2016 Holiday Events at the Antlers

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Children enjoy the Antlers at Vail model train set-up in our Conference Center during the Holidays.

At the Antlers, we love the holiday season. We decorate our lobby in festive decor and serve hot cocoa to all of our guests as they return from their ski day or outing around Vail. Our entire team gets into the holiday spirit. One of our employees can even be seen on occasion dressed as a pretty impressive Santa Claus.

This year, to herald in the holiday season, the Antlers at Vail is hosting exclusive holiday events for all of our guests on the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th of December. Join us in the Rob LeVine Conference Center from 4 – 5:30 PM daily for fun holiday activities. On Thursday, December 22nd, join us for a visit from Santa! On Friday, December 23rd, come create your own uniquely decorated holiday cookie. And on Saturday, December 24th, join us for a holiday sing-a-long. On each of these days there will be free gift wrapping, holiday crafts, holiday stories, and hot cocoa. Also, take photos on your smartphone, and post them to Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #AntlersHolidays or tag the Antlers at Vail in your photos to be entered to win a free, family holiday gift basket from the Antlers! The photo with the most likes wins. The winner will be announced on our Facebook Page on Christmas Eve at 6 PM, and we will deliver the gift basket directly to you at your condo.

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Families enjoy Ice Skating in Vail.

Have a few days to spare before the holidays? Take advantage of our Holiday Package and book a Studio through Four-bedrooom condo December 20th-26th with reduced minimum night stays and enjoy complimentary Sports Ski or Snowboard rentals from Ski Butlers. Stay for 3 nights or more and enjoy all of our holiday festivities as well as some of the best skiing in the world on Vail Mountain. In addition to enjoying all of our holiday festivities, take advantage of our other complimentary amenities such as ski storage and ski valet service to and from the Eagle Bahn Gondola, underground parking, high-speed WiFi, daily housekeeping, a business center with computers for guests’ use, unlimited passes to the Vail Athletic Club, an electric car charging station, and our beautiful, creek-side pool and hot tubs. And don’t forget, cooks can choose from a lending library of specialty appliances & spices, and for outdoor fun, guests can access loaner snowshoes, sleds and GoPro cameras to record their outings. Our Holiday Package starts at $615 per night in a studio condo. Also, families can bring their ice skates for skating at Vail Square in Lionshead. Conveniently located 150 yards away from the Antlers, the ice rink is open daily through the winter, and skate rentals are available in Vail Square if needed.

Looking for even more holiday fun? Art in Public Places Winter events begin on Tuesday, December 20, 2016  with two different paper-lantern making workshops, so families can bring their uniquely designed paper lanterns to the Winter Solstice Lantern Walk in Vail Village on December 21st. For more information, visit Art in Vail’s website.

So, bring the whole family and join us this holiday season for a wonderful vacation at the Antlers at Vail.

The Holiday Package is subject to availability. Other minimum night stay requirements may apply, and are subject to change at any time. 

 

Thanksgiving Dinner delivered to you at the Antlers

Thanksgiving at the Antlers at Vail hotel

Thanksgiving Dinner at the Antlers

Thanksgiving is an especially exciting time to be in Vail. Vail Mountain will have just recently opened for another awesome season on the slopes, and families come to town from all over the country to spend time with their loved ones and experience our epic snow. This Thanksgiving, when you stay at the Antlers, you’ll have the option to reserve a delicious Thanksgiving Meal cooked by Marla Leblow with Second Nature Gourmet.

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Chef Marla Leblow with Second Nature Gourmet

Well-seasoned chef, Marla Leblow, has cooked all over the country in roles such as Executive Chef at Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, and Executive Sous Chef at Tech-Giant Google in Seattle. Landing in our happy valley in 2012, she now owns and operates Second Nature Gourmet, her own catering company. Marla will deliver Thanksgiving dinner right to your door here at the Antlers on the morning of Thanksgiving Day in oven-proof, recyclable containers labeled with heating instructions for your convenience.

The meal will include Slow Roasted Colorado Turkey, Homemade Gravy & Cinnamon Cranberry Sauce, Whipped Organic Potatoes laced with butter and cream, Scratch Made Traditional Stuffing, Roasted Organic Green Beans, Roasted Organic Root Vegetables, Organic Beet & Almond Field Green Salad with Herbed vinaigrette, and for dessert, a choice of personal sized Honeycrisp Apple Pie or Pumpkin Pie, both served with vanilla ice cream. To add Thanksgiving Dinner to your reservation, please call 970-476-2471, and let us know the name on your reservation or reservation number, and how many people are in your party.

second-nature-gourmetAs always, staying at the Antlers includes a myriad of complimentary amenities such as ski storage and ski valet service to and from the Lionshead gondola, underground parking, high-speed WiFi, daily maid service, a business center with computers for guest use, unlimited passes to the Vail Athletic Club, an electric car charging station and a year-round outdoor pool and hot tubs. Cooks can choose from a lending library of specialty appliances, and for outdoor fun, guests can access loaner snowshoes, sleds and GoPro cameras to record the outing.

