Archive for the ‘Antlers Guest and Owners’ Category

The Ultimate Vail Hotel Sleep Machine

Monday, July 28th, 2014
Vail Hotel Sleep

The rushing waters of the Gore Creek running alongside the Antlers at Vail hotel.

My first night in Vail was much too quiet.

I was all checked into Condo #308 at the Antlers and I was all tuckered out after a long day of meetings and introductions.

I turned off all the lights and climbed into bed when I was struck with the most deafening kind of silence. The room grew so quiet I was actually frightened.

Back in Brooklyn, where I live, I have become used to a lot of noise. A “quiet” night for me involves ambulances, honking horns, and drunk teenagers. Most nights I have to sleep to the manufactured sound of falling rain or ocean waves just to drown it all out.

So to lie in bed, in pitch black nothingness, with only my thoughts was a bit scary. I searched Diane and Jeff’s unit for something, anything, that could relieve me of the horrifying soundlessness. An A/C unit? A fan? But there was nothing.

That’s when it came to me: the perfect noise machine was just outside my window. I rushed back to the bedroom and cranked open the glass. The raging Gore Creek flooded the unit.

I crawled back into bed, finally at peace. Falling asleep to the sounds of the river became one of the greatest moments of relaxation during my week at the Antlers at Vail hotel. I don’t think I’ll sleep that well again for a long time.

Vail America's Best Summer Job BenBenjamin Solomon is the winner of America’s Best Summer Job, a 10-week, all-expenses paid summer job exploring what summer in the Vail Valley has to offer. A freelance writer based in New York, Benjamin has contributed to publications such as Vanity Fair, New York, Travel + Leisure and is the former editor of Next Magazine. Follow his journey on Blog.Vail.com as well as on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #VailBen.

Featured Antlers at Vail Residence

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

One of the joys of staying at the Antlers at Vail is that the condominiums are true vacation homes. Each homeowner has put forth the effort to make their condo a comfortable home for guests to enjoy. In the second installment of this new blog series we feature the homeowner of a 1-bedroom Antlers at Vail residence, and let them tell you a little about what it is they love about the Antlers.

Antlers at Vail 1-Bedroom Residence

before remodel

Antlers at Vail studio condo prior to remodel and conversion to 1-bedroom with bunks

vail hotel, vail condo, 1-bedroom, platinum, vail residence

Antlers at Vail 1-bedroom residence with bunks after upgrades

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim & Diana have owned a home at the Antlers at Vail since 1992. In 2010 the family took the opportunity to purchase the condominium next to theirs when it became available. It was a studio condominium in need of significant upgrades. After much deliberation Jim & Diana committed to a complete renovation that included moving walls to convert the studio into a 1-bedroom condominium with bunk beds. The kitchen was redesigned to move the sink and dishwasher to create a more user-friendly configuration. An old pot-belly fireplace made way for a new modern fireplace. New electrical and lighting was installed throughout. And, high end finishes included travertine tile for floors and the bathroom, granite for the countertops and stainless steel appliances. Their investment produced a luxurious vacation home for Antlers at Vail guests to enjoy, and raised the home rating from a silver to platinum level.

Owner Q & A

What motivated you to make the Antlers at Vail your vacation home in Vail?
Originally the beauty of Vail and variety of skiing attracted us to the Vail area. We have skied the East Coast, the Pyrenees and Alps, but nothing compares to Vail; Nothing is even close.  And, of course, the proximity of the Antlers to the slopes is extremely ideal. We love the ambiance of the village.

What is special about your Antlers vacation homes?
Our entire family has enjoyed many vacations to our Vail home. Over the years our children developed friendships with Antlers staff members, and we look forward to our grandchildren doing the same. The excellent management, employees and service at the Antlers are what make our visits to Vail special. Diana continues to show our appreciation by delighting the Antlers with her famous authentic Greek Baklava every holiday season.

To see more photos of the completed remodel of Antlers at Vail residence 402 click any of the thumbnails below.

Featured Antlers at Vail Residence and Homeowner Q & A

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

One of the joys of staying at the Antlers at Vail is that the condominiums are true vacation homes. Each homeowner has put forth the effort to make their condo a comfortable home for guests to enjoy. This fall these owners made a renewed commitment to overall property excellence and set the goal of reaching a platinum rating, with 50% of owners already having made plans for significant improvements to their residence.  Some of these are already rated platinum, and others are soon to be. In this new blog series we will feature an Antlers at Vail homeowner, let them tell you a little about what it is they love about the Antlers. And, we’ll tell you about the improvements they are making to their home at the Antlers.

