As the Antlers Turn…Not Quite a Remodel…Ulmschneider Blazes LED Trail

Mark Ulmschneider, owner of Unit 517 at the Antlers, must have been reading my mind.

After converting the majority of lighting in the common areas of the Antlers to the newer, more efficient and long lasting LED lighting, it’s now time to consider the same for our individual condominiums.  I thought it best to start replacing the halogen type bulbs first because availability is quickly becoming non-existent.

I did a walk through of all the units and counted only the halogen-par type bulbs in each.  Some of the units have only 3 recessed in the kitchen and others have over 40 throughout the condominium.  Total for all the building is over 950.

That’s a lot of light bulbs and remember, it does not include the standard incandescent bulbs in the lamps and chandeliers (let’s throw another 1,000 in when those are counted).

Having a discussion with Mark this past winter about the replacement and conversion of all lighting over time, he said “Why don’t you just go ahead and do my whole place.  It’s all got to be done eventually anyway, doesn’t it?”

So that I did.  Twenty-six LED’s were swapped out at a cost of $565.

I must say that the quality of the light is nearly identical to the original and one would be hard pressed to notice any difference.

I talked with Mark the other day and explained that although LED lights use less energy, the savings on his monthly utility bill would not be that significant.  But I do have every intention to track his Holy Cross bills in the future and find out just how much he actually does save over time.

Important as any energy savings are, just as important is the impression the Antlers leaves on future guests.  More emphasis is put on green initiatives in our industry these days and staying abreast with these changes is no longer a choice, but a necessity.

Also, this conversion is guaranteed against failure for at least 5 years and replacing burned out light bulbs dozens of times every year is now a task in the past (at least in unit 517).

Cathedral kitchen and bar lights are all on dimmer switches

Cathedral kitchen and bar lights are all on dimmer switches




Seventy-five watt equivalents use only 15 watts after the exchange

Seventy-five watt equivalents use only 15 watts after the exchange

The chandelier lights are flame type and also on a dimmer

The chandelier lights are flame type and also on a dimmer









Thanks Mark for moving forward on this.

Now we need to come up with a plan to replace the other 939 lights and a 1,000 more after that.  (Actually, we are putting some thought into this and we’ll be asking for your feed back soon.)



Antlers at Vail Hosts Vail Women’s Golf and Yoga Wellness Retreat

VailGolfClub_RetreatLogoThe Antlers at Vail is excited to be the Vail lodging partner for another new and exciting event–the inaugural Vail Women’s Golf and Yoga Wellness Retreat which will help women connect, learn, network and explore Vail’s picturesque surroundings while enjoying an unique learning environment with instructors, special guests and more, June 19-22.

The Vail Women’s Golf & Yoga Wellness Retreat includes:

• Three-night stay at The Antlers at Vail hotel
• Two 18 hole rounds at the Vail Golf Club
• Evening cocktail and dinner receptions on Thursday and Saturday
• PGA & LPGA instruction, plus specialized on-course coaching
• RYT certified instruction during daily yoga classes
• Golf, yoga and wellness workshops
• Lunch following golf on Friday and Saturday
• Guided hiking on Vail Mountain

Vail Women's Golf and Yoga Wellness Retreat, vail golf, vail hotel, vail summer, vail

The Antlers at Vail is excited to be the Vail lodging partner for the inaugural Vail Women’s Golf and Yoga Wellness Retreat.

Passionate about living life to its fullest, LINC Golf & Wellness founder, Kathleen Heiney, who is a LPGA teaching professional, RYT certified yoga instructor and fitness expert, was the brainchild behind this unique event coming to Vail. She says it’s amazing what can happen when students focus on the mind-body connection. “I have always wanted to create an amazing weekend that incorporates both golf and yoga,” said Heiney. “The two sports go hand-in-hand. When I started teaching and practicing yoga, I realized how much my game started to shift. Not only will yoga improve your flexibility in your swing, but it will ultimately improve the strength and power of your mind. That’s the beauty of combining the two together.”