So, enjoy all that the Antlers has to offer for your Thanksgiving stay. The deadline for ordering Thanksgiving Dinner is November 21st. Please place your orders as soon as possible!

 

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Kids Ski Free with EPIC SCHOOLKIDS

Register your child(ren) for the FREE Epic Schoolkids Colorado by October 9, 2016 to receive 4 days of skiing or snowboarding at each of the state’s top-ranked resorts; Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone.

Register your child(ren) for the FREE Epic Schoolkids Colorado pass before October 9th, 2016 to receive 4 days of skiing or snowboarding at each of the state’s top-ranked resorts; Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone. Photo courtesy Jack Affleck, Vail Resorts.

As a family-friendly resort, located in Vail, it makes us so happy to be able to share that Vail Resorts has brought back their EPIC SCHOOLKIDS Colorado pass. The Epic SchoolKids Colorado Pack is a FREE program for Kindergarten through 5th graders that provides 4 days of skiing or snowboarding at each of the state’s top-ranked resorts; Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone. Packs are valid up to 4 days at each resort and are subject to holiday restrictions. Register your child(ren) in person before October 9th, 2016!

The pack also includes one FREE first-timer ski or ride lesson with equipment rental between 12/3/16-12/17/16 and 1/17/17-1/31/17.  Just bring your child(ren) to a participating Front Range Colorado Ski & Golf, Colorado Ski & Sports or Boulder Ski Deals location to register your child in person before October 9th. When enrolling their child(ren) in Epic SchoolKids, remember to bring:

  • Your child (the child must be present at the time of registration);
  • Season pass application;
  • A physical or digital copy of the student report card/transcript/school ID or birth certificate/passport.
Complimentary amenities that the kids will love include hot cocoa awaiting in the lobby and loaner sleds.

Complimentary amenities that the kids will love include hot cocoa awaiting in the lobby and loaner sleds.

The Epic SchoolKids pass will enhance your family’s Antlers at Vail ski vacation. At the Antlers a full-service kitchen allows families to keep groceries on hand, serve homemade meals — and even enjoy a cook-out with the gas-fired barbeque grill. Two creekside hot tubs and a gas fireplace in each condo await you after a full day on the slopes. Complimentary amenities that the kids will love include hot cocoa in the lobby and loaner sleds. Large families can reserve a spacious multi-room suite, while smaller families may want to take advantage of the Antlers’ cozy 1-bedroom condominiums – with a separate bunkroom.

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NO Resort Fees. Period.

Every once in a while one of our owners or board members will suggest that we start charging a resort fee as a way to help cure our perennial budget challenges.

They’ll say, “Why not?  Everyone else does it.  I pay them wherever I go.”

“And how do you feel about that?”

“I hate it.”

“Okay, I think you’ve just answered your own question.”

There may be a million reasons why I’m glad to be working for an independent property, and especially one with a conscience.  High among them is being able to tell prospective guests, to boast even, that we have NO RESORT FEES.  Beyond that, we think those hidden charges are unfair and deceptive.  Inevitably, whoever I’m talking to could not agree more.

When that owner or board member says, “What about the extra money that we could be getting?”  I tell them that we’re already getting it.  The “resort fee” – if that’s what they want to call it – is already included in our published room rate.  If we thought our rooms were worth more and that our guests would pay more … we’d charge more, not tack on a fee that they won’t see until check-out.  As it is, we work hard to price our rooms fairly, so guests feel they’re receiving good value.

Lately resort fees have been much in the news, with Christopher Elliott recently reporting in the Washington Post a rise in the first six months of 2016 to an average of nearly $20/night for the fees – with even the FTC reevaluating the practice. But in a business based on service and goodwill, to us it’s always been kind of a no-brainer. It really comes down to a matter of short term versus long term strategy.  Yes, people may pay that extra charge once, because they’ve had to pay it elsewhere.  But they still hate it.  In the long run, we’ll have more business if we’re transparent and above-board.  We try to make all our decisions that way.

After all, in a business based on the guest experience, why would you want to have that final experience on checking out be one of feeling cheated?

Vail Skiing Without the Schlep

Antlers at Vail hotel guests enjoy customized ski valet service with on-site Ski Butlers

A designated rack at the base of the Lionshead gondola allows Antlers at Vail guests to pick up and deposit their skis with ease (right). Vail has experienced some epic powder recently (right, photo © Ben Koelker).

