Another New Challenge

From time to time I have conversations with young professionals in the hospitality industry (usually twenty-somethings).  These days it’s not unusual for them to recount the six or eight different employers they’ve had in a similar number of years. Eventually they ask me how long I’ve been working at the Antlers. When I tell them it’s been thirty-one years they immediately form an “L” with their thumb and forefinger, plaster it to their forehead and proclaim loudly for all to hear, “What a Loser!”

Ok, whatever.

After working at the Antlers since 1978, and the last twenty-two years as General Manager, even people who respect longevity often ask me, “Don’t you ever get bored?” My answer is always the same … The hospitality business is NEVER boring. The old cliché that “every day is different” could not be more true. However, I also have the fabulous good fortune to work for a very unique Homeowners Association. Unlike most HOA’s who operate almost entirely out of self-interest, the Antlers owners have always had a much more worldly view.

With a long history of good corporate citizenship, the Antlers HOA generously supports a plethora of local causes and non-profit organizations. Sometimes that’s a donation of cash or more frequently complimentary rooms as in-kind support. That good will alone makes this an incredibly rewarding place to hang my hat. Beyond that though, the condominium owners here not only give me the freedom to pursue outside interests, but encourage me to do so. While that generally serves the Antlers well in the long run, it takes people with real vision to recognize and understand it.

The local Chambers of Commerce, Bravo Music Festival, the Vail Symposium and others have all benefited (I’d like to think) from the Antlers willingness to participate in a somewhat modified form of executive loan. Needless to say, none of that would be possible if it weren’t for Chris Ratzlaff and the rest of our wonderful staff, picking up the slack.  Ultimately the time and monetary commitment from the Antlers is significant. Of course it also provides for a serious amount of growth and reward for me personally.


Which brings us to this past Tuesday, when I had the honor of being named chair-elect for the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry. CACI serves as the state chamber of commerce ( I’ve enjoyed being on that board for a number of years and on the executive committee for the past couple. I was surprised when they asked me if I’d serve as chair in 2011, since the majority of the board members represent large companies like Lockheed Martin, MillerCoors, Qwest, Wells Fargo, etc. I often feel like the country mouse in that arena, with my 40 employees and $5,000,000 in sales. Nevertheless, I guess the collective wisdom was that someone in tourism from the Western Slope, who truly represents small business, would be a healthy departure from the norm. I hope they’re right.

One way or the other, this … a boring job?  You’ve GOT to be kidding. 


50 Years ….

Charley and Helen have trouble putting cake in their mouths

Charley and Helen have trouble putting cake in their mouths

Three generations later....

Three generations later....

…..and the Wachendorfer’s are just as handsome a couple as they were back then.

Charley and Helen celebrated with 85 of their closest friends on Saturday night, October 3rd right here at the Antlers. Actually the celebration started on Friday and continued until Sunday brunch was over and the final group picture was taken on the pool deck. They came from all over the country (and China) to hold their glasses up for two of the nicest people you’ll ever want to meet.

Their 4 children and all the grandkids along with many from the original wedding party, were treated to old story telling, sing along’s, a wonderful dinner, and a whole lot of dancing. Arguably, this was one of the best weddings I have ever attended 50 years after the wedding.

Thanks Charley and Helen for letting us be part of a very special evening.

Rob and Randi enjoy dinner with ” Greggy, The Blow-Up Doll”Rob And Randi enjoy dinner with Greg, the blow-up doll

Congrats to Jack Burch

Congratulations go out to Jack Burch for graduating from the Colorado Rocky Mountain School Graduation in Carbondale back in June.  The Antlers “antlers” are really getting around. 

Michela family enjoy another Vail Summer

Once again the Michela family enjoyed a Vail Summer vacation at the Antlers at Vail.  Bob and Catherine had daughters Danielle and Stacy with them, and of course the five grandchildren.  They were busy.  Gondola rides, hiking, biking, dinner at Blu’s, dinner in the condo, adventure ridge, rebound trampoline, etc.  Hope to see you again next summer…..

Michela Family at the Antlers (grand kids are taking the picture)

Who Let The Dogs Out?

The Serac Adventure Film School stopped by for a stay at the Antlers during the Teva Games. Stacy Jacobs put together this short piece: Who Let the Dogs Out?

Check it out and have a laugh. Could you get your dog to take the plunge??

As some of the rooms at the Antlers accept pets, many of these pets featured in the film stayed right here with us during the Teva games.