Antler at Vail Homeowner Q & A

Antlers at Vail homeowner, Catherine Michela

Antlers at Vail homeowner, Catherine Michela

Catherine Michela

What motivated you to make the Antlers at Vail your home in Vail?

My husband and I sold his family home in Carmel, CA in 2002 and immediately started looking for a new “2nd home” in Colorado, as we had been totally in love with Colorado skiing for years.  We were fortunate that our looking coincided with the offering of several condominiums from the Antlers 2000 project and were so excited to be able to buy a new place at the Antlers at Vail, after looking at everything available in Vail and Beaver Creek and Aspen.  As everyone told us, you come to Vail for the winter and stay for the summer.  What a delight that we have enjoyed both winter and summer activities at Vail!

What is special about your Antlers vacation home?

Of course, I had a spreadsheet of all of our home buying criteria (I know – don’t laugh) and top on my list  was – close to the slopes, new if possible and good on-site management.  Not only did the Antlers come out on top of that list, it has been an absolute pleasure to become part of the “Antlers Family”.  Our guests often comment in our Guest Book “that they were so pleased to stay in our place” – “that it was beautiful and felt so much like home”

About the Michela Residence

4-Bedroom Antlers at Vail Kitchen: Recent upgrades include stainless steel appliances, durable tile flooring and custom lighting

4-Bedroom Antlers at Vail Kitchen: Recent upgrades include stainless steel appliances, durable tile flooring and custom lighting

Ms. Michela is consistently improving upon an already beautiful 4-bedroom home in the “Antlers 2000″ section of the resort. Last year she had new high-end stainless steel appliances installed. This year she selected a durable porcelain tile that looks like gorgeous hardwoods to be installed in the entry and kitchen, new wall-to-wall carpeting throughout, new living room window treatments and added custom LED lighting in the kitchen and bathrooms. This luxury home was not in need of significant improvements, but these upgrades complimented its elegant personality and also raised the rating to high platinum.

Nothing But Platinum Rated Condos

Friday, December 27th, 2013

We used to just be in the condominium management and short term vacation rental business, but now we find ourselves in the construction business as well.

Like every vacation condominium property in the world, we wrestle with individual unit decorating and variance of quality.  After forty plus years of non-stop pleading with some owners to “fix it up”, we have just instituted a formal Unit Quality Improvement plan.  Now we are not only encouraging and rewarding those condominium owners who invest the most, but now we also have some sticks to go with those carrots.

As a result, 43 out of our 88 rental units have made, or are making, upgrades to their property.  Some are big projects, some smaller, but all are meaningful improvements.  And that’s in just this year … we expect to have that much and more, in the next couple years following.   Which brings us to the construction business.  If we’re going to become a completely Platinum rated property, as is our goal, we can’t just tell our condominium owners, “You go figure it out.”

Rather, it’s our job to facilitate everything from new furniture and soft goods, to new flooring, windows, appliances, cabinets and some major renovations.

Tom c

Antlers at Vail Chief Engineer, Tom Schlader

Pete Sampson, the newest addition to the Antlers engineering department

Pete Sampson, the newest addition to the Antlers engineering department

Fortunately our Chief Engineer, Tom Schlader, is an accomplished contractor in his own right.  It’s a good thing, because coordinating and implementing this many simultaneous but diverse projects is way more than a handful.  So much so, that we just brought on long-time local Pete Sampson to help Tom in that role.  Pete’s been working as a project manager for a high-end home builder, so his skills are exactly what we need.

The Antlers commitment in this regard is enormous … in both time and money.  That’s okay though.  Like so many others, our business model is changing and we can  either embrace that change, or get run over.

Happily, we plan on being the runner, not the runee.

Setting the Standard for Condo Improvements: Reaching Platinum Ratings

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

In 2000, 70 individual Antlers homeowners came together, agreed on a plan, collectively assumed risk and then successfully completed a $22 million renovation and addition in 2002. A billion dollar new dawn of Vail followed. The Antlers is once again setting the sights high for property improvements. At the last Antlers homeowners meeting there was an overwhelming consensus to embark on a plan to become a platinum rated property within the next four years. The majority of improvements are to the interiors of the condos and require the individual owner to make a considerable investment. 39 owners have agreed to make significant improvements to unit quality in the coming year. Garo and Val are one of the first Antlers homeowners to make those improvements to their unit and reach the goal of having a platinum rated unit.

