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.
Archive for the ‘Antlers at Vail News’ Category
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!
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.
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.
….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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Actively 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 the Antlers at Vail
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.
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?”
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.
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?)
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.
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.
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
UPDATE (1/5/2014): The following December special was so popular that we extended it for the remainder of the winter!
$99 spring 2014 nights with any winter stay.
The holidays season is upon us. Vail Mountain opened last week, the trees are adorned with twinkling lights, and guests have arrived in town to celebrate Thanksgiving with a ski vacation. We have been thinking about this special season and the friends with whom we have shared the holidays. One of our long-time guests, David & Jan Lee first visited the Antlers 21 years ago. The following Christmas they decided that the perfect gift would be to share that experience with their family and each year since have given each member of their family a week-long vacation and family reunion at the Antlers at Vail. And, what better gift could there be than a stay at the Antlers?!?
So, we’ve put together a deal so that our friends can score themselves some December Vail powder and get the gift of $99 spring lodging to stuff in stockings this holiday season with a special December Snow Deal from the Antlers at Vail hotel. For every night’s stay at the Antlers this December, guests can book a night between April 7 and June 15, 2014 for just $99 – and they can use the great deal for their own spring skiing (Vail closes April 20 this year), or gift the nights to friends and family.
“We were going to make the $99 deal just for April end-of-season,” says Antlers General Manager Rob LeVine, “but we got to thinking, what if you wanted to give a $99 night to your mom and dad who don’t ski? And of course you don’t have to tell them you only paid $99. Or your kid’s teacher who has to wait until school gets out – that should be worth some good grades. So we extended the offer through June 15 for guests who might rather ride the zipline or coast around town on our free-for-guests Antlers bikes in May or June, than chase April freshies.”
The Antlers at Vail December Snow Deal applies to Antlers stays December 1 – 31, 2013, for booking $99 nights April 7 – June 15, 2014. Some restrictions may apply.
When I told Randi that we had just bought 14 solar panels, her response was, “Really? Where are we going to put them?” A logical question, I suppose. Happily, we don’t have to put them anywhere… we don’t even have to touch them. That’s all taken care of. All we do is write a check and then start watching for the monthly credit on our Holy Cross electric bill. How cool is that?
Instead of being placed on our roof, Clean Energy Collective installs them along with about 1,986 of their best buddies on a two acre site down by the airport in Rifle. The energy they produce then gets fed into the grid. Voila! Naturally, the site was selected for optimum exposure and efficiency. The maintenance is taken care of in perpetuity by virtue of the purchase price plus a fraction of the energy savings from now on. Again … how cool is that?
When we replaced the Antlers roof a few years ago, we tried hard to make it work to install solar along with it. Sadly, we weren’t able to get it done. But hey … at this point … who cares? This is better. No muss, no fuss, and we’re saving about $700 a year on our electric bill. That’s about a 7% return initially (better than any of my investments are doing these days), and it should only grow each year as the cost of energy goes up (uhhhh … that’s pretty likely). Of course, even if the return wasn’t so obviously good, it would still feel great to be “doing the right thing”.
We at the Antlers are quite proud of all our green efforts and initiatives, but this almost seems too easy. Like, why wouldn’t you do this? If all goes according to plan, we’ll pick up some more panels next year, and the next year, and …
Another fun element of this project (for us, at least) is the fact that Mike Dow, son of Antlers owners Buzz and Connie Dow, works for Clean Energy Collective and is the one who sold us the panels. The only thing better than doing this kind of business, is doing it with a member of the family (well, practically). Since each Antlers condominium is individually metered for electricity, our next step is to point ALL of the condo owners in the right direction, so they too can sign up for this gig. Which is exactly what I just did for my own home in Edwards. Ya-hoo!