Adventures in Vail

Last week The Antlers had the pleasure of accommodating David and Kirsty Thoreson for a few days.  As the Official Hotel of the Vail Symposium, we’ve had the honor of hosting a myriad of incredible speakers, but none more fascinating than David.  In addition to being a great photographer and sailor, David puts the “A” in Adventure.  He also happens to be one of the best story tellers I’ve ever heard.  Whether it’s for sheer excitement, or an insightful firsthand analysis of climate change, I recommend spending some time on his blog, and if you have a chance to see him in person, do NOT miss it!

Antlers at Vail Hotel Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Antlers at Vail hotel in 1972  

 The Antlers at Vail hotel, then (1972) and now.

For forty years the Antlers at Vail Hotel has welcomed guests of all kinds:  celebs like Venus Williams and Robert Kennedy, Jr., babies and octogenarians, bunny slope skiers and black diamond pros, rock stars and business executives, families and singles, brides and grooms, yuppies and hipsters, boomers and empty-nesters—and canines galore.

The hotel’s anniversary coincides with Vail’s 50th birthday festivities, celebrating the opening of the new resort for the 1962-’63 ski season. Ten years later, the Antlers was one of the first hotels to open in the Lionshead area of Vail. The condominium hotel has evolved and grown over its four decades—and general manager Rob LeVine has led the property through many of its significant transitions.

“I’ve been here since 1984, and I can remember many of the Antlers’ milestones: our first website back in 1996, our $22 million renovation from 2000 to 2002, and our new swimming pool in 2004,” he says. “I’ve also been here long enough to remember when it snowed on the fourth of July, the time our roof leaked like a sieve and the year we booked a truck drivers’ convention and a ballerina group during the same week.”

As part of the Antlers’ 40th birthday festivities, now through June 30, 2013 travelers can ‘like’ the Antlers at Vail’s Facebook page and submit their own memories, photos, anecdotes and videos about their past stays at the hotel. A panel of judges will review the submissions and award one lucky winner a two-night, two-bedroom suite stay for up to four people, including free parking, Internet, and health club access. The Antlers will be running other specials and promotions throughout the year.

The Antlers Vail offers condominiums ranging from studio suites up to four bedrooms with fully-equipped kitchens, fireplaces, outdoor balconies, free Internet access and free heated indoor parking – plus free equipment storage for skiers and boarders. Every room provides plenty of space to spread out and all the comforts of home, and the Antlers’ Vail-insider staff is on call to answer questions big or small.

Conveniently located 200 yards from the Vail Gondola, numerous restaurants, galleries and shops are within walking distance and the free Vail town shuttle stops just footsteps away.  Named the Vail Valley ‘Green Business of the Year’ in 2009, the Antlers Vail condominiums are also proud to be named a Platinum Service Award Winner by the Vail Valley Partnership.  For more information, call 1-800-843-8245 or visit

Antlers at Vail Hotel Offers Complimentary Snowshoeing for Guests

Snowshoeing at the Antlers at Vail hotel

Photo: Dee and Tula Monstah

“Do something I’ve never done before” is a popular New Year’s resolution, and the Antlers at Vail hotel is making it easy for its guests to try the sport of snowshoeing. “If you can walk, you can snowshoe,” says Antlers General Manager Rob LeVine. “Because our guests love hiking so much in the summer, we decided to invest in snowshoes so they can explore the Vail Valley on foot in the winter.”

Snowshoeing is easy to learn and suited for people of any athletic ability. Beginners might enjoy an easy stroll at the Vail Golf Course, while more experienced athletes can get off the grid with a hike at Vail Pass or take a short drive to Meadow Mountain in nearby Minturn. The Antlers staff is happy to recommend trails, and snowshoes are available on a first-come, first-serve basis to registered guests.

The Antlers Vail offers condominiums ranging from studio suites up to four bedrooms with fully-equipped kitchens, fireplaces, outdoor balconies, free Internet access and free heated indoor parking – plus free snowshoe rental. Every room provides plenty of space to spread out and all the comforts of home, and the Antlers’ Vail-insider staff is on call to answer questions big or small. Conveniently located 200 yards from the Vail Gondola, numerous restaurants, galleries and shops are within walking distance and the free Vail town shuttle stops just footsteps away. For more information, call 1-800-843-8245 or visit

Free Yoga Classes at the Antlers at Vail

We will be doing our free Vail yoga classes for our guests again this winter. Classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30pm to 5:30pm. They are a great way to stretch and unwind after a long day skiing or boarding. Two days not enough? Please check out the Vail Athletic Club for their class schedules. Antlers guest can pick up complimentary passes at the front desk.

Yoga Pose


7 Reasons to Take your Family to Vail This Summer

Summer activities at the Antlers at Vail hotel

Left, soaring with Zipline Adventures; center, the Antlers at Vail hotel; right, the Antlers trademark loaner bikes

1. Vail’s ideal for a ‘walkabout.’ Whether you’re into scaling fourteeners, hiking up Vail Mountain or taking an easy stroll along the banks of Gore Creek, the Vail area has an abundance of trails, parks and paths for people of all ages, abilities and walks of life (pun intended). At the Antlers at Vail hotel, the staff will happily recommend off-the-beaten-path hiking and walking tours – and with a little urging, they might even personally show you their favorite trail.