Garo & Val

Garo & Val nearing the end of their remodel of the home at the Antlers.

Garo & Val nearing the end of their remodel of the home at the Antlers.

In April, 2013 Garo and Val received their unit rating of 89 – high gold. Upon receiving their Lodging Quality Assurance (LQA) report, they researched what it would take to reach a platinum rating, and help the overall Antlers goal (of becoming a Platinum Rated Property).  They met with the LQA agency, and took notes of everything they could do to improve their home at the Antlers.

Kitchen with new stainless steel appliances, flooring, faux wood beams and new lighting.

Kitchen with new stainless steel appliances, flooring, faux wood beams and new lighting.

Before photo of the kitchen.

Before photo of the kitchen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking on the project themselves, and working hand in hand with their own contractors from Denver, they turned their home into a signature of beauty and creativity. Faux wood beams were installed on the ceiling. Beautiful and durable porcelain tile floor that looks like hardwood was installed.  The kitchen was upgraded with new stainless steel appliances. They installed a monster new flat screen TV with a stunning sound system.  And, they did all of this in just over a month!

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

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

Before photo of the living room.

Before photo of the living room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now their home is a Platinum Rated Unit (93 is their new rating). We are very proud of Val and Garo. Their tremendous effort, time and investment to make their Antlers condo the ultimate mountain lodging experience is greatly appreciated and we look forward to seeing which other Antlers owners will take on the challenge, as many already have.

To see photos of their newly remodeled home at the Antlers, click any of the thumbnails below.

The Gift of Vail: $99/ Night Stocking Stuffer from Antlers at Vail

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

village

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.”

Photo courtesy Vail Resorts, Dan Davis

Photo courtesy Vail Resorts, Dan Davis

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.

 

 

Outside Adventure Film School

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

The Antlers at Vail is proud to welcome the Outside Adventure Film School back to the Antlers for the 5th year in a row. The Adventure Film School, sponsored by Outside Magazine and presented by Serac Adventure Films, is an intensive one-week program held June 5 – 12, 2013 teaching students how to take their film from concept to screening with expert help every step of the way. Held in Vail Colorado during the GoPro Mountain Games when professional and amateur athletes from around the world converge upon the mountains and rivers of Vail to compete in nine sports and 25 disciplines, it offers a multitude of opportunities to capture action and adventure as subject matter. At the conclusion of the games, the students with the help of some amazing film makers including school founder Michael Brown, edit their footage down to short films. The Antlers hosts a FREE film showcase where the students show off their talent and hard work with a collection of fun, funny and entertaining short films. This is a unique opportunity to get behind the scenes and up close in the world of adventure film making.  The showcase will be on Tuesday June 11, 2013 at 7:00pm in the Antlers conference room. Light snacks, sodas, beer and wine will be served. Everyone is welcome!

Here are some great videos from past Adventure Film School Students in Vail and beyond!

If you are interested in participating in the school there are still a few spots available. For more information visit www.adventurefilmschool.com.

GoPro

Octogenarian, role model, Antlers friend

Friday, April 19th, 2013

If you happened to be walking through the Antlers lobby on a January afternoon sometime in 2002, or 2003, or 2004, or …

You might have been lucky enough to see an elderly gentleman sitting on the couch, listening to a tape recorder making an awful whistling sound.  Although he may have appeared to be sleeping (who’s to say?) he was also listening to books on tape, having skied all morning on those 88 year young legs. Despite the fact that he could hardly see anymore (hence the audio books) he still had a twinkle in his eye that reflected a life worth living … to the max.  You may have also seen him whooping up on me with a monster cribbage board and a deck of cards big enough that you or I could read them across the room.  29, 2 … 29, 4 and a pair makes 6.

Carter Williams started staying at the Antlers back in the 80′s I think.  I remember his Canadian Mountain Holidays one piece.  He was no spring chicken, but I suspect he could ski your legs off even then.  In the Antlers lore of octogenarian, character guests … Vlasta, Brad & Jane, Bill & Jane (different Jane), Jim Porter, even my dad David … Carter will always hold a very special place in our hearts.

