What Is A Legacy… Millie Barela

Quietly Going About Her Business

Quietly Going About Her Business

Grandson Brian is a Third Generation Employee

Grandson Brian is a Third Generation Employee

She came to Eagle County with her husband Willie in 1959. Think about that. What in the world was here in 1959? For those of us that say we have been here for 20+ years and think it deserves an award for longevity, take a seat.

Millie Barela was not even married a year when Willie was lucky enough to land a job with the Gillman Mine operation. Their plan was to settle right here in Minturn and start their forever adventure together. They rented a house “on the other side of the tracks” for $22/month. They saved what money was coming in and bought their first and last house for (and this is not an over or under exaggeration) $650.00. Life was good and Willie was making such a good wage ($1.20/hour) that Millie did not need to work. Her job was to get ready for the camping and fishing trips they would do in their free time.

Being the progressive young woman that she is, Millie decided she wanted a car. It was 1964 and Vail was a place that still wasn’t on the map, but things were starting to happen. The Christiania Lodge was hiring and Ted Kindal gave Millie one of the first housekeeping jobs ever in Vail. She car pooled with her friend Lucille until she could buy her Jeep. She learned to ski with the originals on Vail Mountain, but really preferred skiing Meadow Mountain in Minturn. Yes there was a ski area where sled hill is now and as Millie describes it, “they had a chair lift and a place to drink coffee at the bottom”.

The years past at the Christiania and Millie commanded the respect she was due. Her pay escalated to $1.90/hr. In 1972, when the Antlers was still operated by Gore Range Properties, she applied and was hired as Head Housekeeper “by a guy named Richard, I think”. I asked her why she changed jobs and she simply said “more money, they paid me $2.50/hour”.

That is the rest of the story and it ends this year. After 37 years with the Antlers, Millie Barela is going to retire and this time she means it. We could speak all the stereotype phrases, “she will be missed”, “how can we replace her”, “the place won’t be the same”, but Millie deserves more than that. It’s not very often that an employee and a beautiful person can walk away from your daily life and truly have an impact on how you carry on.

Her gift to all of us, our owners, and guests is the gift of example. We all need to pattern ourselves as she has lived and worked. That is the legacy of Millie Barela.

Greg Z

(Of course she will be missed, but we can understand she wants to spend more time with Willie and all those beautiful grand-kids). We love ya” Millie.

Have a story or a fond memory?  Feel free to leave a comment for her.

VICTORY!

SCHLADER PITCHES COMPLETE GAME AND LEADS THE G.H.O.S.T TO FIRST WIN…EVER.

It was a beautiful evening for America’s past time sport. The teams gathered early for warm-ups at Ford Field. The stands were filling slowly and young fans stood near the dug outs hoping to get a glimpse and maybe an autograph from their heroes. The atmosphere was relaxed and typical for the start of any softball game. This night, however, would permeate with drama as the innings unfolded.

It was more than Schalder’s curve ball which kept the Snow Pigs guessing at the plate. It was more than than the almost flawless defense which continually frustrated the hitters on the opposing team. It was more than the bats of the G.H.O.S.T. cracking hit after hit. Scoring run after run.

There was magic in the breeze that surrounded us on this night.

The tension escalated as the team and the fans began to fathom the un-imaginable. “Relax and have fun out there” were the cries from the dug out as we took to the field in the last inning, clinging to an 8 run lead.

The Pigs are a proud team and refused to go away. A rally by the opposing team in the last inning was all to familiar to the G.H.O.S.T. Victory snatched away and the disappointment that goes with it has troubled this group in the past. But this Monday evening was different. After all, there was magic in the breeze and this group of fighters walked away with a 13 to 7 win.

The masses didn’t flood the streets and there were no car fires or riots in Vail on this evening to celebrate one of the greatest victories in modern sports. Rather the team had a quiet dinner and a couple (hundred) drinks and reflected about the achievement. I asked one player what’s next? His response while sipping on a pitcher of beer, “This hasn’t even hit me yet, ask again tomorrow”. I guess I should have clarified that I was talking about the game.

Greg Z

An end of season Result…

According to Greg, the end of season 4 at 4 was by far the craziest he had ever seen on closing day at Vail Mountain. Typically on the last day of the season at Chair 4 at 4 o’clock, everyone gathers to party, show off their retro suits, and the rest, well you would have to be there. Our adventurous Greg was and called to report in short, what was taking place. At the end of his summary, he stated, “I’m scared.”An hour later, we were greeted with a 4 at 4 result…Greg. Thanks for keeping us informed and entertained Greg.