Vail Lodging Improvements at the Antlers at Vail

As the snow melts and the sun plays peek-a-boo, the Antlers at Vail is still at work. Besides staying open and preparing for the summer season, our need to keep the Antlers in full bloom consists of remodeling. Currently, one of our 1 bedrooms is undergoing construction in which there will be a new kitchen, bathroom vanity, and bathroom. Because the construction continues, there are only pictures of before and now…








The Antlers is on Facebook. Become a fan!

Hey Everybody- Your favorite home away from home, the Antlers, is now on Facebook. Search for us under “Antlers at Vail” and become a fan. You will receive updates on snow reports, Vail weather reports, town events, festivals, and more. Antlers Facebook fans will be eligible for exclusive specials throughout the upcoming season!-Matt “Zuder” Zaremba

Guests from NY visit the Antlers at Vail

Mora Levine and David Silken are visiting us again this winter. They were in Vail Colorado once prior to Christmas and are now here for their mid-Winter break. Joining them was Jonah from the Tahoe area. (she’s a great skier) We did runs on Forever, Wild Card, and Northwoods. Mora impressed me for sure. First day of the week and among many other runs, she did three Forevers and two bump runs on Wildcard. Way to go Mora! Finally, Peggy from Vail Ski school gave us private lessons and allowed us to skip lift lines. Yipee! Chris R.

Labor Day Owners meeting at the Antlers

Happy Labor Day

Owners Gather for weekend of meetings and fun

This past labor day weekend, the Antlers welcomed home 60 of our owners and their guests for 3 days of Vail Valley enchantment and a little business.

A little business involved the Board of Directors, with a cast that includes Janinna Green, Rich Buckley, Catherine Michela, Tom Riedel, and Carol Binns. They met on Friday evening to discuss budgets, building improvement projects, capital reserves and a host of things that make the Antlers run as smooth as it does. The meeting was adjourned to the new Vail Chop House in Arabelle for dinner and cocktails. While the Board was hard at work on Friday night, the rest of the group was relaxing at the pool, exploring what was new in Lionshead and Vail (and a lot is new), or just getting settled in for the weekend and preparing for the activities planned.

The first ever owners golf tournament was scheduled for an 8:20 am start at the Vail Golf Club on Saturday morning. A record number of owners were in attendance for this prestigious event (John and Stella Reynolds, Jerome Darnell, and Jim Taylor just to mention the 4. Rob LeVine, Matt Zeremba, and yours truly also joined in just because there was plenty of room for three more.) We declared all of us that participated winners, and awarded each of us a medal for first ever attendees. We hope to have a few more join us next year (Kay, Andrew, Nancy, Suzie. You know who you are.) The weather was perfect and the course outstanding and in the best condition I have seen it in years.

Saturday evening put the whole group at 4 Eagle Ranch for an old fashion, ranch style, ho down, type BBQ. The setting was perfect and included horses and cattle grazing in the distance, camp fires, wagons, and a cowboy serenading all the lassies. The sunset was spectacular and our cowboy hats off to Tom Buchus and his staff for a great evening back up in the hills of Colorado. (Note: Best cowboy wanna-be goes to Jerome Darnell and Rob LeVine. These guys looked like a combination Clint Eastwood in “Outlaw Josie Wales” and Heath Ledger in “Brokeback Mountain”. I even noticed both of them walking bow-legged after a few giggle waters.)

On Sunday there were some unit tours of a few of the remodels that have been completed this spring. Many thanks to Jeff and Laurie Radcliffe (303), Col. Don (305), and Bob and Catherine Michela (518) for allowing everyone to leave footprints on their new carpet while unveiling the transformation of these units to gold and platinum ratings. They are beautiful and you are to be congratulated.

Sunday evening culminated with the cocktail hour and meeting of all owners in the conference room. Board meeting business was related back to all those in attendance, questions were asked and answers were given, staff members were introduced, Rob was given a 30 year service appreciation gift and dinner was served for 80. Mary Parker and her staff, along with Magda and Cameron, pulled it off flawlessly again. (Note: the bartender is sworn to silence with regard to 9:00 pm and after conversations.)

Monday was a “free to do as you please” day and the weather did not disappoint.

In retrospect; as an employee and casual observer of the Antlers, I must admit that when all of us get together for just a short period of time, it brings to pass the wonderful relationships that have been created over the years. It makes me proud to be just a little part of this family. Thanks to everyone that came home and all those that make you feel you are “welcome home”.

Greg Z.