12 Days and Counting! The 2015 World Ski Championships are Upon Us.

The 2015 World Ski Championships are only 2 weeks away!

The 2015 World Ski Championships are only 2 weeks away!

Have you ever been to the Olympic Games? Have you ever though how cool it might be to have that opportunity? Well in the ski world the World Ski Championships are an even bigger deal than the Olympics for many reasons. One is that the courses are hard and if you win you KNOW you earned it. This particular Championships is special for more reasons than just being in our beautiful backyard. The US team has a really good shot at dominating this year. We have some local names who are expected to take home a few medals. And, did you know that just like you need tickets for the Olympics, in Europe you need tickets for the World Ski Championships? But you don’t need tickets for the 2015 Vail Beaver Creek World Ski Championships? It is FREE! And, there is FREE transportation between Vail, Avon Center and Beaver Creek to the races! And, there are FREE concerts every night. Okay let’s talk about the concerts. These are headliner bands in a really cool outdoor venue, and there is at least one band that every generation will want to see.

The newest additions to the line up include CeeLo Green, KC and the Sunshine Band, Craig Wayne Boyd and Andreas Gabalier.

Five-time Grammy Award Winning singer-songwriter-producer, television personality, actor, entrepreneur, and pop culture and fashion icon CeeLo Green will take the stage on Valentine’s Day (February 14). Known best for his worldwide hit “Forget You,” which received five Grammy nominations and won the category for “Best Urban/Alternative Performance,” he’ll also perform top hits like “Crazy,” “Bright Lights Bigger City” and more.

The band that many are most excited about is KC and the Sunshine Band.

The band that many are most excited about is KC and the Sunshine Band.

KC and the Sunshine band have been entertaining audiences around the world for forty years and are slated for a free performance on the evening of Tuesday, February 10. Topping the charts with seven No. 1 singles and three triple platinum albums, including hits like “Get Down Tonight,” “That’s The Way (I Like It),” “Boogie Shoes,” and “Rock Your Baby,” KC and The Sunshine Band defined disco music and forever influenced music with its timeless sound and mission of getting people out of their seats and onto the dance floor to celebrate. Harry Wayne Casey, named “Founder of the Dance Revolution,” and his band will get the crowd dancing with their greatest hits as well as new music from their soon-to-be-released album, Feeling You! The 60s, which is slated for national release on Tuesday, March 10, 2015.

This entertainment lineup will also feature a fresh new artist just coming onto the scene – recent winner of “The Voice,” Craig Wayne Boyd on Sunday, February 8. The Texas-born country singer and multi-instrumentalist will most certainly bring a flare to the Championships, with his easy musical versatility, sure to appeal to everyone’s tastes.

Rounding out this list of heavy hitters will be international sensation Andreas Gabalier, who will take to the free concert stage on Wednesday, February 4. Not only was Gabalier the artist behind the 2013 World Championships’ Official Song in Schladming, Austria, he is also a celebrated folk singer throughout Europe and recipient of both the ECHO music award in folk music category and the Amadeus Austrian Music Award in 2012.

Popular multi-platinum rock band O.A.R. performs Feb. 7.

Popular multi-platinum rock band O.A.R. performs Feb. 7.

Yesterday’s announcement adds to the five headliner names previously confirmed for the 2015 World Championships lineup, including Michael Franti & Spearhead on February 3, Mix Master Mike on February 5, American Authors on February 6, O.A.R. on February 7 and Phillip Phillips on February 12. Prior to the nightly festivities, Sierra Nevada Brewery will operate their Winter Beer Camp, opening at 4 pm daily at the International Bridge in Vail.

And, to top it all off the Antlers at Vail is still offering lodging discounts. You will not pay more to be in Vail for this once-in-a-lifetime event than you would during peak ski time any other year. And, think of the memories you will take home! I for one am making plans for which races I will pull my daughter out of school to see and which concerts we will make it out to, so that we can create some new amazing memories.

