Delight The Weird: Unique Hotel Amenities

I enjoy reading Seth Godin’s blog. He of the Purple Cow fame. One of his recent posts was titled “Delighting the Weird“. The essence of it is differentiation. Not just performing well, but also doing things that nobody else does.

The Antlers finds itself in a fun but challenging position as an independent property, competing against some awful big companies. Our neighbors include the Marriott, Four Seasons, and Ritz Carlton. Even our main condominium competition … Lionsquare, Montaneros, Manor Vail, Landmark and the Vail Spa are managed by Wyndham, Destination and East-West Resorts. Each of those companies have portfolios that make the Antlers look like a gnat.

So the name of our game has to be differentiation. If we try to compete against those big guys as just a well run commodity, we’re toast.

Free, unique hotel amenities

So what do we do to be unique? How about free, unique hotel amenities? Well, stuff like not collecting resort fees sets us apart from most of them. That’s nice, but it’s not THAT unique. Surely there are others who do the same. Aren’t there?

No, what’s REALLY different? How about a free GoPro camera loaner program? Now we’re talkin’. Free snowshoe rentals? Yeah, baby. Maybe a minivan for our condominium owners to use when they’re here. Again, one of our free & unique hotel amenities.

Under the heading of “Playing to your strength”, our guests have always told us how much they appreciate our well-equipped kitchens. Okay, time to amp it up … now we have a small appliance loaner program (free) with everything from waffle makers to toaster ovens to full on mixers. If your condo doesn’t have something you need, say the word … it’s on its way. While that doesn’t qualify as bizarre, I’m pretty sure it’s not something those other guys are doing. Happily, that effort also falls squarely in line with our motto of, “The answer is ‘yes’, now what’s the question?”

unique hotel amenities, Vail, hotel, lodging, delight the weird

We’ll continue to brainstorm at almost every one of our staff meetings about what we can do to set ourselves apart … to delight the weird. Of course, we’re always open to suggestions, too.

The best part is that although it’s challenging, dreaming up stuff like this and then implementing it immediately (corporate red tape? No thanks) helps make this a really fun place to work. We hope it makes it a really fun place to stay as well.

Rob

There’s still time to enjoy Vail winter events & epic ski conditions!

Big air at last year's Burton US Open. Photo courtesy Vail Resorts and Dave Lehl.

Big air at last year’s Burton US Open. Photo courtesy Vail Resorts and Dave Lehl.

Since the first of the year Vail has been measuring snow by the foot, and more is in the forecast! Vail ski conditions are phenomenal. There is still time to book your ski vacation at the Antlers at Vail with about half the season left and some iconic Vail winter events still to come.

Upcoming Vail Winter Events

Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships returns to Vail, Colorado March 3-8, 2014. The Burton US Open and Vail will host over 100 of the world’s best riders like Shaun White, Mark McMorris, Kelly Clark, Torah Bright, Jamie Anderson, Iouri Podladtchikov and more, for four days of progressive Halfpipe and Slopestyle competitions that offer over $340,000 in cash prizes. Couldn’t make it to Sochi? This just might be your chance to see some of our Olympic medalists compete in person at this Vail winter event.

America’s original Pro/Am celebrity ski event, the Korbel American Ski Classic, returns to Vail Mountain March 19-23, 2014. The Ski Classic will once again feature a full slate of on-hill competitions including the Conway Cup community team race, Legends Giant Slalom and the Korbel Ford Cup celebrity team racing and the Future Legends Race. The festivities off the racecourse will be equally enjoyable, with the Bud Light Mountains of Music free concert, Hold ‘em for Hope benefit dinner and auction and the Legends of Skiing banquet.

The Vail Film Festival promotes independent film and fosters independent filmmakers. From March 27-30, 2014 the festival will screening some of the year’s top films from around the globe, the festival will also feature industry panel discussions, a special awards ceremony, family festivities, ski and snowboarding events and VIP parties.

Pink Vail_ZMahone-163Pink Vail is the world’s biggest ski day to conquer cancer. On April 5, 2014 participants will come together for a festive day on Vail Mountain to commemorate our united fight against cancer. All proceeds from Pink Vail benefit patient care and resources at Shaw Regional Cancer Center. Antlers at Vail is a proud sponsor and an Official Hotel of Pink Vail. We are offering the following lodging specials and discounts to Pink Vail participants for the nights of April 4 & 5. In addition, we are donating $5 per room night to Pink Vail. you can book your condominium now and we’ll credit you once you hit the specified fundraising marks.

  • $199/night for Pink Vail participants
  • Participants who raise $300-$749 will receive a lodging rate of $129/night in a studio, 1 BR, or 1 BR with bunks
  • Participants who raise $750 or more will receive a lodging rate of $99/night in a studio, 1 BR, or 1 BR with bunks

April 2-5, 2014 the Taste of Vail will showcase more than 30 of Vail’s finest chefs and restaurateurs alongside the owners and winemakers from nearly 50 of the countries’ top wineries.

Spring Back to Vail, the biggest end-of-season bash in the Rocky Mountains, returns to Vail April 7-20, 2014!  This celebration concludes the season in style with some serious fun under the sun, including free live concerts, the infamous World Pond Skimming Championships, après after-dark parties, base area giveaways, and so much more! Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, STS9 and Steel Pulse will headline the Spring Back to Vail concert series, wrapping up the 2013-2014 ski and snowboard season. All concerts are free and open to the public.

And, of course in addition to epic skiing and amazing winter events there is so much else to do all season long from world-class shopping to snowshoeing, ice skating, sleigh rides and tubing and ski biking up at Adventure Ridge. Discover our top 5 family-friendly winter activities.