2. Do something you’ve never done before. Go on a real cattle drive. Kayak. Soar on a zipline. Vail offers dozens of unique experiences and activities, from four-wheeling to hot-air-ballooning to flyfishing and more.

3. Spread out and stay awhile. The Antlers is rated #1 on TripAdvisor in Vail specialty lodging for good reason – it’s a convenient home base for families, with bunkrooms for small families, spacious four-bedroom suites for large families, and dog-friendly rooms for pets with families. The Antlers at Vail staff is happy to organize reunions for extended families, too.

4. Embrace your inner reindeer. Guests are welcome to borrow one of the Antlers’ trademark, antlers-adorned bicycles, and cruise around town or follow the bike path along Gore Creek.

5. Want more two-wheeler thrills? Rent a mountain bike from Charter Sports, catch the gondola to the top and cruise down the winding bike path – rated one of the top mountain biking trails in Colorado.

6. Let your kids burn energy. At the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola, Adventure Ridge offers bungee jumping, a climbing wall, mini golf, horseback riding and other exciting activities for kids.

7. Listen to a symphony under the stars. Watch a ballet. Celebrate the heart of soul music. From the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival to the Bud Light Hot Summer Nights Concert Series, Vail offers a rich offering of performing arts and music festivals all summer long. And since the Antlers at Vail is the residence hotel for the New York Philharmonic, you might even hear the sounds of a world-reknowned musician practicing during the day.

Since 1972, the Antlers at Vail hotel has offered a unique Vail lodging experience in a relaxed mountain setting. The Antlers is the proud recipient of the Platinum Service Award Winner from the Vail Valley Partnership and was named the Vail Valley Green Business of the Year in 2009. With condominiums ranging from studio suites up to four bedrooms and plenty of space to spread out, each room at the Antlers offers all the comforts of home including fully-equipped kitchens, fireplaces, outdoor balconies, free Internet access and free parking. The Antlers Vail is conveniently located in Vail’s Lionshead area with numerous restaurants, galleries and shops within walking distance, and the free Vail town shuttle stops just footsteps away. For more information, call 1-800-843-8245 or visit the Antlers web site at

Complimentary use of snowshoes now at the Antlers

There is more than one way to enjoy the snow here in Vail. At the Antlers we are now offering free use of snowshoes to our guests. Take a pair of our new snowshoes out for a light Vail snowshowl on the bike path or for a vigorous walk up Vail Mountain. Want suggestions on where to go?  Here are some great options;

1. The Beaver Creek Snowshoe Adventure Series continues on Sunday, January 6th.  Register HERE! (Fun for all abilities, beginners included.)

2.  Looking for a unique Vail experience or a kid friendly activity in Vail?  Look no further than Moonlight Vail Snowshoe Tours!  Tours depart from the Discovery Center at Eagle’s Nest (top of the Eagle Bahn gondola in Lionshead) and are available on January 18, 19, 20 & 21 and February 15, 16, 17 & 18 from 7-8:30pm.  Learn astronomy and the habits of nocturnal animals while you snowshoe though the pristine silence of the moonlit mountains.  (Reservations recommended.)

3. How about a full moon snowshoe with a Vail local?  Stop by the front desk and ask our staff.  There are a lot of great ideas out there, but we think the best one is to ask us…that way you always get something personal!

4.  Looking to connect with the solitude and beauty of the mountains in a more laid back way?  Grab a set of our snowshoes and head up Vail mountain at dusk, take a leisurely stroll along the Vail Golf course starting at the Vail Nordic Center, get off the grid with a hike at Vail Pass, or take a short drive to Meadow Mountain in nearby Minturn (be sure to stop by the most historic Vail Valley restaurant/bar at The Minturn Saloon).

However you choose to enjoy this great winter activity, always be safe.  For a few helpful tips for your journey, click HERE.

Happy trails!

Impact of Marijuana Legalization on the Antlers

I got a funny call the other day.  The guy says, “I’m John Ellis and I’m with NHK Japan TV.”  I wasn’t actually positive what he had said, but undeterred I answered with my standard, “Great, what can I do for you?”

He said, “We’re here doing a story on the legalization of marijuana and would you be willing to do an interview?”  My first thought was “Why me?”  On the advice of our crack public relations team,  WordenPR, I always try to make myself available to the press.  So was this a result of that?  Or did they have more classified information about my youth, qualifying me as somewhat of an expert on this subject?  I wasn’t totally sure of myself (still not recognizing exactly who I was speaking with), but my PR instincts took over and for better or for worse, I said, “Sure, why not?”  Any press is good press, right?

“By the way, where’d you get MY name?”

“Oh, we went to the Chamber of Commerce and they said we don’t want to deal with it … call LeVine.”

Excellent … probably not the youth thing.