17 year-old Mikaela Shiffrin hanging out with my daughter's preschool  class in 2012, before raking in the medals.

17 year-old Mikaela Shiffrin hanging out with my daughter’s preschool class in 2012, before raking in the medals.

 

 

92 and Still Going Strong

With almost 16,000 room nights a year and an average length of stay of about four and a half nights, you can see that the Antlers enjoys around 3,500 arrivals annually.  Some of those are couples and some are extended families of eight people or more. The average party is about four, so we had roughly 14,000 people stay with us in 2014 … and every year.  More than a third of those are repeat guests.  Naturally, it would be hard to say that there’s a favorite.  That is, unless you knew Vlasta Giese.

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Vlasta’s from the Czech Republic.  She grew up in Prague and still goes back to visit occasionally. To say that she’s both outspoken and entertaining is like saying that Michael Jordan could play some hoops … an understatement of grand proportions. She’s a self-proclaimed, world class schmoozer and I don’t know anyone who would argue.

Vlasta started coming to the Antlers in 1994.  She was 72 years old, going on about 25. Today she’s 92 … and still skiing!  Granted, her legs are no longer going on 25, but her heart and soul … you betcha. She usually stays for about two weeks and when she first came to visit us, it was from DeKalb, IL where her husband Willis was still teaching at the University.  Once Willis passed away she moved to Portland to be closer to her daughter Alenka.

Vlasta was always on a budget and thanks to her age and her engaging personality, we would try to make her the best deal we could. As the years went on money kept getting tighter, but nothing could dissuade her love of skiing, so she’d find a way to keep coming … always in January and always for ten days or more.  Every year she’d ask reluctantly how much we were going to charge her. Finally, in 2002 (when she was 81) I said to her, “Vlasta, ten years ago you paid $150 a night. Today we’re charging you $125, and although our average rate for this time of year is now about four times that much, we will keep the rate at $125 for as long as you keep coming.”  Little did I know that would be twelve more years … and counting!

And nothing could make us happier.

Here’s to you, Vlasta!

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Featured 2-Bedroom Antlers at Vail Condo

One of the joys of staying at the Antlers at Vail is that the condominiums are true vacation homes. Each homeowner has put forth the effort to make their condo a special home for guests to enjoy.

Joe & Marie Forish, Featured Antlers at Vail Homeowners

Joe & Marie Forish, Featured Antlers at Vail Homeowners

2-bedroom Antlers at Vail Condo 414 has only had two sets of owners. In 2007 Joe & Marie Forish purchased their condo from the son of an original Antlers owner. The Forishes were some of the first owners to buy in to the Antlers new unit quality improvement plan and proceeded to quickly earn their condo a platinum rating. Joe & Marie had beautiful durable porcelain hardwood installed in the living, kitchen and hall areas. They added new slab granite, tile backsplash and Whirlpool stainless steel appliances in the kitchen. The bathrooms received new granite countertops, sinks and faucets achieving a beautiful contemporary look. And, throughout new wood beams on the ceiling accent the new leather furniture, as well as new dining room furniture and bar stools.

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The spacious kitchen, living and dining areas were remodeled to include a beautiful and durable hardwood-looking porcelain tile, wood beams on the ceiling, slab granite counters, tile backsplash and stainless steel appliances,

What motivated you to make the Antlers at Vail your vacation home in Vail?

We started coming to Vail many years ago for ski vacations when our children were young. We loved the family atmosphere and eventually decided to invest in property there after our son moved to the Vail Valley upon finishing college. After a lot of research and investigation of dozens of properties, we decided to buy our unit at the Antlers. The location was great with just a short walk to the Lionshead lifts. It had great access to the TOV bus and good restaurants within walking distance, but probably the biggest positive was the great staff. Everyone from the senior leadership like Rob and Magda to the housekeeping and maintenance personnel to the desk staff were so friendly and customer-oriented that we knew it should be our “home away from home”. We also liked the fact that we knew our home would be well cared-for by the management when we were not there.