Vail Women's Golf and Yoga Wellness Retreat

Vail Women’s Golf and Yoga Wellness Retreat will help women connect, learn, network and explore Vail’s picturesque surroundings.

Joining Heiney are Vail Golf Club Director and PGA Class A certified professional, Alice Plain, and former NJCAA National College Coach of the Year and inspire Golf founder, Jon Levy, to round out the all-star cast of instructors for the event’s inaugural year. Each will bring with them not only a passion for golf, but enthusiasm for overall health and wellness, learning and fun during the retreat. “Vail is a beautiful setting for this unique retreat,” said Plain. “Our participants will leave feeling refreshed, have a new love for the game of golf and yoga and a sense of accomplishment, all the while enjoying a wonderful weekend in the mountains.”

Limited to 30 participants, golfers of all levels are welcome – including beginners – as are those who practice yoga at different levels, or not at all. Event cost will increase to $1,199 after May 5.

For more information about the inaugural Vail Women’s Golf and Yoga Wellness Retreat, or to register, contact Heiney at 303-380-7175, email or visit, or

Trash Pickin’ and Picnickin’ is Back!


Trash Pickin’ and Picnickin’ is Back!

What’s fun, free – and green all over? The Antlers at Vail’s ‘Trash Pickin’ & Picnickin’ Package’!

Thank you to our guests for a fantastic winter 2013/2014! The sun is out and we are preparing for summer. As a special thank you, we’d like to invite you to be a part of our green team this weekend with Trash Pickin’ & Picnickin’. You can help us pick up trash on the highway for a few hours Saturday morning (April 26), join us for a free picnic afterward (that’s optional) and we’ll give you a free night* on Friday or Saturday night.  That’s it … no other catch.  If you want to stay an additional night, we have special rates available.  But if you just stay one night … it’s a freebie! It’s our way of thanking you for staying with us, and for helping us keep our world a little cleaner place.

Guests will enjoy participating in one of its most long-standing sustainable efforts  – its highway cleanup program. General manager Rob LeVine says, “We’ve been cleaning up our two-mile stretch of Vail Pass since 1988; this year, we thought our guests might like to join us and see what a thoroughly good time we always have.” The Antlers – which has incorporated numerous eco-friendly business practices long before the term ‘green’ was coined – recently was awarded the TripAdvisor GreenLeader and Actively Green 2015 statuses, in addition to the Vail Valley Success Awards 2009 Green Business of the Year.

Call us at 800-843-8245!

*Limited availability.


As the Antlers Turns …. Things are really coming apart

In a manner of speaking of course.  It’s as if there’s a quiet tornado being directed through designated units at the Antlers.  You see everything in its place one day, turn around, and it’s gone.

As the ski season winds down (and oh by the way, it’s been a great month) nearly all the condominiums with major improvements scheduled have taken on a different look.

Pete, the mastermind behind the madness, has focused on removing furniture and all the nick-knacks from the units.  “We want to make sure all the owners’ belongings are safe and properly stored before actual construction begins” he told me.

You’ll notice in the photos that some demolition has begun but the “loud stuff” will wait until after the Mountain closes.  “We’re being considerate of the guests we have in house.  We can pull carpet and disassemble cabinets without too much noise, but hammering out tile and taking down walls is part of the schedule that can wait until Vail Mountain is closed.”

These guys have been busy as depicted below:

Unit 302 will be getting new carpet...

Unit 302 will be getting new carpet…

...and the replacement of a 20 year old fireplace

…and the replacement of a 20 year old fireplace….

....and new windows and doors, and ceiling encapsulation and a new bathroom.

….and new windows and doors, and ceiling encapsulation and a new bathroom. WOW

We hope unit 402 is scheduled for a new kitchen.

We hope unit 109 is scheduled for a new kitchen….

While we're at it, new windows and doors.

…while we’re at it, install new windows and doors in 403.

The guys get rid of the furniture in 414...

The guys remove the furniture in 414…

....and Ramone sweeps up the evidence.

….and Ramon sweeps up the evidence.

309 will be getting some new carpet

Looks like 309 will be getting some new carpet.








