Sustainability … One Step at a Time

When it comes to “going green”, the job is never done.  Or perhaps with a bit more positive spin … the opportunities are endless.  The fact is, you can never do too much, but every little bit helps.

At the Antlers we’re proud of our previous accomplishments, but still try to employ one or two additional initiatives each year. Sometimes those are expansions of existing programs and others are completely new efforts. This year we had some of each.  For starters, we bought another eight solar panels to go with the fourteen we already had. Then Greg Ziccardi spearheaded the effort to install over 1,300 LED lights in the condominiums (how many Sustainability Coordinators does it take to screw in a light bulb?).  This, in addition to the hundreds that Greg had already placed in our conference rooms and other common areas.

Under the heading of “brand new accomplishments”, last month we installed a SEMA electric car charger.

car charger

It cost roughly $3,000 for the charger itself, but we also had to run 220V service to the pedestal, which made the installation another $1,500 or so. We figured it would be quite awhile before we saw an economic return on that investment, but that’s okay … we’ve already picked most of the low hanging fruit when it comes to sustainability initiatives that actually save money.  However, to our surprise (and delight), in the first couple weeks after it was in place, we had two different Tesla owners call to make room reservations because they saw our location on their car charging phone app.  How cool is that?

Tesla charging c

Then, in order to take full advantage, we bought an electric hybrid Ford C-Max to use for running around town, as well as shuttling Antlers guests when we can. The cool thing about the C-Max is, like many new-technology hybrids, it runs on sheer electric power for the first 20 miles or so.  So if you just run to the supermarket or the post office like we usually do, it never uses any gas!  If we have to go to Denver or somewhere else, the self-charging battery/gas operation kicks in and it has a range of 500 miles or so at 40+ mpg.

Here’s the scoop on the car charger … It costs us about 80 cents an hour when it’s charging a car.  Most cars (it varies widely, of course) will get about fifteen to twenty miles per hour of charging.  That works out to be well less than half the cost of gas, again depending on the car’s fuel efficiency. Guests of the Antlers will not have to pay to charge their car.  In addition to just encouraging sustainable behavior, it’s our way of saying, “Thanks for staying with us!”

car charger sign

For someone who’s just passing through, stops for lunch and wants to “juice up” before they get on the road again, the charge will be $1.95 an hour.  That will help us recoup a little of the installation costs, and is still similar to, or even less than the cost of gas.

Given that some of the electricity we purchase from Holy Cross Energy is generated from those solar panels, and we’ve also been buying their wind power for years, it’s fun to think that our electric car and those of our guests  are truly running on renewable energy.

Now … what’s next?

Thanksgiving in Vail Filled with Comfort, Convenience

Chef Barry delivers Thanksgiving meal to suites; Ski Butlers offers ultimate slopes amenity

Thanksgiving in Vail

Chef Barry Robinson’s Thanksgiving spread allows guests to celebrate around a groaning table of holiday favorites.

This Thanksgiving join us for a veritable cornucopia of comfort and convenience, including a complete traditional dinner with all the trimmings delivered directly to guest suites and complimentary ski valet from on-site rental company Ski Butlers. The Antlers has always been a popular Vail hotel for family gatherings due to the variety of condominium sizes, bedding options and authentic and friendly “home away from home” culture, as well as our many fantastic complimentary amenities. Book your Thanksgiving at the Antlers by calling 1-888-268-5377.


Ski Butlers adds another level of convenience to the amenities-packed Antlers at Vail experience.

After the success of last year’s Thanksgiving dinner offering we are taking this year’s Thanksgiving in Vail to a new level. In addition to Antlers at Vail’s customary abundance of family-friendly amenities geared toward snow season – complimentary hot chocolate and cider in the lobby by the fireplace, complimentary snowshoe rentals and loaner sleds, complimentary GoPro cameras to check out for capturing getaway memories, and complimentary movie rentals for that all-important down time – Ski Butlers is now on-site to offer ski rentals and fittings, as well as complimentary ski valet. Ski Butlers will shuttle all ski equipment back and forth for guests to the slopes, saving time and energy.

The home-style Thanksgiving feast that Chef Barry will cook for Antlers at Vail guests includes tender, just-roasted turkey breast and homemade giblet gravy, garlic-spiked mashed potatoes, oven-caramelized butternut squash, fresh green beans with toasted almonds, seasoned stuffing, sweet-tart cranberry sauce, and mixed young salad greens with herb dressing, and for dessert – freshly-baked pumpkin pie and vanilla bean ice cream. The full meal will be delivered right to Antlers’ guest suites – all condominium suites include full kitchen and dining spaces – in ovenproof, recyclable containers, ready to heat at guests’ convenience. Cost is $35 per person, including service fee and excluding tax.

About Chef Barry Robinson

Internationally trained Chef Barry Robinson was a pastry chef and professional chef throughout Europe, Asia and Australia before moving to Vail in 1998 to take the helm at Game Creek Club. He owns Caterers of Vail, which collaborates with Antlers at Vail to provide exceptional on-site event dining experiences.

About Ski Butlers

Founded in 2004 in Park City, Utah, Ski Butlers serves 35 North American resorts in Colorado, California, Utah, Wyoming and British Columbia, Canada, and is the only ski shop in Vail/Beaver Creek to win the Vail Valley Platinum Service Award for exceptional customer service 7 years in a row.

Make the Antlers at Vail your “home away from home” for your very own Thanksgiving in Vail by calling 1-888-268-5377!

Antlers Achieves Platinum Lodging Status for Vail Hotels

Last week we received some very exciting news from Kathy Lichtenheld at the Vail Valley Partnership, “Great news…….After lots of hard work & effort the Antlers has achieved a Platinum rating! Congratulations to the entire staff!” Our assistant manager Magda King and project manager Dave Collins worked closely with Kathy over the last eighteen months to manage and implement our Unit Quality Improvement Plan, a property-wide project created to achieve a challenging goal of reaching Vail’s highest-level Platinum lodging status, having an average condominium rating of 90 or above.

“Our enthusiasm and intention for this meaningful and thorough upgrade throughout the property has always been guest comfort and satisfaction,” says Antlers GM Rob LeVine. “We are honored and excited to carry this designation forward, and are committed not only to continuously meeting its high-quality standards, but exceeding them.”

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 throughout a property.

“Congratulations to the Antlers at Vail for reaching a Platinum level rating in the Lodging Quality Assurance program,” says Chris Romer, president of the Vail Valley Partnership. “It takes a concerted effort, plus dedication, time and resources, for any condominium property to reach our highest rating. Reaching this level of rating shows a commitment to providing the highest level of guest service by the Antlers ownership as well as the staff.”

Because the Antlers guest suites are independently owned condominiums, rather than taking a ‘cookie cutter’ approach, all of the renovations were custom designed – personalized to owners’ taste, with the numerous interior upgrades over the past year including granite countertops, stainless appliances, new flooring, new lighting and entertainment systems, new fireplaces, furnishings and much more.

“While all of the upgrades meet the same stringent quality requirements, it’s fun to see the different details that personalize each of the condos – and resonate with guests, who often request the same suite on subsequent visits,” says LeVine. “This achievement was accomplished thanks to the hard work of Antlers team members Magdalena King and Dave Collins, as well as the many owners who bought into the plan and made significant investments to their condominiums. We are now looking forward to accomplishing our ultimate goal of having every condominium in the building rated Platinum.”

Many of the renovations that went into this effort have been features on our blog, and we will continue to feature future projects as we move to the next step of the plan and work towards every individual Antlers at Vail condominium being Platinum rated. You can browse a few of these projects below.

Featured Four-Bedroom Condominium4BR_living-kitchen_1600x800




AntlersVailLodging_2Brd_kitchenFeatured Two-Bedroom Condominium




New living room with beautiful flooring accented by faux wood beams, and a flat screen TV with stunning sounds system.