What is special about your Antlers vacation home?

We have tried to make our unit a warm and welcoming home for anyone who visits and uses the unit. We’ve gone to some lengths to choose high quality furnishings and appoint it in a manner which is comfortable and yet elegant. Small touches like the stained glass panels which reflect the afternoon sunsets, the upgraded furnishings and all the coordinated accessories are meant to make visitors feel that our home is very much their home while they visit. The fact that we have a bedroom with a King bed, a second with 2 Queen beds and a very comfortable pull-out sofa bed also means that a larger family can stay together in our unit rather than renting an even larger one — or having to rent two units. It is quite simply a  great place to return to after a day on the slopes or out in the beauty of the Vail Valley.

New & Improved Antlers at Vail Meetings

At the Antlers at Vail our focus is on making our hotel guests and owners feel at home. We tend to talk a lot about our hotel services, and I think, under emphasize our fantastic conference space and the high level of all inclusive service we provide for Antlers at Vail meetings. Well that is about to change!

Several months ago we upgraded our AV system. It is now state-of-the-art, allowing for remote presenting, high quality two-way sound, and very easy connectivity all controlled by an iPad. We are also in the process of making some very cool aesthetic improvements (more to come on that later) to the main conference room, which already has some great features such as natural light and easy access to the outside … just steps from our spectacular mountain and creek-side pool.

Cherie

The Antlers at Vail hotel is excited to welcome its newest team member, Cherie Paller.

And, then most exciting, last month we were able to snag a new team member to head up conference services and eventually our conference and group sales efforts. Cherie Paller has most recently spent almost 3 decades in non-profit leadership and fundraising. She is excited to get back to her roots. In the 1980s she was the Banquet Manager at the Westin Hotel (now Cascade Resort), followed by two years as Conference Services Manager for Vail Associates. Her enthusiasm, leadership, interpersonal and fundraising / sales experience is sure to be a huge asset to the Antlers.

Welcome Cherie!

Antlers Lobby Holiday Decorations

Once again, we are the supreme beneficiaries of the generosity and artistic skills of one Dawn Bobuk.   Dawn and Ron are two of our favorite owners.  Their condo #607 is perennially one of the most requested at the Antlers, and for good reason.  As you might expect, the owner of such a tasteful unit also has an eye for the elegant when it comes to holiday decorations.

Dawn humors a fairly worthless helper

Dawn humors a fairly worthless helper

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She’s done it for us before, and we can never thank her enough.  This year it took Dawn nearly three days to set up one of the most popular Christmas trees in our history … the Snowman Tree, as well as to re-build the Department 54 village that often graces our lobby this time of year.

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We owe Dawn a huge debt of gratitude.  I hope we can figure out how to repay her one of these days.

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Happy Holidays to all!

Featured Antlers at Vail Homeowner

Featured Antlers at Vail Condo Owners Dr. & Mrs. Newbill

Featured Antlers at Vail Condo Owners Dr. & Mrs. Newbill

In 1976 Dr. Brooks Newbill, along with two partners, purchased a condo at the Antlers. Last year Dr. Newbill bought out his remaining partner, giving him the freedom to accomplish what has been the largest gain ever in lodging quality assurance score at the Antlers, from the lowest rated condo to the highest. The remodel of his condo began with a complete gutting of the unit to replace everything with platinum quality finishes and furnishings. These finishes included cambria quartz countertops, Whirlpool stainless steel appliances, LED lighting throughout, smart TVs, a new fireplace and even an unexpected surprise for guests of under tile heat in both the kitchen and bathroom. His is also the only studio condo at the Antlers to feature a double vanity in the bathroom.

Newly updated kitchen with granite countertops, stainless steel Whirlpool appliances and more.

Newly updated kitchen with Cambria quartz countertops, stainless steel Whirlpool appliances and more.

