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

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 !

It’s November 10th!

It’s 2:00 in the PM this particular Monday.   Not just another Monday, but a stormy Monday.

The weather guy in New York told me this morning that Montana, North Dakota and Minnesota would be in for some frigid temperatures this week.  Apparently there is a new polar vortex forcing its way from Alaska and will ultimately consume most of our country.

Colorado Ski Country that is.

It got cold and started snowing on Vail Mountain about 2 hours ago and believe me when I say “it has not let up”.

A few shots around the campus at 2 on the 10th…..

 

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The tranquil Gore Creek got a little colder today.

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Our backyard lawn was mowed just last week.

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We were reminded to turn on the snow-melt system for our courtyard.

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We all have to learn to drive in the snow again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vail Mountain opens the 21st of this month.

If you haven’t made plans……Well?

Chef Barry’s Bodacious Breakfast Burritos

For many years we at the Antlers have pondered whether to provide a breakfast for our guests. The need seemed to be limited since every condominium has its own full kitchen. Most of our guests seem to be happy doing their own thing, and our compromise has always been to provide free shuttle service to the supermarket so they can pick up whatever they need.

Nevertheless, there still seemed to be some demand, so a few years ago we tried providing a wonderful, full hot breakfast buffet. Unfortunately, only a handful of people each day took advantage of it.  Although they definitely loved it, there just weren’t enough of them to support the effort so we stopped doing it. Despite that setback, we’ve always felt like it would be appreciated if we could just find the right model. So it’s time to try something new …

Enter Chef Barry’s Bodacious Breakfast Burritos!

breakfast burrito

Starting this winter, Antlers guests can grab a breakfast burrito (regular or vegetarian) pre-made by Barry Robinson, the Antlers acclaimed in-house catering chef. Sixty seconds in the condo’s microwave and voila!  …  a robust culinary start to the day, to be enjoyed with coffee in front of your fireplace, or munched down on the go as you walk to the gondola.

Under the heading of “Keep It Simple”, the only option will be whether or not to also purchase a small side of pork green chile for that smothered maneuver. Naturally, that eliminates the choice of eating-on-the-go; but that’s okay … the two-minute walk to the gondola isn’t enough time to finish CB’sBBB anyway.

Burritos will be $7.50 and the green chile side, another $3.50.  We think this will be a big hit.  We’ve already got a number of standing orders from the staff, who speak from experience.

For a little more reference on Chef Barry and his BBB’s, check out this blog post from a few years ago!

Any Idea Who These People Are?

Halloween is a holiday like no other.   People don’t spend a billion dollars every year on costumes and decorations if their not serious about pretend.

We met at a local pub this past Friday to celebrate “what, I don’t know”.

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Ryan and Katie enjoy a few apps while pretending they are someone else.

This guy even talked funny and told lame jokes..."what is a pirates favorite letter?"

This guy even talked funny and told lame jokes…”what is a pirates favorite letter?”

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Darci cast a spell and Dan struggles with his cocktail

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Katie was never this sweet and Michael put on his boyhood clothes and looked normal to me.

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Some people came as housekeepers.

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Magda came as an Ecuadorian Indian. What an imagination.

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Wilma (Randi) is about to meet Dr Death (Ramon) while sweet Katie enjoys the moment.

Nothing wrong with a few professionals “dressing down” after work.

Happy Halloween!

 

Thanksgiving in Vail at the Antlers

Thanksgiving in Vail marks the start of ski season. And, while it may not yet be peak ski season it is still a fantastic time to enjoy winter in Vail. The holiday lights are twinkling in the snow, which has begun accumulating. The mountain is open, and the holiday crowds have yet to arrive. As a Vail family hotel with a variety of spacious condominiums from studios to 4-bedrooms, the Antlers at Vail hotel is the perfect place to spend this family holiday. This year we are making it even better by offering a traditional Thanksgiving dinner prepared by internationally trained chef, Barry Robinson, delivered right to your condo.

Thanksgiving at the Antlers at Vail hotel

Enjoy Thanksgiving at the Antlers at Vail hotel, including not only skiing but also a traditional dinner in the comfort of your own “home”.

Your Thanksgiving dinner will include roast turkey breast and gravy, garlic mash potatoes, roasted butternut squash, green beans with almonds, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mixed salad greens with herb dressing, and for dessert: pumpkin pie and vanilla ice-cream. This scrumptious feast is being offered for only $30.00 per person (includes 20% service fee) plus 8.4% sales tax.

Dinner will be delivered to your room in oven proof recyclable containers for heating and re-heating at your leisure. Reservations must be made by November 20th 2014. Call 800-843-8245 to book your Thanksgiving dinner at the Antlers.

Antlers Offers Vail Bourbon Sipping Package

Antlers at Vail hotel is partnering with Vail’s first craft distillery with a lodging package that includes a visit to 10th Mountain’s newly opened Vail tasting room for sampling and souvenirs.

Antlers at Vail hotel is partnering with Vail’s first craft distillery with a lodging package that includes a visit to 10th Mountain’s newly opened Vail tasting room for sampling and souvenirs.

We feel very fortunate to be able to call Vail home for so many reasons. There are so many things that make this place special — from the epic skiing and spectacular wildlife and mountain activities to its unique history and people. The Vail ski area was founded in 1962 and has close ties to the brave men of the 10th Mountain Division who trained in the area.

To celebrate both the local history and the opening of 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit’s new Vail tasting room – one of Colorado’s hottest new apres-ski options – Antlers at Vail hotel has partnered with the distillery to offer guests a sip-and-stay lodging and tasting package. Available through Dec. 21, 2014, the package includes two nights at the Antlers and a visit to the 10th Mountain tasting room for a chance to savor the spirits, locally crafted with Colorado-sourced Olathe corn, Palisade peaches and water from pure Rocky Mountain snowmelt.

10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit was founded by Vail restaurateur Ryan Thompson and Vail entrepreneur Christian Avignon, grandson of a 10th Mountain Division medic. “The patriotic men of the 10th brought diversity, courage, and hope to the Rocky Mountains when they arrived in the 1940s to train just a few miles south of what is now Vail,” the 10th Mountain Whiskey’s website states. The 10th Mountain Whiskey crew credits the military division with founding the mountain lifestyle enjoyed by so many today and is committed to paying homage to their rugged ideals – including by donating a portion of sales to the Wounded Warrior Project, Vail Veterans Program, and the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association.

“We love the 10th Mountain connection with Vail’s history,” says Antlers at Vail GM Rob LeVine. “At the same time we enjoy offering our guests an early opportunity to taste the wares of Vail’s first craft distillery. Whether they opt to come in fall and make the craft bourbon and whiskey experience the focus of the trip or come a little later in the year and combine it with early-season skiing, it’s fun to be part of all the buzz around Colorado’s growing craft spirits industry – and of 10th Mountain’s strong connections to the Vail community and commitment to a quality local product.”

The Antlers at Vail sip-and-stay 10th Mountain Whiskey package offers guests two nights for two people in a one-bedroom suite plus a visit for two to the 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Company tasting room at 286 Bridge Street in Vail. The tasting includes a flight of five tastings, a souvenir rocks glass and a $5 certificate to spend toward merchandise for each person. Package rates are $392 for two people (double occupancy) through Nov. 20, and $454 from Nov. 21 – Dec. 21. Package rates are based on availability; tax not included. Some two-bedroom packages are also available; call for pricing.

10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Company produces its spirits in its 7,000-square-foot distillery in Gypsum, Colo. Local ingredients, including grains from farms in central Colorado and the state’s familiar wild sage, were sourced to produce the craft distillery’s first offerings, a corn moonshine, a rye whiskey, a Bourbon, a potato vodka and a sage-infused, peach-vanilla cordial. “We want to hang our hat, so to speak, on our whiskey and bourbon lines so we’ll be producing a number of different expressions as our distillery matures,” says Thompson of the company’s future plans. For more information visit http://10thwhiskey.com.

New & Improved Condos, Logo & Website

It is an exciting time to be a part of the Antlers at Vail family. A little over a year ago our team embarked on an alignment process based on the book “Triple Crown Leadership” by leadership guru Robert Vanourek. As we progressed through the process and moved on from identifying and creating our purpose, values and vision to setting measurable goals it became clear that the most important thing that we could accomplish would be to close the gap between the different lodging quality ratings for our variety of condos. We created and embarked on a fairly aggressive Unit Quality Improvement plan that continues to be revised as we reach milestones on our path to becoming an overall platinum rated lodge, representing the quality that visitors from around the world expect from a Vail, Colorado hotel. As we have seen the impactful results of the plan, we also realized that it was time to represent the new and improved quality of the Antlers at Vail condos through a new visual brand, photography and website.

