are extending the ski season and reopening the mountain for one additional weekend! What a fantastic way to close out the 50th anniversary. With two feet of new snow since closing day, and more than three feet over the past three days, Vail will reopen for skiing and snowboarding Friday, April 19 through Sunday, April 21. Here are the details…


As of today, Vail plans to provide skiers and snowboarders access to more than 2,400 acres of terrain and the following lifts this weekend:

 

  • Gondola One
  • Avanti Express Lift (#2)
  • Wildwood Express Lift (# 3);
  • Mountaintop Express Lift (# 4);
  • High Noon Express Lift (#5);
  • Born Free Express Lift (#8)
  • Northwoods Express Lift (#11)
  • Eagle Bahn Gondola

Lifts will open at 9 a.m. There will be no beginner terrain available.

Skiing and snowboarding at Vail this weekend will be free for 2012-2013 season pass holders. Lift tickets will be available for purchase at the Lionshead Children’s Ski School office and at the ticket office in Mountain Plaza for $50. A special $25 ticket will be available for guests who hold season passes from non-Vail Resorts owned and operated resorts. Guests will have the opportunity to apply their weekend ticket purchase towards the purchase of a Vail Resorts 2013-2014 season pass.

Vail Ski & Snowboard School
The Vail Ski & Snowboard School will be open for private lessons only based out of Lionshead and Vail Village.

On-Mountain Dining
Dining will be available at Mid-Vail, Marketplace at Eagle’s Nest and Buffalo’s.

UPDATE: In honor of this 50th anniversary ski season extension the Antlers is offering an extended winter special of $139 per night for Studio, 1 Bedroom  or 1 Bedroom Bunk Condo (Valid 4/19 – 4/22).

Access to the Best of Vail

After a visit from the Easter Bunny, kids enjoy a hunt for eggs in Lionshead.

After a visit from the Easter Bunny, kids enjoy a hunt for eggs in Lionshead.

 

Today I am marking my two and a half week anniversary here at the Antlers at Vail with my second blog post. This is my first experience working in the lodging industry and while I have had the fortune to work with the Antlers as the official condo hotel of both the Bravo! Vail music festival and Vail Symposium, there has still been a lot for me to take in.

I feel very fortunate to be working here as a part of the Antlers family, and to get to experience to some extent what our owners and guests get to experience. My first week here our Grand Poobah (aka Rob) shared an informal SWOT analysis with me. The top item on the strengths list was “location”. But I don’t think that does it justice. It is really more like the very best access to all that Vail has to offer, and that is a lot.

The antlers-bedecked cruiser bikes are free for guests. A fun way to tour the village!

The antlers-bedecked cruiser bikes are free for guests. A fun way to tour the village!

 

Two weekends ago my family came into town for the Vail Rec District’s Easter egg hunt. We parked here at the Antlers, enjoyed the Easter activities and then stopped back in at the lobby to enjoy some conversation, coffee and hot chocolate for our daughter before heading home. Last weekend we took our daughter up skiing. Of course, everyone knows the convenient proximity of the Antlers to the gondola. Earlier this week I needed to run to the bank. Instead of getting in the car and driving, I grabbed one of the free antlers-bedecked cruiser bikes and enjoyed a refreshing ride through town. As a long-time Vail local, working here reminds me of all the reasons that I live here. I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to bringing my hiking boots in and enjoying some impromptu Vail hikes this summer!

Posted by: Liana, the new marketing gal

Antlers at Vail Hires Liana Moore as Director of Marketing

Antlers at Vail new Director of Marketing

The Antlers welcomes new Director of Marketing Liana Moore

You’ve already heard from our new Director of Marketing Liana Moore here on the blog, expounding on the joys of Vail pond skimming, but we thought we’d share the official news release about this exciting new addition to our Antlers team as well…

Vail, Colorado – April 10, 2013 – The Antlers at Vail has named Liana Moore as director of marketing, announced Antlers General Manager Rob LeVine.  In the position, Moore will oversee all aspects of marketing for the popular condo hotel in Vail’s Lionshead. “I’ve already had the pleasure of working with the Antlers in a different capacity for several years,” says Moore, who previously served with two local nonprofits – Bravo! Vail Music Festival and the Vail Symposium – for which the Antlers is official condo hotel. “I’m excited to get to don my marketing hat as a part of the Antlers team.”

“Liana brings an in-depth understanding of the Vail Valley to the Antlers,” says LeVine, “and her marketing experience includes everything from marketing research to public relations. We look forward to having her on our team and assisting us with the big picture as we continue to grow.”

In 1996, Moore began her work as a freelancer for Dallas public relations firms then moved to a financial company where she worked in marketing research. After earning a Master’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in entrepreneurship from Southern Methodist University, Moore launched her own business in the travel industry. She moved to the Vail Valley in 2000 where she served as director of marketing and public relations for Bravo! Vail Music Festival before founding Kaleidos Marketing to provide marketing strategy and campaigns, public relations plans and social media campaigns for clients. She was elected to the Vail Symposium Board of Directors in 2007, becoming executive director in 2010. She resides in Eagle/Vail, Colorado with her husband and two children.

Since 1972, the Antlers at Vail hotel has offered a unique Vail lodging experience in a relaxed mountain setting. With condominiums ranging from studio suites to four bedrooms, the Antlers provides fully-equipped kitchens, fireplaces, outdoor balconies, free Internet and free parking, and is conveniently located in Vail’s Lionshead area, steps from restaurants, galleries, shops, the free Vail town shuttle and Vail’s Gondola. For more information, call 1-800-843-8245 or visit www.antlersvail.com.

World Pond Skimming Championships at “Lake Golden Peak” April 14

World Championship Pond Skimming in Vail, Colorado

An athlete competes in the World Pond Skimming Championships. He takes to the air in the hopes of making it across a freezing pond before sinking. Photo Credit: Tom Green, Courtesy Vail Resorts

I’m the new marketing gal at the Antlers and am excited to have a platform here at the Antlers to share some of my favorite things about this unique community that I’ve chosen to call home.

Vail’s winter season boasts some pretty spectacular events from amazing concerts and fireworks to fabulously fun New Year’s parties. But ski season isn’t over yet and one of my most favorite events will be here next weekend: the legendary World Pond Skimming Championships, which returns to “Lake Golden Peak” on April 14.

The annual competition entails floatable (and sometimes sinkable) athletes launching themselves off an on-snow jump onto an icy pond in attempt to successfully exit the pond on both feet. There is no best costume trophy, but there should be. All of these very talented athletes also know how to have fun by dressing up in some pretty funny costumes.

Pond Skimming is a part of Spring Back to Vail, the biggest end of season bash in the Rocky Mountains. Most people probably come to Spring Back to Vail for the jam-packed schedule of headliner concerts, but I’d make the trip just for the Pond Skimming.

Also, another favorite is the Taste of Vail. New to this year’s extravaganza was the Nordic Wine Sampler (happening as I post this) where participants cross country ski or snowshoe around the Vail Nordic Center while stopping at various stations for wine and cheese. It is followed Thursday, by the 9th Annual Colorado Lamb Cook-off and Après Ski Tasting in the heart of Vail Village, which can be fun for the whole family. Taste of Vail continues with the Mountaintop Picnic Friday and concludes with the Grand Tasting Saturday and lots of specialty seminars in between.

Posted by: Liana, the Antlers New Marketing Gal