What’s Everybody Up To?

The 2009 ski season has reached its final few weeks and this is the time of year that employees start making plans for the exodus to near or far away places. I asked a few what plans they have in order to regenerate and then return to start the summer season.I asked Darci what she is doing now that the season is over and she has won the Super Bowl title of front office managers…..“I’m going to Disney World!” Herself, Joel and Mariah are headed to sunny Florida to party with Dumbo and Pluto.Chris Ratz. and Sara have plans that are a bit similar (warm weather) but have no fun parks to visit. “We went to Hawaii a few years ago and had to come back after 3 days. This time we plan on staying for the whole reservation.” Book em’ Danno.”Magda, you’re from Ecuador, are you going home to visit?” “No. My crazy Grandma is visiting my crazy sister in New York and that is where I would like to go. She is here until July and we will need to take turns taking her to the discotheque.”Chris A. and Erin managed to get a house on a beach and are spending a week in Cabo. “We got a good price. Free. I’m really happy my girlfriend knows people in right places.”Matt Z. is going to spend time in San Diego and visit with some friends. “My beloved Cubbies are in town that week and I hope to catch some rays, the beach, and a ball game or two. They’re going to win it all this year, you know.”Tom S. has already been and back. “Eleven of us were on this 100 foot chartered boat and we floated around the Socorro Islands for a week swimming with the fishies and we didn’t run out of beer this time.”Amy S. is going to “almost heaven”. “I haven’t been back to West Virginia in awhile. It will be good to see the farm agin’.”Rob, you have to be going somewhere this year? “Yep. To the golf course every chance I get. There still is hope.”Yours truly plans the most opulent trip of all. First it was Italy. Then I considered Malta. I looked into Uruguay. Then I booked it….Cleveland. Lots of friends and family and it really is a great place to visit, but after 35 years here, I wouldn’t want to……..See you all for summer time in VailGreg Z

Bowling Party

For our annual “end of season” party this year we all went bowling down in Eagle. There was plentiful beer and food and a good time was had by all. Sadly, this was Kati’s last Antlers event.

Katie Schwabe

YOU’RE KIDDING……..SAY IT AIN’T SOSad news from the AntlersKatie Schwabe, employed as our Conference Services Manager since April of 2005, has decided to pursue a new career. She will be leaving us for San Jose, California as soon as the ski season ends.Originally from Wisconsin. she arrived in Vail in 2001. Her original plan was to be here sooner but it took 2 years for her to recover from the devastating Bronco win over her beloved Packers in Super Bowl 32. With the recent retirement of Brett Favre announced, we feel she is not thinking rationally. She has decided to enroll at the Palmer College of Chiropractic in California.Katie is already an established Massage Therapist and she simply considers this newest endeavor to be an extension of her own goals. She will study in San Jose for 3 years; will not be joining a rugby team; wants nothing to do with a sorority; may try surfing; and loves to play volleyball. OK, maybe she is thinking rationally.Best of luck to you Katie and know we will miss you. Consider opening up your new office and practice back in Vail?

Employee Profile

Who is Gladys Villeda?Just one of the sweetest housekeepers ever to enter a unit at the Antlers.Gladys was born in Honduras and managed to move to the United States in January of 1989. Her dream of living and working in New York was short lived and she didn’t last a full winter there. The last I checked, the climate in the Honduras is a bit warmer than up-state New York and I think that may have had something to do with her decision to relocate.Her choices were clear and after short deliberation of where to settle next, she choose Vail. Ehmmmm?In January of 1990 Gladys was in Vail to do all the things she has dreamed of doing in a summer wonderland. She realized quickly that she was living in a winter wonderland and decided to stay right here anyway and start her career at the Antlers. We are so glad she did.Ask her about her hobbies (she has never attempted to ski) and she will tell you that she has four hobbies. They are her children and that keeps her busy enough. If she is not watching Antonio Bandaras movies, she is planning her trip to Hawaii or Puerto Rico (imagine that).You’re Welcome!Gladys speaks excellent English and speaks with sincerity. She often radios the front desk after cleaning a unit and a typical conversation would go like this: “Unit 204 is ready for check in”. The front desk responds “Thank you Gladys”. She says “You’re welcome”. Or “The guest staying in 605 would like service next”. “I will do it next”…..”Thank you Gladys”…..”You’re welcome”. If you happen to see her leave for the day….”Thanks for a great job today Gladys”….”Your welcome, I will see you tomorrow, sleep well tonight”.You’re welcome to come stay with us and and meet this great gal.

