Archive for the ‘Antlers at Vail News’ Category

We Lost A Great One

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Col. Don circa 1990We lost another one.  A great one.  One of the original Antlers owners.  He liked to tell the story about walking through the building (the original building) when it was a concrete shell.  Must’ve been 1971.  Colonel Don Wiethuechter (pronounced Wee-Tuke-Ter) was known to us as just Col. Don.  He was as supportive an owner as there ever was.  He came to every annual owners meeting as well as one or two other times a year, and always offered encouragement and appreciation.  Sure, on occasion he may have tied me up on the phone for a few minutes too long (hours, maybe?), but what I wouldn’t give right now to hear that voice say, “Hello Mr. Manager … How are you doing today?”

Col. Don and Bud Benedict were great chums and I remember when Bud retired, me being a little worried about that element of the transition.  My worries were unfounded … Col. Don had my back just as much as he ever had Bud’s … and as much as any other owner ever has.

I always claim that the Antlers Heart and Soul is what sets us apart from our competition.  It’s unquestionably what has kept me here (and happy) for 36 years.  Well, if ever there was a symbol of our heart and soul, it was Col. Don.  We’ve had some great owner/cheerleaders over the years, but Col. Don was Col. Don circa 1995there with the best of them.  I think we only took second place to his beloved Huskies at the University of Washington, and maybe his employer of 30+ years, the U.S. Army.

He would frequently travel with the Washington football team to away games and I think even received some sort of super-booster honor at mid-field one time.  I remember when Rick Neuheisel got the coaching job at UW, after getting canned from CU.  Things didn’t go so well for Rick at Udub either and we had a great time ribbing Col. Don for years afterward about our hand-me-down.  Despite his propensity to bleed purple (as they say), he always took it well.

I think we only have five or six of the original owners left now, although there are happily another six or eight that have been handed down in their families.  It’s such a bummer to see the number dwindle, but Col. Don will always be a permanent part of Antlers lore.

NEW: Antlers Offers On-site Ski Rental

Friday, August 15th, 2014

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 complimentary 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/antlers.aspx.

Antlers Lobby Serves as Brief Refuge for Baby Moose

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

There is never a dull moment at the Antlers at Vail hotel! A baby moose sought a brief refuge in our lobby yesterday morning. We are hoping it safely finds its way back to mamma.

The Colorado Parks & Wildlife website has resources for how to act when encountering wildlife and specific information on Moose in Colorado.

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A sweet little baby moose sought a brief refuge in the Antlers at Vail hotel lobby yesterday morning.

Annapurna, the Antlers Puma

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Our friend and fellow Vail Symposium board member, Jay Huffard, recently sold his house in Minturn.  Perched outside was a bronze mountain lion originally sculpted by Edith Huffard, Jay’s mother! Rather than leave the sculpture there, Jay would like to sell it and donate the proceeds 50/50 to the Symposium and the Minturn Community Fund.  You gotta love that!

Annapurna 1

Since it wasn’t going to get much attention in a remote neighborhood of Minturn, the Antlers agreed to host this puma on our property, overlooking Gore Creek and the bike bath.  We named her Annapurna, after the mountain in Nepal.

Annapurna 2

While she may only be ours temporarily, we’re secretly hoping that someone will make a $6,000 donation and leave her here permanently … or at least indefinitely.  Either way, Anna is one of a limited edition of ten, and others have sold for more than $12,000.

We’re also wondering if she’ll keep away the deer and other wildlife that seem to frequent our back yard.

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As the Antlers Turn: April Showers Bring…

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

….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.

Why.

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.

Greg

 

 

 

Antlers Achieves TripAdvisor GreenLeaders Status

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

The Antlers team has always been environmentally conscious and we are quite proud of our longstanding leadership as a green hotel. We feel privileged to call this special valley our home, and our entire team appreciates the important role we play in reducing waste and pollution, and in leading conservation efforts. So, we are very excited to announce that we have been accepted as a Silver level GreenLeader into the new TripAdvisor® GreenLeaders™ program – one of only two Vail lodgings to achieve the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders status. The program helps travelers plan greener trips by identifying environmentally-friendly accommodations across the U.S. In addition to its TripAdvisor honor, the Antlers also was one of the first Vail hotels to earn Actively Green 2015 status as designated by Sustainable Travel International.TripAdvisor Greenleaders

While the recent green news isn’t a first for the Antlers, which was named Vail Valley Partnership Green Business of the Year several years ago, the new honors are meaningful for the hotel “because they acknowledge our continuing attention to environmentally-friendly efforts,” says General Manager Rob LeVine. “Our whole team enjoys brainstorming additional ways to save energy and reduce our impact on the planet, and we continue to implement ideas as they’re suggested. We also have been active in supporting the Vail community’s emphasis on going green – including acting as a sponsor of the Town of Vail’s portable solar VoltsWagon.”

From being a Vail Valley leader in converting wood-burning fireplaces to gas more than 20 years ago to installing an environmentally friendly laundry that’s one of the greenest in the area to smaller efforts like using refillable amenities containers in all of its suites, the Antlers has made green practices a regular part of doing business for decades. Additional eco-friendly initiatives include a highway cleanup day that guests can help with for a free overnight stay, free bus passes for employees, hotel-wide recycling, purchasing supplies with recyclable content, new smart landscape sprinkler timers with moisture sensors, investment in solar panels and wind power, participation in the Town of Vail’s Sole Power program and much more. For information about the Antlers at Vail’s many green practices, visit the Green Efforts page on the Antlers website.