A designated rack at the base of the Lionshead gondola allows Antlers at Vail guests to pick up and deposit their skis with ease (right). Vail has experienced some epic powder recently (right, photo © Ben Koelker).

“We want guests to save their energy for the powder,” says Antlers at Vail GM Rob LeVine about the Vail condominium hotel’s partnership with Ski Butlers, now in its second season. In addition to fitting Antlers’ guests with top-of-the-line ski and snowboard gear in the comfort of their guest suites, Ski Butlers serves the hotel as in-house ski valet, storing guest equipment and schlepping it to the slopes and back free of charge. And with Vail Mountain Resort reporting more than 14 feet of snow and counting this season with some glorious recent deep powder days, the service has quickly become a favorite at the Antlers.

“We’re lucky to be located just 150 yards from Vail’s Eagle Bahn Gondola,” says LeVine. “But there’s such luxury in not having to worry about your gear. We’re a skiing and snowboarding home-away-from-home to a lot of families, and especially for parents with children too small to carry their own equipment, this service can feel life-changing.”

Antlers at Vail, rated #1 by TripAdvisor in the Vail Specialty Lodging category, is known for its focus on customer service, including a long list of complimentary amenities from free yoga classes and loaner GoPro cameras to a loaning library of kitchen appliances and a green car charger. Ski Butlers puts a similar emphasis on customer service, including answering special requests like swapping out skis for snowboards mid-trip, or helping guests track down such basics as gloves and warmer jackets. And from the beginning, the company’s model of helping skiers avoid long rental lines by bringing fittings and gear directly to guest lodgings has been all about making the guest experience easy.

Ski Butlers rentals are also a hit with travelers who may discover at the last minute that steep airline fees can run up to $225 one way for checking heavy and bulky ski bags. “Plus Ski Butlers can recommend the best skis based on actual conditions when you arrive,” says LeVine. “Big run on powder skis lately,” he adds with a smile.

Founded in 2004 in Park City, Utah, Ski Butlers now serves over 30 North American resorts in Colorado, California, Utah, Wyoming and British Columbia, Canada. Ski Butlers award winning service makes renting ski and snowboard equipment convenient and hassle-free all for the same price or less than most resort ski shops. Ski Butlers is the only ski shop in Vail/Beaver Creek Colorado to win the Vail Valley Platinum Service Award for exceptional customer service this past winter. For more information visit www.skibutlers.com.

Mmmm, Hot Soup on a Snowy Day

Chef Barry Robinson, Caterers of Vail and Antlers at Vail Chef

Chef Barry Robinson, Caterers of Vail and Antlers at Vail Chef

When I took this job at the Antlers at Vail hotel 3 years ago I was told that one of the organization’s greatest strengths is our fantastic chef. I have to admit that I had a hard time believing that really could be the case. But it sure is! Not only is internationally-trained Chef Barry a fabulous chef, creating delectable cuisine customized to a client’s tastes, but he goes above and beyond and unlike most chefs will make almost anything work, and puts the client first. Read more about that here.

This winter Chef Barry is offering freshly made soups available for purchase, including on a rotating basis Tomato Basil, Butternut Squash, Chili (beef & chicken) and Chicken Noodle

This winter Chef Barry is offering fresh soups available for purchase, including on a rotating basis Tomato Basil, Butternut Squash, Chili (beef & chicken) and Chicken Noodle

We are always brainstorming to come up with additional creative amenities for our guests. Last winter we offered breakfast burritos from Chef Barry. Then coming into this winter we decided that we’d ask Chef Barry what he might like to offer. He loves making fresh soups and his really are some of the best soups that I’ve ever had. He suggested soups. So, new this winter, we are offering a variety of fresh soups available for purchase at the front desk on a rotating basis (Tomato Basil, Butternut Squash, Beef Chili and as of this week by request Chicken Noodle). To showcase these freshly-made soups the Antlers at Vail hotel is now offering a soup tasting in the lobby once a week. After visiting a couple of condos and walking across the courtyard in the snow this afternoon I walked into the lobby to the wonderful aroma of hot Tomato Basil soup. Mmmm, it was as good as it smelled.

Antlers Partners with Starting Hearts and Installs AED

The Antlers at Vail hotel has partnered with Starting Hears and installed an AED.

The Antlers at Vail hotel has partnered with Starting Hearts and installed an AED.

Because we love our guests, employees & neighbors…Antlers is very pleased to announce that we have purchased an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) that is installed just inside the doorway to the right of our Lobby. An AED is highly effective, very easy to use, and can deliver a life saving shock to restart or restore the normal heart rhythm of someone who has suffered a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).