The ceilings in 410 are scheduled to be abated.  The furniture will be in the way....

The ceilings in 410 are scheduled to be abated and since the furniture will be in the way….

....and please replace the carpet when your done.

… please replace the carpet when you’re done.

Where is all this stuff going for the time being?

Completely safe and organized in the lower parking structure.

Completely safe and organized in the lower parking structure.

....snug as a bug in a basement.

….snug as a bug in a basement.

Things are about to get a little more intense in the coming weeks.

Stay tuned.




2014 Vail Golf Course Openings

The Vail area boasts a large variety of golf courses set amidst the natural beauty of majestic peaks. Many of these Vail golf courses were designed by greats such as Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman, Tom Fazio, Robert Trent Jones, Jr. and equal Vail’s world-class skiing.

The 2014 golf season in Vail has begun! We are in the window of time here in our happy valley where you can ski in the morning and play golf in the afternoon. So far Gypsum Creek and Eagle Ranch have opened, with Sonnenalp to follow this weekend. Following is a list of 2014 Vail golf course opening dates. Our front desk is always happy to help you make a tee time. Happy golfing!

vail golf, vail hotel, vail summer, vail

Vail Golf Club opens early May. Photo courtesy Vail Rec District.

2014 Vail Golf Course Openings

Beaver Creek Golf Club Opens May 9, 2014

Eagle Ranch Golf Club is Now Open

Eagle Vail Golf Club Opens Early May

Gypsum Creek Golf Club is Now Open

Red Sky Ranch Golf Club Opens May 9, 2014

The Club at Cordillera Opens the Valley Course April 2014

Sonnenalp Golf Club Opens April 12, 2014

The Vail Golf Club Opens Early May 2014


The Vail Insider: Spring is Upon Us

The Antlers at Vail hotel’s new monthly column on upcoming events and activities

As a longtime local, I love spring in Vail!

SticksMud, spring vail, spring in vail

What kid wouldn’t want to play in spring mud?

Once upon a time April marked the start of “mud season” in Vail. Us local marketers and PR professionals soon banned that term. Now we refer to this season as “shoulder season,” or just spring. But I really kind of like the term “mud season” because it tells me that the sun is out and that we are enjoying warmer temperatures. It is the time when we really have the best of two seasons. Yes, you can find some mud, but so what. My kids love to play in it, and the smiles on their faces are so worth the mess. There are many other special things about this time of year.

vail golf, vail lodging, ski, vail

Golf courses start opening in the Vail area in April. Gypsum Creek is already open, Eagle Ranch opened this morning and Sonnenalp opens next weekend.

This spring in Vail, ski season is still in full swing and you can enjoy a ski break on a deck where you may even be able to get a tan and soak up some vitamin D. The Vail golf courses open. If you are an avid sportsperson and like to both ski and golf then this is the perfect season for you. How many other places in the world and times of the year can you brag that you skied in the morning and played golf in the afternoon?

The marketing entities in Vail have worked hard to attract visitors during this post Spring Break time of the year, but it is really the locals who reap the benefits. The town is buzzing with back-to-back and overlapping fun events. Wednesday was the kick off of Taste of Vail with a fun new event featuring great food and more refreshing rosé wines than you could possibly taste in one afternoon. Saturday the event culminates with the Grand Tasting. Pink Vail, the world’s largest ski day to conquer cancer, is today and we are already seeing lots of pink here at the hotel. The largest end of season celebration in the Rocky Mountains, Spring Back to Vail kicks off April 11. It also has something for everyone, from concerts to the always entertaining World Pond Skimming Championships. And, though they haven’t announced it yet, Vail Recreation District usually puts on a really fun Easter Egg hunt in Lionshead for the kids.

Every Wednesday from 4-5 pm one of our favorite restaurants, La Tour, is offering $12 French wine tasting perfectly paired with French lessons. This will continue through shoulder season though rumor has it that this may change to French Bingo. But regardless it is sure to be a fun outing.

Spring in Vail is also a paradise for bargain shoppers. Hotels offer great lodging deals. Restaurants offer fantastic dining deals. Retails stores have epic sales.

Oh, and did I mention that the lift lines dissipate? Everything is a little quieter. You can get best table in your choice of restaurant, and you don’t have to wait for anything. And best of all everyone is relaxed and happy.

OlafI’d liken spring in Vail to summer in Arendelle. The best of two seasons, especially if you happen to be Olaf. Okay, that might be a bit of a stretch, but there are those days when it feels like it.

As the Antlers Turn…..and the hammer comes down

As I mentioned just a couple of days ago, Springtime in the Rockies is the start of some new construction projects around the Antlers.

I was sure to take some pictures on Monday of the condominiums in line for improvements.  The idea being we could show a little “before and after” as things progress.  Well, things have started to progress as shown below.  There must be a little destruction before anything can be rebuilt.  Unit 109 has taken on a new, temporary look.

Ready for a Check-in on Monday

Ready for a Check-in on Monday


Gone on Wednesday

Gone on Wednesday

Cook dinner on Monday night

Cook dinner on Monday night

Sure hope the dishwasher was emptied by Wednesday

Sure hope the dishwasher was emptied by Wednesday

Lets get cozy by the fireplace on Monday

Lets get cozy by the fireplace on Monday

We're going to need a lawn chair on Wednesday

We’re going to need a lawn chair on Wednesday

We need to blame Pete on this mess

We need to blame this mess on Pete

...and Dave

…and Dave along with his trusty side-kick Roberto

I asked Pete what the next stop was on his “train for demolition”.  He winked and with a wry smile said “I look forward to visiting 309”.

I walked upstairs and low and behold, the housekeepers have made their preparations.

They pack up the linens and dishware before the indoor tornado hits

They pack up the linens and dishware before the indoor tornado hits









More up-dates coming………….



As the Antlers Turn: April Showers Bring…

….unit improvement projects to the Antlers.

Tom and Pete in our Engineering Department have quietly been preparing to “bring the hammer down”.  I refer to the upgrades that are scheduled for several units at the Antlers this spring.

Since the Unit Quality Improvement plan was put in place last December (Nothing But Platinum Rated Condo’s” 12/27/13 blog- Rob) many of our owners have participated in some form or another.  Be it a new dinning table, a piece of art or a new king mattress, everyone seems to understand the concept of “keeping up with the neighborhood”.

Several owners have committed to major improvements this spring and that’s why Tom and Pete have been busy all winter putting more than a few ducks in a row.

To be more precise, there are 11 of these major projects beginning in April (the most ever taken on at one time) and the logistics and timing involved in an undertaking like this cannot be taken lightly.  Everything and everybody needs to be where they are suppose to be on any given day.  Demolition, materials, delivery, contractors and all the scheduling must be in place.  There is not much margin for error when the final inspection is on May 25th and a guest is checking in on June 1st.

New by June.

Over $500,000 will be invested into these 11 condominiums in the next few months.  The improvements include everything from new bathrooms and kitchens to carpet and heated ceramic tile floors.  Fireplaces along with windows, sliding glass doors, new interior doors and trim and stainless steel appliance upgrades are just a few things that will be new by June.


Ask any one of these owners why they are making the changes now and the overwhelming consensus is about unit quality.  Whether it’s done in steps or a complete demolition and remodel, the majority of Antlers owners agree that our guests have expectations that must be met if we are to remain competitive and even a level above the competition.  Again demonstrating the Antlers, its Owners and Staff remain committed to guest satisfaction.

Moving Forward

Our thanks to the owners who have committed to these improvements and I look forward to posting progress and photos of the the following condominiums as April showers begin:  Brooks Newbills 109, Marie Millman & sisters 211, Bob & Susie Abramsom 302, Stephen & Nancy Snyder 309, Frank & Flavia Bencina 403, Scott Brinkman 406, Edwina Daley 410, Steve & Jamie Hersee 411, Joe & Marie Forish 414, John & Nancy Scott 502 and David & Ulrike Martin 504.

Stay tuned.