TripAdvisor GreenLeaders

The TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program was developed in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® program, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the United Nations Environment Programme. “TripAdvisor GreenLeaders are leading the hospitality industry in making efforts to improve their environmental footprint,” says Jenny Rushmore, director of responsible travel at TripAdvisor. Travelers can search for accommodations with GreenLeaders status on the TripAdvisor site and view a detailed list of environmentally-friendly practices. For more information on the program, visit www.tripadvisor.com/GreenLeaders.

Actively Green 2015

TripAdvisor GreenLeaders, Actively green, Vail hotelActively Green 2015 is a community-driven collaboration with a goal of certifying at least 100 businesses across the Vail Valley for sustainability best practices by the February 2014 FIS World Alpine Ski Championships. The program offers education, support and resources to Vail Valley business toward achieving certification as designated by globally recognized nonprofit Sustainable Travel International (STI).

 

Win a two-night getaway to Vail

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Win a two-night getaway to the Antlers at Vail

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We’ve just announced our biggest social media contest yet! For your chance to win a two-night getaway to Vail “like” the Antlers at Vail’s Facebook page and then share your favorite ski, snowboard or mountain resort story or picture (or both) as a post on the Antlers at Vail’s Facebook wall. The post with the most likes at 9 am mst on March 14 will win a 2-night stay in a 1-bedroom condo at the Antlers at Vail valid between March 23-June 15, subject to availability.

Delight The Weird: Unique Hotel Amenities

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

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

Why choose between wine or yoga? Enjoy both at the Antlers at Vail!

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014
Yoga

The Antlers at Vail hotel offers complimentary yoga classes for guests Tuesday and Fridays from 4 to 5 pm.

Winter and snow brings back the return of some fantastic complimentary amenities to enjoy during your stay at the Antlers at Vail hotel. Complimentary yoga for guests began this past Friday. Classes are held every Tuesday and Friday from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm in the Whitetail room, and are appropriate for a wide range of ability levels.

Our guest wine & cheese receptions also returned last night. Approximately 25 people mingled and enjoyed wine and delicious food from Chef Barry last night. We were very happy to welcome some friends from the Vail Marriott. The wine & cheese receptions are held every Monday from 5:00pm to 6:00pm in the Millie Barela Board Room.

Your Antlers condominium comes with a fully equipped kitchen. If there is something that you would like, but is not already in your condo, please contact the Front Desk. We have spices, aluminum foil, saran wrap, crock pots, mixers, food processors, cappuccino/espresso makers, rice cookers, real tea pots and other small kitchen appliances available by request. If we don’t have something, and it seems like there’s a chance that other people will appreciate it too…we’ll go buy it! (How do you think we wound up with a cappuccino maker?)pdp_image_HERO3Plus_silver_45

Want to capture your epic ski day? Starting Friday, January 10 we will have GoPro cameras available at the front desk.

For those of you who may not have had the chance to meet the Antlers’ General Manager, Rob LeVine, or to have asked him a question, you may not know that you will consistently hear him say, “The answer is “yes”, now what is the question?” The culture at the Antlers is to do what we can to make sure that our guests feel welcome and at home during their stay with us. We offer many complimentary amenities, but if there is something we don’t yet offer that you would like to see, please let us know.

Actively Green for 2015

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

AG_Certified

The Antlers at Vail once again is taking the lead.

The Antlers, along with The Wren (East-West Resorts) and the Sonnenalp, are the first resorts in Eagle County to be certified by the Town of Vail and Sustainable Travel International (STI) as “Actively Green for 2015“.

Actively Green is the brain trust of Kristen Bertuglia, the Sustainable Director for the Town of Vail, and Kim Langmaid who chairs the  Eagle Valley Alliance for Sustainability.  The goal is to certify 100 businesses in the Valley before the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships which are scheduled to be held in Vail and Beaver Creek. The process is rigorous and the intent is to show the world that our Valley is in harmony, not only with the environment, but with each other with regard to business operations.

The process began back on September 4th when the Antlers hosted the first STI Educational  Seminar with 20 other business’s.  The training for certification is an intense exercise that covers 21 steps that need to be addressed and adopted as policy.

The criteria range from educating employees and guests about green practices, tracking waste, energy and water use, monitoring green house gases, responsible purchasing and simply pledging to be a good neighbor in our community.

The certification is a “living document”.

Data is gathered and documented into categories on a monthly basis.  This information is then used to determine the environmental impact we are having as we operate our business.  Hopefully, we will see savings in water and energy use and demonstrate to employees and clients the importance of our efforts.

We are proud to be on the forefront of this effort and are excited for the all the businesses that will be joining us soon.

2015 and the World Ski Championships just aren’t that far off.

Greg

 

PS – Without our own Sustainability Coordinator (Greg Ziccardi) the Antlers wouldn’t be in the leadership position we are, both in terms of this Actively Green certification, as well as all of our ongoing efforts.  -Rob