Recently there was an obituary that went viral about an everyman from Mississippi.  With all due respect to his daughter who authored that one (it was fabulous), I submit that Carter’s is better.  Maybe it’s just because I loved him …

Rob

 

Carter Williams passed away on Wednesday, March 27, 2013 in Wesley Chapel, Florida at the home of his daughter and son-in-law, Marnie and Kip Bennett, following a sudden, precipitous decline in health in his wonderfully long life.  His other three children, a granddaughter and a devoted caregiver were also by his side.  Carter was preceded in death by his parents Johnny and Ruth Williams, his beloved wife Judy Birch Williams, and his three younger sisters, Wanda Barthelow, Doris “Ducky” Burke and Nan Slusher.   Carter is survived by son Mark Williams of Seeley Lake, Montana and Mark’s daughters Katie and Madeline and their mother Ginger; daughter Marnie Williams Bennett and Kip Bennett of Wesley Chapel, Florida and their daughter Sydney Price and son Joshua Bennett; son Fred Williams and Mollie McGill of Boulder, Colorado and Fred’s sons Carter Williams, Issac Williams, Reece Yapuncich and his wife Jenel, and Mollie’s sons Jack and Alex Guerin; and daughter Beth Williams and Doug Pewitt also of Seeley Lake.

Carter Williams played his final hand in the cribbage game of life, pegging out at age 95.  He passed as he lived, persevering to the end and leaving the world in his wake.  He will be missed by the myriad of people whose lives he touched with his keen intellect and sharp wit. Born of humble beginnings on a ranch near Whitehall, Montana to Johnny and Ruth Williams, he spent his early years in a one-room mining shack with dirt floors in Elkhorn, Montana.  Dad later moved to Boulder when his father became deputy sheriff of Jefferson County.  Graduating from Jefferson County High School, he attended the University of Montana, graduating with a degree in economics and a subsequent law degree.

Refusing to allow school and later work to interfere with enjoying life became a recurring theme for Dad. He and his good friend Bob Fletcher lit out for Europe in 1937 billing themselves as Montana cowboys.  They spent ten months bicycling through pre World War II Europe where they encountered people from all walks of life including Mussolini’s son-in-law, members of Hitler’s Youth Movement and the ruler of Ireland.  One of the stories Dad told often was of sitting around a bonfire with two Scottish boys, Bertie Brash and John, and two German boys, Otto and Ivan, who were members of Hitler’s Youth Movement.  Otto posed the question, “What will you do when war comes?” a very foreign thought to Americans in 1937.  Carter took that question to heart and wrote an original oration, winning first place in both the University of Montana and later the Montana State Oratorical Competition.

Following his return from Europe aboard an Italian tramp steamer where he developed an aversion to anything resembling pasta, he finished his law degree, graduating at the top of his class.  After Pearl Harbor, he enrolled in the Civilian Pilot Training program, becoming a flight instructor prior to joining the Air Transport Command of the Army Air Corp.  Having dodged an assignment flying ”the Hump,” when one of his crew was diagnosed with trench foot and the crew was disbanded, Dad was reassigned and spent the latter war years stationed in Tripoli, Libya in North Africa.  Here he spent his time flying C46s east and west along the Mediterranean, playing tennis, winning poker games, riding motorcycles and generally making the world safe from serious military protocol.

Dad and his friend Bjarne Johnson joined their law practice with the established firm of I.W. Church and George Harris, creating the firm of Church, Harris, Johnson and Williams in 1949.  He met his wife of 62 years, Judy Birch during his early years working as an attorney in the Ford Building.   They married in March of 1949.  They began their life together doing three of his favorite things; skiing in Sun Valley, dancing with his beloved Judy, and playing poker.  Later they would travel together to the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo, Norway, the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, sail through the Caribbean and visit Mexico with friends.    Kids showed up, beginning with Mark in 1951, Marnie in 1953 and Fred and Beth, the twins in 1958.  His time in Great Falls was divided between family, the law firm, his various real estate adventures and his many civic duties.   In addition to forming the United Way of Cascade County, he was president of the Cascade County Chapter of the American Red Cross, a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers farm club Board of Directors, President of the Montana Tennis Association and a founding member of the Benefis Hospital Foundation.   He was also, and perhaps most importantly a founding member of the Great Falls Ski Bums, a group dedicated to fostering the irresponsible pursuit of fun on long upturned sticks on a steep, slippery surface.