Featured Two-Bedroom Condominium



Featured 1-Bedroom with Bunks Condominium402_1bb_kitchen-dining




402_living-dining_2014Featured 1-Bedroom with Bunks Condominium




109_bedroom_2014Featured Studio Condominium





Pay It Backward Gratitude

The response to our Pay It Backward Weekend (see previous post) has been overwhelming.  Out of the 36 organizations we invited, we now expect 33 to attend.  Even better, their gratitude has made us happier than ever, that we decided to quit talking about doing this and just pull the trigger! Two of the people I spoke with even told me that when they awarded the stay to a member of their organization, that person started to cry.  Of course that prompted some commentary among ourselves that if the reaction to a stay at the Antlers was tears … what exactly does that mean?

No, no, no … these were tears of joy … honest.

This letter we received today is a great example of why we’re so pleased to be able to do this.  We think we’re the lucky ones!

Thank You Letter: Pay It Backward Gratitude

letter from the Center for Mental Health

Stay tuned for pictures and follow-up from the reception on Saturday.


Pay It Backward Weekend

The term “Pay It Forward” has come to mean doing something nice for someone in hopes that they’ll do something nice for someone else … a wonderful act of blind faith.

Logically then, “Pay It Backward” must refer to that circumstance when someone has already been so nice that they simply deserve a little reward.

With that in mind, we at the Antlers decided it was time to host a Pay It Backward weekend. In line with our constant desire to be a good corporate citizen, we identified three dozen wonderful non-profits and invited each of them to designate a person of their choice to spend two free nights in Vail, May 15 – 17 … no strings attached. It might be their Executive Director or a hard working board member. It might be their Volunteer of the Year. It could even be a recipient of their services, who they just think deserves a break today. Whoever they want … it’s totally their choice. Naturally, significant others and family members are welcome also. We simply want to take the opportunity to thank them for doing what they do, helping to make this world a little better place.


Pay It Backward s

The following organizations were picked somewhat randomly. We tried to find a good mix of social, environmental, humanitarian, health, military, children and animal related causes. The Antlers has a previous relationship with some of them and others we’ve just always admired. Naturally, there are a million others who would be equally deserving, but hey, you’ve got to start somewhere. Who knows, maybe we can grow this event in the future to include others as well.

Alliance for Sustainable Colorado
American Heart Association
American Red Cross Mile High Chapter
Audubon Rockies
Bicycle Colorado
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado
Boys & Girls Clubs
Canine Companions for Independence
CAR Housing Opportunity Fund
Catholic Charities
The Center For Mental Health
Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation
Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Colorado Public Radio
Colorado Fourteener Initiative
Colorado Water Trust
Crossroads Safehouse
Denver Children’s Advocacy Center
Denver Dumb Friends League
Denver Indian Family Resource Center
Easter Seals
Food Bank of the Rockies
Habitat for Humanity of Colorado
The Home Front Cares
Hospice of Northern Colorado
IDE – International Development Enterprises
Joshua Station
Mile High United Way
Mi Casa Resource Center
Rocky Mountain Rescue Group
Ronald McDonald House
Salvation Army of Colorado Springs
Sense of Security
Wounded Warrior Project
Women’s Foundation of Colorado
9 Health Fair

In addition to the free nights, the Antlers will host a reception on Saturday evening the 16th at 5:30. Similar to our weekly guest receptions in the winter, Chef Barry Robinson is guaranteed to wow everyone with his gourmet appetizers and the Antlers will provide the wine and refreshments. Again, no strings attached … people can come to mingle and network with all the other humanitarians, or they will be totally excused if they’re just too busy enjoying Vail and our surrounding mountains.

As of today, thirty organizations have RSVP’d and their appreciation has already made the endeavor enormously gratifying. We can’t wait until the actual event!

As always, the Antlers takes pride in remembering that life is short and there’s a lot more to business than just making money.