Pink Vail: The World’s Biggest Ski Day to Conquer Cancer

The Antlers at Vail hotel is offering special Pink Vail rates April 4-5, 2014

The Antlers at Vail hotel is offering special Pink Vail rates April 4-5, 2014

People walk, run, and even shave their heads to benefit cancer care. Here in Vail, we ski! 100% of the proceeds from Pink Vail stay local, benefiting patient care and survivorship programs at Shaw Regional Cancer Center – a boutique cancer center serving residents of Colorado and around the country. Unfortunately, many of us have been affected by cancer. Pink Vail celebrates the united fight against the disease in a fun and unforgettable way.

We at the Antlers at Vail like to support good causes and so are an official hotel and not only are we offering great Pink Vail lodging rates to participants but we will also donate $5 for each room booked to Pink Vail.

  • We are offering Pink Vail participants a special $199/night for April 4 & 5, 2014.
  • Participants who raise $300-$749 will receive a rate of $129/night in a studio, 1 BR, or 1 BR with bunks for April 4 & 5, 2014 .
  • Participants who raise $750 or more will receive a rate of $99/night in a studio, 1 BR, or 1 BR with bunks for April 4 & 5, 2014 .

Call (800) 843-8245 and mention code: Pink Vail or 142870 to book! To sign up to fundraise go to PinkVail.com.

 

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

Register solo or form a team at www.pinkvail.com and ask friends and family to support your fundraising efforts. Then, join us on April 5, 2014 for a day on Vail Mountain to celebrate our united fight against cancer. Incredible prizes are awarded to top fundraisers, best costumes, and winners of the “Checkpoint Challenge.” The event includes on-mountain deck parties, live music, and the Celebration Ski-Down—a tribute ski to those who have fought or lost their battle with cancer. All proceeds from Pink Vail benefit patient care and resources at Shaw Regional Cancer Center.

 

REGISTER AS AN INDIVIDUAL

START/JOIN A TEAM

DONATE

 

Government at its Best

We’ve said it before.  You’ve heard it before … maybe a zillion times. We live in an amazing place … but this time it’s with a different twist.

Aside from the incredible aesthetics, recreation, culture and obvious “specialness” of Vail, behind the scenes we are beyond lucky to be served and led by the most incredible group of people you can imagine. With apologies to others equally deserving of the shout-out, Stan Zemler, Kelli McDonald, Suzanne Silverthorn, George Ruther, Dwight Henninger, Pam Brandmeyer, Judy Camp, Mark Miller and Kristin Bertuglia are the ones who the Antlers comes in the most contact with. To a person, they are the most professional, accomplished and motivated bunch of folks you’ll ever meet.

With all due respect to our elected officials (who by and large are pretty good too), these are the working stiffs who get it done. Anybody who ever complains about “government employees” just isn’t familiar with Vail. Period.

So what motivated this over-the-top, smoke-up-your-skirt rave? Simple … I happened to take the time to read the Town of Vail’s 2013 Year in Review. It took awhile. Quite awhile. I encourage anyone with a modicum of connection to the ToV, to look at it … at least skim it. As a sidebar, the Antlers is honored to get a mention in that sizable document … first person to tell me where, gets a free night at the Antlers. Not you Suzanne … you author, you. Not you either Kristin … hint, hint. And no fair using ctrl-f, you have to read it.

Pardon my effusiveness, but the sheer volume of high quality work accomplished by this organization is mind-blowing. From complicated infrastructure improvements to all manners of economic development to an unceasing dedication to environmental impacts (in everything they do) … it’s beyond inspiring. It’s overwhelming.

We who live in Vail, full-time or part-time, as well as those who just visit occasionally, owe these people and everyone who works for the Town, a HUGE debt of gratitude.

Vail Valley Hospitality Professional of the Year!

Last Friday night, January 31, The Vail Valley Partnership held their annual Success Awards Gala.  It’s the same event at which the Antlers won the Business of the Year Award in 2003 and the Green Business of the Year in 2009.  This year, our very own Magdalena King was nominated for Hospitality Professional of the Year.  Out of several dozen nominees, Magda was then chosen as one of three finalists going into the awards ceremony.  Two nights ago at the Vilar Center, we erupted in cheers when her name was called from the stage as the Vail Valley Hospitality Professional of 2014.

Magda award

We could simply not be any more proud of Magda.  It’s so nice to know that others recognized what we already knew … that nobody could possibly be more deserving of this recognition. I could go on and on (and would be happy to).  However, let me just say that in addition to the countless examples of her professionalism (and everything that entails), Magda constantly inspires me and everyone else around her, to be more professional as well.

Magda & Cristina

It was quite fitting that upon receiving her award, she offered a brief “acceptance speech” which was both gracious and thoughtful.  Almost as many people (probably a hundred) congratulated her on her “award winning” public comments, as on the actual award itself.  It was great!

Shame on us for one thing … we didn’t think to get a good picture of Magda in her time of grandeur.  I took this one of her and her sister Cristina (on the left) with my phone.  It will have to do for now, but that’s a shame because there is also a great story behind her beautiful dress.

At the party afterward when Jill Lammers, the Vice-President of the Partnership, complimented Magda on that dress, I had to jump in and point out that Magda told me she had designed it herself, back when she lived in Ecuador.  Jill’s reaction was immediate, humorous and perfect … “Shut UP!” she exclaimed, “You win this award AND you designed your own dress!  You’re killing me.”

All in all, thanks to Magdalena, the whole evening made all of us at the Antlers feel super proud.

Rob