Dad often credited his success, professionally and personally, to his ability to pick good partners:  Bill Croft of Croft Petroleum; his boyhood friend Glenn Kyler and the Kyler Ranch; his law partners, starting with Bjarne Johnson; his tennis partners; his indispensable assistant of 34 years, Janet Connolly; and the greatest partner of all, his devoted wife Judy.    Other business success included Big Sky Lake Properties near Seeley Lake and Sourdough Creek Properties in Bozeman. 

Dad enjoyed the challenges of his business endeavors, which helped keep his fertile mind engaged.  Although none of his children followed his path into the world of law or ranching, they did school him in skiing, windsurfing and hunting.  In a moment of introspection, he said all things being equal he would have rather been a ski instructor.  He did give it his best shot, taking to the slopes every chance he got until his 90th year.  Ever generous he included the extended family, in-laws, out-laws, kids, grandkids and peripheral friends on his ski vacations.  He effectively imparted the ski gene to his kids and grandkids and their lives are richer because of it.

As much as Dad was devoted to enjoying his recreational pursuits, he was also devoted to family, extended family and clearly understood the importance of giving back and leaving a positive legacy.   The Williams—Ario Emergency Room in Great Falls and the Glenn Kyler Tennis Courts in Boulder, Montana are testaments to Dad’s generosity.

Vacations and family gatherings – at the cabin on Seeley Lake, skiing in Vail, Purgatory and Sun Valley, windsurfing on the North Shore of Maui, scuba diving in Martinique and Kauai, or helicopter skiing in Canada – often centered around the cribbage board where he schooled all comers in the finer points of the game.  Although at times these gatherings seemed more like “cribbage camp” than family fun, they demonstrated Dad’s passion for engaging with his family.

Following the loss of his beloved Judy in November of 2011, Dad went to visit Marnie and Kip in Wesley Chapel, Florida last April.  The warmth of Marnie and Kip’s welcome and the Florida sunshine were enough and he, in true Carter fashion, invited himself to stay.  With the exception of a five-week visit to Montana and the cabin on Seeley Lake last summer, Dad spent his final months with Marnie and Kip.  

Dad exited the world in the same way he inhabited it, fiercely determined to do and be the best in all aspects of his life that he could control.  In his later years with deafness and blindness overtaking him and shrinking his environment to a cocoon of family and an inner circle of caregivers and friends, he looked upon life with happy bemusement, still claiming to be the luckiest guy on the planet. He truly woke each morning with a song in his heart.  He provided a role model for all.  Humble yet wise, smart and yet unassuming he always expected the best of himself and his kids.  He will be remembered as the man who taught us to snow ski, water ski, windsurf, hunt and treat people as equals regardless of their social standing.  Every cribbage game well played, ski run enjoyed, joke well told and poem recited by memory provide a testament to this remarkable man.

Carter Williams has caught the first gondola to the Pearly Gates and in Ski Bum parlance he is “skiing elsewhere.”  Après ski, if you listen you might hear “one more sip, won’t sink the ship.  Hallelue!”

Please join the family in a celebration of Carter’s life on April 19th, 2013 in the Grill Room at the Meadowlark Country Club from 4:00 to 8:00 pm. 

 

 

Last Vail Chairlift Ride of 2012

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

I haven’t often been FIRST at anything (other than some seriously age-handicapped events), so I thought I’d go for LAST.  And I succeeded.  On the afternoon of New Year’s Eve, I found myself above Eagles Nest with only a few minutes before 3:30 lift closure time.  It was the last day of my Vail vacation, and I just wasn’t ready to embark on the final run to the bottom of the mountain (and the welcoming fireplace in The Antlers).  So, I blasted (and that is a very relative term) down Simba hoping to get to the Pride Express lift for one more trip to the top and, then, El Ultimo run.  The lift line corrals were completely empty when I got to the bottom of the chairlift and, when I cruised through the “singles” lane, I found that the rope was tied across the entry to the lift with the dreaded “closed” sign.  But I went into a tuck, stood up on the other side of the rope and looked beseechingly at the lift operator, saying “dude, it’s the last run of my vacay…”  And, he compassionately replied, “you’ve overwhelmed me.”  And, thus, I gained passage to the lift and became THE LAST SKIER OF 2012 TO RIDE UP THE PRIDE EXPRESS LIFT!

Epilogue … Wayne Skigen happily sitting in front of the Antlers at Vail lobby fireplace

Antlers Holiday Lobby

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

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!