Q&A with Dr. Newbill

 

What motivated you to make the Antlers at Vail your vacation home in Vail?

My partners and I had stayed at the Antlers, and other Vail area lodges, a number of times prior to our purchase. We not only recognized that the Antlers had the obvious benefit of a perfect location, but it was the staff and their dedication to the guests that was the deciding factor for us.  I often talk to guests at the pool area and do a little survey about their stay.  Their almost universal response is that the staff is great and sees to their every need.  Most everyone says they love the Antlers and would certainly return in the future.

What is special about your Antlers vacation home?

My family has found our vacation home to be special because it is in the Antlers and the Antlers is in Vail, Colorado. As the ad says, “Like nothing on Earth.” My survey of guests from all over the world has found that the consensus is that Vail mountain has the best skiing anywhere.  And, the summers are even better!

We look forward to sharing our totally renovated home with our family and our Antlers guest and have to thank everyone associated with our project for their help and dedication in creating our beautiful new home.

Newly updated living area of Antler at Vail studio condo.

Newly updated living area of Antler at Vail studio condo with LED lighting throughout, new fireplace, smart TVs and more.

 

Holidays in Vail

The top 10 reasons to the holidays in Vail are special:

#10 Travel & Leisure says so.

Photo courtesy Tom Green, Vail Resorts

Photo courtesy Tom Green, Vail Resorts

# 9 Entertainment galore. Vail is known for not only its epic skiing, but also epic events and festivals. Many of these occur preceding, throughout and following the holidays. Mid December sees the return of Snow Daze with free concerts featuring bands such as 10,000 Maniacs. Holidaze returns this year on December 21 & 31 with the Vail Tree Lighting Ceremony,  Vail Lantern Walk and annual New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade and Fireworks. And, New Year Eve celebrations abound. Schedule doesn’t work to spend the holidays in Vail? Well there is plenty more to enjoy throughout the winter from the 2015 World Championships to one of my favorites, Spring Back to Vail.

#8 Fresh Rocky Mountain air. In Vail we embrace the winter. We don’t stay indoors, but rather get out and breathe it into our lungs whether alpine skiing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing or just riding sleds down a hill.

Photo courtesy Jack Affleck, Vail Resorts

Photo courtesy Jack Affleck, Vail Resorts

#7 Winter mountain vistas. Whether you take in the views while heading up the chairlift or from a mountain top restaurant, you are sure to enjoy the majestic scenery of the Rocky Mountains during the winter. There’s not much that can compete with snow capped mountain views Vail has to offer, except maybe the luscious green Rocky Mountain views during the summer.

 

#6 Cozy fires. While we don’t spend the winter indoors we do enjoy curling up to a cozy fire in the fireplace. What is better than just getting to relax and curl up in front of the fireplace whether with friends or while just enjoying a good book or cup of hot coco? Every Antlers at Vail condo has a gas fireplace for guests to enjoy.

#5 Holiday lights. So, so many twinkling lights everywhere, and that stay on all winter.

Photo courtesy Jack Affleck, Vail Resorts

Photo courtesy Jack Affleck, Vail Resorts

#4 Mountain village ambiance. From walking over the wooden covered bridge and cobblestone streets while taking in amazing outdoor art or watching kids ice skate, it is a luxury to be able to be able to enjoy a vacation without needing to get into a car.

#3 Snow. So, we can’t promise that it will snow on Chanukah, Christmas, New Year’s or whatever occasion is special to you but it’s pretty darn likely AND we can promise that you can enjoy plenty of snow, and get to do any of the super fun activities that go along with it like skiing, sledding, tubing, snowshoeing, skating, riding in a horse-drawn sled, etc., etc. Vail is truly a winter wonderland and fantastic place to create holiday memories.

Winter wonderland view from Antlers at Vail condo 405.

Winter wonderland view from Antlers at Vail condo 405.