About twenty minutes later John shows up at the Antlers with Mami, a lovely twenty-something-year-old interpreter/interviewer and Taka, the camera guy.  They set up shop in the lobby and proceed to spend the next half hour asking me how I anticipate our business to be effected by the passage of Amendment 64.


It’s clear to me (being the quick study that I am) that they’re looking for a story and want me to say that I expect to be overrun with pot-heads rushing to Colorado to get high. Or that our regular guests will quit coming altogether because of their own personal intolerance.  Or that our staff will be so stoned that we won’t actually be able to get anything done.

Naturally, I say nothing of the sort, and tell them repeatedly what I believe to be the truth … that I don’t really foresee much, if any, impact at all.

They seemed a bit surprised when I acknowledged that we already have guests (and probably more than a few) who get high behind closed doors.  Since the new law still doesn’t allow toking in public, that won’t really change.  We certainly expect our guests to respect the “non-smoking” designation of some condos, regardless of the specifics, and we’ll continue to enforce that.   As far as employees go, our staff is very conscientious and I have every confidence that they won’t allow what they do on their personal time, to affect their work performance.  It’s no different than drinking.  Liquor’s legal, but being even a teeny but tipsy at work  is totally taboo … not to mention an immediate invitation to look for other job opportunities.

Over and over, in as many different ways as I could think of, I kept saying that legalization just wasn’t a big deal, and wouldn’t really have much effect on our business.

I suspect they were a little disappointed at the lack of a story.  Oh well … Sorry.


There was one amusing sidebar to the whole thing.  When John first introduced me to Mami, I was kidding around with her (what a surprise) and said, “I’ll be happy to do this interview, but I need some consulting help on how to increase our Japanese market.”  She played along and agreed, in her somewhat broken English.  John asked if we had much Japanese business and I said yes, some, but not nearly enough.

Just then, a Colorado Mountain Express van pulls up to the door and a young couple gets out, ready to check-in.  You guessed it … they’re Japanese.  I turned to Mami and exclaimed, “I can’t believe how FAST you work!  You’re hired!”  I think she was amused … but probably not as much as I was.  I crack myself up sometimes.

When we explained to the arriving couple that this was NHK, their reaction made me appreciate the parallel to our own PBS broadcasting system.  We’re talking Japanese national public television.  This is a big deal.  I hope I looked okay in the interview and as usual, didn’t say anything TOO dumb.

Antlers celebrates Vail Holidaze a little early!

The Antlers at Vail had their annual employee Christmas party last night. All of our employee’s and their families get together every year to celebrate the holidays.

 Santa even made a surprise visit to hand out presents to all the kids!

Even the big kids got presents!

I’m pretty sure everyone was excited and had a great time!

Happy Holidays everyone!!

Antlers Holiday Lobby

Now that we’ve put Thanksgiving in the rear view mirror, it’s time to decorate the lobby!

Although we take issue (like many) with Christmas decorations going up too early, under the heading of “True Confessions”, ours were actually up by November 8 this year.  However, we have a great excuse … Two of our MVO’s (Most Valuable Owners), Ron & Dawn Bobuk, were visiting from San Diego.  When Dawn asked innocently, “Would you like me to help put up the decorations?”, we were NOT going to say no.  On the contrary, we actually locked her and Amy in the lobby for three days with only bread and water.  OK, that’s a stretch, but they DID work tirelessly.

Between the Department 54 Village,

Our new Christmas tree,

And the lobby overall…

We’ve never looked better.  Thanks Dawn!

Students Shoulder to Shoulder













I will act as if what I do makes a difference

This Vail Symposium poster hangs in our office and we at the Antlers try to live by those words.  They help guide many of our decisions, including our efforts to be good corporate citizens.  We are quite proud of our record in that regard, and frankly it just got a little better.  A couple months ago, Bob Bandoni introduced us to Students Shoulder to Shoulder.  Their tagline is “The International School of Global Citizenship”.  Rather than try to explain what that entails, we just urge you to investigate their website.  It’s meaningful.


Although the program is five or six years old, Bob explained that they were planning their first Global Solutions Forum here in Vail, in October.  The idea was to bring representatives together from the various NGO’s around the world and the schools who now participate with Shoulder to Shoulder.   The real purpose is simply to further their success and advance the mission.  It took all of about two minutes to recognize the value and importance of this effort.  In the context of our day to day preoccupation with our own lives and businesses, the opportunity to play some small part in something so meaningful was irresistible.

Last week, the Antlers was honored to host ten representatives from a number of the different schools that are now part of the Shoulder to Shoulder “alliance”.  Like some of the other worthy causes that the Antlers has adopted over the years, this was all done at no charge to the participants or their schools.  By helping making it affordable for them to participate in this conference, we like to think that the Antlers is playing a small part in the fulfillment of their mission. 

Like all great ideas, Bob Bandoni and the others behind this effort see it as something much bigger.  It’s not just personal growth for the students, but rather a significant step on the path to making this a better world.  That’s a lofty goal, but one which the Antlers is really proud to be associated with.