Not Just Another Site Tour

Under the heading of “Life’s Little Pleasantries”, Magdalena gave a site tour to Aimee Heckel on Sunday. By the way, Aimee is a very entertaining writer (  In this case, she was reviewing some Vail properties for Fodor’s.  Magda reported that it was a great site tour and also relayed an interesting comment from Aimee.  When she asked about our neighboring properties, Magda naturally responded 100% positively, even noting some of the strengths of each.  Aimee said that when she asked the folks at Sonnenalp about the Sebastian (where she was headed next, before us) they too had nothing but good things to say.  On her way from the Sebastian to the Antlers, she got the same feedback from them, about us.

Her observation was that she had never experienced quite so much respect and camaraderie between different properties, when on a travel writing assignment like this one. Hearing that made me quite proud of our community. No surprise … just a reaffirmation really, but I guess it’s evidence that when we sometimes call this place Happy Valley, we’re not always being facetious.

We neglected to get a picture of Aimee and Magdalena, but here’s Magda showing unit #518 on a recent (but different) site tour. Notice Asst. Executive Housekeeper Gladys Villeda on the right … who else sends their housekeepers on site tours? We do because we’re proud of that department! And yes … that’s an international travel agent proudly wearing his new antlers.


Pink Hat Auction for Pink Vail

In support of Pink Vail, the Antlers commissioned two Pink Vail Hats to be handmade and auctioned off, with all proceeds going to the fight against cancer.  On a personal note, the hats were made by my wife Evelyn, who got into felting last year!  I’ll have to do another blog post dedicated to some of her other wonderful creations.  For now though, let’s auction these hats and raise some money for a good cause.

You need to buy one of these hats.  With only these two items, we’re not up for a complex auction system.  No eBay for us.  We’ll do this the old fashioned way (if you can call email “old fashioned”).  Just send me an email ( with your bid and I’ll take it from there.  You can also call me at 970-790-5200.  Leave me a message with your bid and I’ll get it posted.  The auction closes on Tuesday,  the 24th at 5:00 PM.

                          Current high bids are:

$35 $50 for the True Pink             $50 $75 for the Dusty Rose

Pink Vail hat 2015 b                   Pink Vail hat 2015 a


Pink Vail hat 2015 f



Bravo! Like a Local in Vail this Summer

We love Bravo! Vail, and always have. The Antlers at Vail has been hosting Bravo! musicians since the second year the festival in existence. But we’re not biased in saying that Bravo! Vail is a highlight of Vail summers. The only music festival in North America to host three world’s-best orchestras in the same season, the iconic series was named one of “10 Can’t Miss Classical Music Festivals” by NPR, which led with the line “If musical heaven is overdosing on orchestras, Bravo! Vail is the place to be.” This summer Vail visitors can join the fun, spreading out tasty picnic fixings and mingling with neighbors while enjoying internationally famous orchestral strains with a new “Bravo! Like a Local” package from Antlers at Vail hotel.  And not incidentally, the Antlers also plays home-away-from-home to Bravo! celebs, giving guests an extra insider’s take on the festivities.

The Antlers at Vail’s “Bravo! Like a Local” package offers general admission (lawn seating) tickets for two – or four for families with kids – and a gourmet picnic to enjoy on the lawn. Package rates are $289 per night (two-night minimum) for a one-bedroom condominium suite – or a comfortable one-bedroom with additional bunks, if the kids come along.

The 2015 Bravo! Vail season runs July 1 – Aug. 6, 2015, with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in residence with performances July 1 – 8, the Philadelphia Orchestra performing July 10 – 18, and the New York Philharmonic July 24 – 31, with performances held at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. Bravo! also includes a long-running Chamber Music Series, performed in more intimate settings. And for those making their Bravo! visit a family affair, the music series offers experiential events for children including “Instrument Petting Zoos” and Little Listeners at the Library events. For complete Bravo! Vail scheduling and information, visit

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 {UPDATE: Due to popular demand now available April 5 through May 31, 2015}, 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

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.

logo, Vail hotel, elk, mountains

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.