#2 Snow. I know I already said it, but it deserves at least two spots on this list. Not only does the snow provide a venue for fun activities that you can’t find in warmer climates, but it also adds an ambiance to the town. It is an experience to walk down the cobblestone streets lined with twinkling holiday lights with soft snowflakes falling.

#1 Making memories. Whether you chose to spend the holidays in Vail with your family, or a special loved one, you will have the opportunity to experience something new and special. We hope that you will consider the Antlers at Vail hotel for your Vail holiday visit and we will do our very best to make your vacation one to remember!

This list is the opinion of the Antlers marketing gal, Liana.

Dynamic Skiing at the Antlers Dec. 14-18

Ski Vail MountainWant to experience for yourself the joy and freedom of “dancing with the mountain” or “playing with gravity”? Shortly after ski season kicks off for Vail Mountain, Margaret McIntyre brings her highly successful program, Dynamic Skiing for Life, to the Antlers at Vail hotel. This program, now in its 22nd year, specifically teaches skiing movement awareness indoors, before going out on the slopes.

Margaret blends her extensive knowledge of skiing and ski teaching with The Feldenkrais Method® of sensory/motor re-education to give your body and mind ski specific awareness. This awareness turns into action by dramatically improving balance, control, symmetry, coordination and movement efficiency.

We are glad to have Margaret and her program back to the Antlers December 14 – 18, 2014 !

Most GM’s Don’t Get To Do This

Bill and Shirley Rauter bought Antlers #506 back in the day.  It was 1972 to be exact. They were the original owners and now theirs is one of only a few Antlers condos that has never changed hands. We’ve been good friends ever since I came on the scene in 1978.

Typical of most Antlers owners back then (and now as well) they had hearts of gold and whenever they came to town they were anxious to share their appreciation for this place they loved so much.

When Bill passed away a few years ago, the Antlers Heart and Soul took a big hit. He was such a nice guy and simply loved having fun. When Colorado passed proposition 64 a couple years ago it was proof that Bill was just a little ahead of his time.

One of Bill’s many joys was sitting on the balcony of #506 and just soaking in the scenery … with Gore Creek as the only thing separating him from the slopes of Vail Mountain. At one point he said, “When I go, I want you to spread my ashes up there so that I can enjoy this scene forever.”

Bill Rauter

Earlier this year Shirley brought some friends and family together for a bit of a reunion and to celebrate Bill’s life. Heart and soul makes a comeback! One of their goals was to spread his ashes as he suggested. Although they sprinkled some at the top of the mountain, they didn’t quite make it down to one desired spot, right next to the trail sign at the top of Simba face. Shortly afterward though, when Shirley was leaving, she asked me if I would do that one favor for her …

“Honored” doesn’t begin to describe my feelings. I waited for just the right day.  November 9th 2014 was a crisp, clear, bluebird day, with just a hint of oncoming winter in the air. I hiked up Simba face and said my own private farewell to Bill. I told him we miss him.   A lot.

From now on, whenever Shirley or I or anyone else who knows, looks at that trail sign from the deck of 506 …

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Our heart and soul lives on.

 

 

– Rob

Vail Mountain Opening Day 2014-15

As much as we all love Vail in the summer, nothing beats the anticipation of Vail Mountain opening day. Vail’s winter revolves around snow and skiing. It is so exciting when both of those are off to an epic start like they are this year. We had an unusually warm fall but then winter literally arrived at a perfect time for us. The cold weather came in last week creating perfect snowmaking conditions, and also brought more than three feet of snow. This enabled Vail Resorts to open more than 500 acres of terrain today with access from both Vail and Lionshead village. More snow is expected starting tomorrow and Vail Resorts anticipates opening even more terrain soon.

At least one member of the Antlers at Vail hotel team made it up on the mountain today to grab a few photos for you below. Enjoy, and make your ski plans soon!

Photo credit: Ryan Kelsey