We are participating in Starting Hearts efforts to educate our community in life-saving techniques using CPR training and AEDs. Starting Hearts began in 2010 after Lynn Blake, its founder, suffered a Sudden Cardiac Arrest at the age of 27. The quick response of bystanders who performed CPR and administered an AED resulted in her being among the fortunate 8% who survive SCA. Her mission is to increase the odds for others and Antlers is very happy to support the efforts of Starting Hearts.

With Sudden Cardiac Arrest being the leading cause of unexpected death in Colorado, Antlers wants to do its part to provide the most effective emergency assistance possible.

NEW: Antlers Offers On-site Ski Rental

The Antlers at Vail hotel and Ski Butlers have joined forces to add on-site ski rentals with ski valet to the long list of amenities the hotel already offers. This ski season guests will be able to not only rent ski equipment from Ski Butlers who will have an on-site location but also enjoy complimentary ski valet with Ski Butlers bringing their skis back and forth to the ski lifts for them.

Ski Butler

As part of Ski butlers’ ski rental service, guests don’t have to leave the comfort of their condominium to be fitted for their equipment. Ski Butlers will come to their condominium at the guest’s convenience to fit them and when the guest is finished skiing Ski Butlers will pick the equipment back up. No waiting in lines or carrying equipment around. Any questions or additional ski equipment needs, Ski Butlers will be the touch of the button away and on-site. Now, guests will be able to get on the hill more quickly and with minimal effort and be able to save all that energy for ripping down the slopes or skiing fresh powder.

“With the philosophy of ‘The answer is yes, now what’s the question?’ we are excited to have been able to fulfill another guest request at no additional cost to them,” says Rob LeVine, general manager of Antlers at Vail. “This partnership with Ski Butlers is a win-win for everyone involved.”

Ski Butlers fits customers with ski equipment in the comfort of their condo.

Ski Butlers fits customers with ski equipment in the comfort of their condo.

The Antlers at Vail hotel offers a relaxed Vail lodging experience in a fabulous mountain setting and was recently awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and GreenLeader status. With condominiums ranging from studio suites up to four-bedroom penthouses, every unit at the Antlers enjoys a fully-equipped kitchen, fireplace, private balcony, daily housekeeping service, and complimentary wi-fi and parking. The Antlers has an A+ location on the banks of Gore Creek, just steps from restaurants, galleries, shops, free Vail town shuttle and the Lionshead Gondola. For more information, call 1-800-843-8245 or visit www.antlersvail.com.

Founded in 2004 in Park City, Utah, Ski Butlers now serves 35 North American resorts in Colorado, California, Utah, Wyoming and British Columbia, Canada. Ski Butlers award winning service makes renting ski and snowboard equipment convenient and hassle-free all for the same price or less than most resort ski shops. Ski Butlers is the only ski shop in Vail/Beaver Creek Colorado to win the Vail Valley Platinum Service Award for exceptional customer service 7 years in a row! Questions? Call 1-877-754-7754 or visit http://www.skibutlers.com/portal/AntlersatVail.

The Ultimate Vail Hotel Sleep Machine

Vail Hotel Sleep

The rushing waters of the Gore Creek running alongside the Antlers at Vail hotel.

My first night in Vail was much too quiet.

I was all checked into Condo #308 at the Antlers and I was all tuckered out after a long day of meetings and introductions.

I turned off all the lights and climbed into bed when I was struck with the most deafening kind of silence. The room grew so quiet I was actually frightened.

Back in Brooklyn, where I live, I have become used to a lot of noise. A “quiet” night for me involves ambulances, honking horns, and drunk teenagers. Most nights I have to sleep to the manufactured sound of falling rain or ocean waves just to drown it all out.

So to lie in bed, in pitch black nothingness, with only my thoughts was a bit scary. I searched Diane and Jeff’s unit for something, anything, that could relieve me of the horrifying soundlessness. An A/C unit? A fan? But there was nothing.

That’s when it came to me: the perfect noise machine was just outside my window. I rushed back to the bedroom and cranked open the glass. The raging Gore Creek flooded the unit.

I crawled back into bed, finally at peace. Falling asleep to the sounds of the river became one of the greatest moments of relaxation during my week at the Antlers at Vail hotel. I don’t think I’ll sleep that well again for a long time.

Vail America's Best Summer Job BenBenjamin Solomon is the winner of America’s Best Summer Job, a 10-week, all-expenses paid summer job exploring what summer in the Vail Valley has to offer. A freelance writer based in New York, Benjamin has contributed to publications such as Vanity Fair, New York, Travel + Leisure and is the former editor of Next Magazine. Follow his journey on Blog.Vail.com as well as on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #VailBen.

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