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Created by Denver-based Wigwam Creative, the new Antlers at Vail logo represents the new and improved quality of the hotel’s condominiums.

Drumroll, please! Nine months – and plenty of construction – after we launched our Unit Quality Improvement plan, more than half of our Vail condominiums have received the luxe upgrades – and we are also boasting a brand new logo and website to celebrate our new look.

Designed by Denver-based Wigwam Creative, Antlers at Vail’s new logo offers a clean, modern approach while incorporating the Colorado mountain resort town’s famously European cachet, as well as the Vail hotel’s popular elk antlers theme – on view in the iconic bronze statue of two clashing elk in the hotel’s courtyard, a favorite photo opp for guests from around the world.

Yesterday, October 12, 2014, snow fell on the elk bronze statue in the Antlers at Vail courtyard where guests from around the world have their photo taken.

Yesterday, October 12, 2014, snow fell on the elk bronze statue in the Antlers at Vail courtyard where guests from around the world have their photo taken.

The just-launched website emphasizes photography – including the newly upgraded units as photographed by Michael Rawlings and styled by Amy Lewis – and presents the old site’s familiar color palette in a new way. Created by Vail-based Nichols Interactive, the new website is a responsive site that automatically adjusts to devices used to access it, and puts the most valuable information at the user’s fingertips while highlighting the fun personality of the Antlers’ established blog and valuable feedback from travelers on TripAdvisor.

“Our logo and corporate identity was 40 years old, and as comfortable as we were with it – too comfortable, probably – as we began to see the amazing results of our Unit Quality Improvement plan moving us toward becoming an overall Platinum-rated property, we realized it was time for a new logo and visual brand to represent the new Antlers,” says Antlers GM Rob LeVine. “Both because of our name and our well-known courtyard sculpture, we felt it was important to keep the elk and antlers as part of our logo. Plus, we wanted to convey that although we look better, our values remain the same, emphasizing our ‘the answer is yes, now what is the question’ approach to customer service, our family feel and our strong role as a community partner.”

Unique to vacation destinations, Vail Valley Partnership manages a Lodging Quality Assurance program (LQA) that provides a standardized rating system for all units rented through the Vail Valley’s central reservation systems, with Platinum representing the highest level of room appointments. Antlers at Vail interior upgrades in recent months have included granite countertops, stainless appliances, new flooring, new lighting and entertainment systems, new fireplaces, furnishings and much more – with resulting upgrades to the Platinum LQA scores.

 

Early-Bird Family Snow Adventure Package

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Two hours of high-country snowmobiling with Sage Outdoor Adventures (left) is just part of the early-bird winter fun in store with our new family package.

As the fall colors peak and the mountain is golden we are preparing for it to turn white and hoping for another powder-filled winter. Vail has always been a winter wonderland for families, and now our new Early-Bird Family Snow Adventure package offers snow fun three ways – complete with our famous “good snow guarantee.” The early-bird advantage package includes three nights lodging for a family of four, a guided backcountry snowmobile adventure for the whole crew, SkiButlers ski valet service for a ski day, and snowshoes for hiking local trails, all for $985 through December 15.

“If early snow conditions aren’t to your liking, we’re also reinstituting last year’s ‘good snow guarantee,’” says LeVine. Antlers at Vail‘s Good Snow Guarantee promises a zero cancellation fee policy through December 15, 2014, so skiers can plan Colorado ski trips now with no financial risk – based on the skier’s own interpretation of “good snow.”

With the early-bird package’s snowmobiling tour, guests can choose morning or afternoon departure and will be picked up the Antlers at Vail hotel and delivered to the start of the Sage Outdoor Adventures tour at an 8,000-feet elevation private mountain ranch. Good for beginning to advanced snowmobilers, the two-hour guided tour explores 6,000 acres of aspen glades, dark timber forests, high alpine meadows, and ridges with stunning views. For more information, including what to wear (helmets are provided), visit them at www.sageoutdooradventures.com.

Antlers at Vail’s new Early-Bird Family Snow Adventure includes three nights lodging in the Antlers’ one-bedroom plus bunks suite for a family of four; a two-hour snowmobile tour for four with Sage Outdoor Adventures; complimentary SkiButlers ski valet service, including in-room fitting of rental gear if needed and ski gear delivery to and from the slopes; and use of Antlers’ complimentary-for-guests snowshoes. The package is available through December 15 for $985 (plus tax, based on space available). The “good snow guarantee” is also valid for a no-penalty cancellation.

Call 800.843.8245 to book!