Antlers at Vail Employee Profile

Lets meet DARCI WALLSEmployed at the Antlers since 2004, she is our reservations manager and our good friend.I had a few questions…..and Darci had a few answers……So where are you from originally? ” I was born and raised just down the road in Eagle”You must be a great skier? ” I haven’t skied since 7th grade and I only did that because my Dad made me”.So what our your hobbies? “I like to shop, but I think it’s more like a habit”.What is your favorite place other than Vail? “Anywhere there are palm trees. And a beach. And pretty drinks with umbrellas in them”.What kind of car did you want for your 16th birthday? “A Ferrari 360 Modenna”.Did you get it? “No. It was a S15 pick-up, with a little rust and bald tires. I graduated to a yellow Cadilac DeVille that got no gas milage, but it had leather seats. Me and my friends were really hot in that car. I’m saving for that Ferrari”.Who is your favorite actor? “Mike Myers and any movie he is in”. Ohhh Behave.What’s your sign? “I’m a Scorpio”. I never would have guessed.If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be? “Marilyn Monroe”. Good answer.What is your ultimate goal? “To retire somewhere around the age of 35, with a Ferrari in the garage”.What are you doing this weekend? “None of your business”.When you arrive, Darci will greet you with a smile. She told me that coming to work is a pleasure because of the people she works with. “We are all like family here”. I am witness that she is capable of making you feel the same way.

Super Bowl Party

Every year we talk about having a Super Bowl party in the conference room with the big screen. Well, we finally decided to do it this year, but only as a “trial run” with just our staff and few other friends. Of course it was an incredible game, which helped, but overall it was a great time. Half way into the second quarter we whipped up a makeshift box grid and Janina drew numbers for anyone who wanted in. Fifty cents a square. Evelyn mopped up with the 7 – 0 numbers at the end of quarters two and three, worth $15 each. Aaron from maintenance made out with the final $20 when Eli hit Plaxico at the end. Greg, Lisa and I had bets on everything from whether the next commercial would be for beer or a car, to what song Tom Petty would play first. Oh yeah, we bet on the game, too. Ultimately, I’m into them for three bucks. Whoopee.Joe and Janina Greene (110 owners) joined us, as did Nate and Lisa (from the Sonnenalp and the Christie Lodge, respectively). Staffers Justin, Magdalena (and husband Tony), Darci (with daughter Maria), Crissy, Lisa and Ratz all joined in for at least part of the game. We used up a fair amount of Coors beer, somewhat past the born-on date I believe (but hey, “free” rhymes with “me”). And the foodstuffs were perfect … Greg boiled some old fashioned tube steaks, which when smothered with Evelyn’s elk chili were good enough for me to down a pair of them (or was it 3?). Ratz snagged a bunch of crawfish from the Vail Chophouse, who had a Mardi Gras celebration going on. Plenty of grilled Buffalo wings, chips, deviled eggs and some of Lisa’s leftover (but tasty) birthday cake all insured that everyone went home pleasantly stuffed.All in all it was a hoot. Now that we know this works, we’ll have to do it again next year with a few more folks invited. Heck, maybe we’ll even crank it up for the Stanley Cup. Give us a shout if you want to join us … you’re definitely welcome.Rob

The Christmas Party

Last night was the Antlers Christmas party at Vista Restaurant in Arrowhead. They just opened in the Arrowhead location and their new space is very impressive. They have dark leather chairs that are the most comfortable restaurant chairs in which I have ever sat.The turnout was great with about sixty people attending this year, including all of our families.Our very own Santa (aka Hap) made his annual visit and handed out gifts for everyone. The children were posing on Santa’s lap while their parents snapped pictures and it must have looked like a lot of fun because the next time I looked up, the adults were posing on Santa’s lap for their Christmas shots too! As usual, everyone had a great time and good conversation, and lots of fun opening their presents. I’m already looking forward to the next gathering!There was a type-o on the menu which had salmon spelled s-a-m-o-n. Here is Rob coming up with the “very funny” joke of dubbing it the “Christmas Salmon-because it’s got no L”: