Winter Fun in Vail, Colorado

Vail is known for its epic skiing in the winter and its multitude of events in the summer. Well, winter is also chock full of events. It is a spectacular place for a winter getaway regardless of whether you ski.

Get in the holiday spirit November 29, 2013 with the Beaver Creek 33rd Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and 11th Annual Gingerbread House Competition.

Snow Daze. Photo courtesy Vail Resorts, Zach Mahone.

Snow Daze. Photo courtesy Vail Resorts, Zach Mahone.

The winter season truly kicks off with Snow Daze December 9-15. This year’s entertainment lineup will include free headliner concerts from Rebelution on Friday, Dec. 13 and Matisyahu on Saturday, Dec. 14.  Just announced Nov. 14, Big Head Todd and The Monsters will complete the entertainment lineup for Vail Snow Daze 2013. Vail Snow Daze takes place Dec. 9-15, 2013.

All Vail Snow Daze concerts are free of charge and will be held at Vail’s Ford Park. The schedule of activities for Vail Snow Daze 2013 will also include the return of the sponsor expo village and gear demos at the base of Gondola One, Dec. 13-15, as well as après and after-dark parties in the Town of Vail throughout the week.

Vail Family Holidaze returns December 20-22 and December 31, 2013 with ice-skating performances by world-champion ice skaters, tree lighting and the New Year’s Eve Torchlight Ski Down and fireworks. Holidaze typically includes a candy cane patrol, kids zones (free event stations with holiday crafts), the Vail Arctic Express train rides, Santa’s Workshop and more), family movie nights, Dickens Carolers and then concludes with New Year festivities (Torchlight Parade of ski instructors and Vail locals form a glowing train of  as they ski down Golden Peak with glowing sticks, followed by a fireworks display).

Holidaze. Photo courtesy Vail Resorts, Tom Green.

Holidaze. Photo courtesy Vail Resorts, Tom Green.

Beaver Creek hosts their annual Winterfest December 21-31, 2013. Winterfest includes a multitude of performances, interactive activities, winter characters, parades, contests, holiday lights and more!

Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships returns to Vail, Colorado March 3-8, 2014. The Burton US Open and Vail will host over 100 of the world’s best riders like Shaun White, Mark McMorris, Kelly Clark, Torah Bright, Jamie Anderson, Iouri Podladtchikov and more, for four days of progressive Halfpipe and Slopestyle competitions that offer over $340,000 in cash prizes.

April 2-5, 2014 the Taste of Vail will showcase more than 30 of Vail’s finest chefs and restaurateurs alongside the owners and winemakers from nearly 50 of the countries’ top wineries.

World Championship Pond Skimming in Vail, Colorado

An athlete competes in the World Pond Skimming Championships. He takes to the air in the hopes of making it across a freezing pond before sinking. Photo Credit: Tom Green, Courtesy Vail Resorts

Spring Back to Vail, the biggest end-of-season bash in the Rocky Mountains, returns to Vail April 7-20, 2014!  This celebration concludes the season in style with some serious fun under the sun, including free live concerts, the infamous World Pond Skimming Championships, après after-dark parties, base area giveaways, and so much more!

And, of course there is so much else to do all season long from world-class shopping to snowshoeing, ice skating, sleigh rides and tubing and ski biking up at Adventure Ridge.

Golden Glow of Fall in Vail

Fall in Vail. Photo courtesy of VLMD & Jack Affleck.

Fall in Vail. Photo courtesy of VLMD & Jack Affleck.

I always get a bit sad when summer starts to wind down, until I remember that the end of summer means the beginning of fall, one of the most beautiful times of year in Vail.

This year summer seemed to come to a close with rains, low hanging clouds and fog. Then this morning blue skies emerged along with a crispness in the air and of course the glorious golden colors of the Aspen leaves up high on the mountains.

Fall in Vail really is the best time to get out for a spectacular hike or bike ride. But there are so many other ways to take in the amazing fall foliage. Try a ride up the gondola, a horseback ride, or the Leadville train for a different view.

Photo courtesy Beaver Creek Stables.

Golden Aspens from horseback. Photo courtesy Beaver Creek Stables.

There are fewer events going on now that it is fall and town is a little quieter with kids back in school. Vail specials begin. The Antlers at Vail is offering up to 50% off Vail lodging, and we continue our free late Sunday check-out. Restaurants begin to offer specials, and the first annual Vail Restaurant Week will kick off September 27, and run through October 6.

Post by Liana, the Antlers’ Marketing Gal

Jazz @ Vail Square Offers High-Energy Jazz and Blues

Have you enjoyed Jazz at Vail Square yet this summer? There is still time! Today’s performance is the perfect kick off to the Pro Challenge coming through Vail tomorrow.

Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers Perform Thursday at Jazz @ Vail Square

Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers Perform Thursday at Jazz @ Vail Square

Today’s performance promises to be a toe-tingling time with Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers.

Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers heat up the Jazz Tent with high-energy jazz and blues that will make anyone and everyone’s body itch to swing. Those who are so inclined are welcomed to take their moves to an open dance floor below the stage.

Hailing from California, Lavay Smith and her band have become a highly revered staple of the San Francisco jazz scene. Of their many awards and accolades, they earned the San Francisco Chronicle’s reader’s choice poll for best band. Nationally, they have been heralded by everyone from actor Dan Akroyd to Bill Clinton for their talent and feel-good dynamic.

The Seattle Times have deemed them “the best thing to come out of the jump/swing revival … the gal can sing her tail off,” and the Boston Globe has commented that the band is  “a notable exception to the retro-swing norm. The saucy vocalist and her crew actually know the difference between jump music and bland R&B in corny suits.”

Snapping her fingers and shaking her hips, Smith belts out her very own, “ruby red lip” and “daddy”-filled  tunes and also adds a fresh level of richness to numbers by such icons as Billie Holiday and Bessie Smith.

When asked in a recent podcast about how enjoyable it must be to woo younger generations into the realm of classic jazz and swing, Smith said, “What I really love is when an old guy who may not be a musician comes to the show and loves the music and says, ‘they’re playing my music. You guys are doing it right,’”

The seven-piece Skillet Lickers in and of themselves are star-studded. Founded and led by pianist Chris Siebert, who writes most of the band’s original arrangements, every Skillet Licker (Mike Olmos, Danny Armstrong, Jules Broussard, Robert Stewart, Nat Johnson and Howard Wiley) has an A-list track record of Lincoln Jazz Center performances and recordings with everyone from Wynton Marsalis to Qunicy Jones.

“One thing we’ve set out to do in this band is to have some of the power of a big band but the looseness of a small band,” Siebert said. “To play with this horn section, I think, man if I wasn’t playing with them tonight, I’d be paying to see them. I get to play with my heroes and listen to them solo. How did I get to be so lucky?”

What: Jazz @ Vail Square with Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers

When: 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22

Where: The weatherproof Jazz Tent at The Arrabelle in Lionshead

Tickets: Preferred seats are $20 in advance, $25 day of show and general admission is FREE on a first-come basis. Visit vailjazz.org.

 

Vail Fourth of July Festivities Expanded

Antlers' owners and guests enjoy the Fourth of July parade in Vail.

Antlers’ owners and guests enjoy the Fourth of July parade in Vail.

There is never a void of things to do in Vail for the Fourth of July, and this year is no exception. Vail America Days returns to Vail Village and continues throughout the Fourth of July weekend, July 4 – July 7. The celebration  has been expanded to a four-day festival featuring spectacular fireworks, a classic town parade  through the heart of Vail Village, live music, children’s entertainment and an open-air street  festival atmosphere.

Entertainment will include Vail’s celebrated 4th of July parade this year with a nostalgic theme, fireworks by the world-famous Zambelli Fireworks (conditions permitting), live musical  entertainment throughout the weekend featuring family music, Jazz, and our annual Patriotic Music from Bravo! Vail featuring the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. For the family, there will be an array of children’s activities, and multi-day festival style attractions with Americana style food and drink  – as always complimented by all that Vail summer has to offer on and off the mountain.

The Vail 50th themed parade will begin at Golden Peak at 10 a.m. on Thursday July 4 and will wind its way through the villages, ending in Lionshead. Vail’s parade is one of the most popular events during the Independence Day holiday, attracting thousands of spectators. This year’s theme is “Vail’s 50th Anniversary Celebration” and will set the tone for the rest of the day’s celebrations featuring musical entertainment, a patriotic concert and a fireworks display at dusk.

Fourth of July celebrations continue at noon and throughout the remainder of the day with free entertainment in Vail Village at the main Vail America Days Stage at Solaris Plaza. The live music and beer garden will be open to the public through 10 p.m. on and stay open from noon – 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 5 and Sunday, July 6 to keep the celebration going. Another new addition to Vail America Days, is the Stars and Stripes zones, which offer an array of games and activities for the whole family to enjoy, The Stars and Stripes zones are complimentary and will be located in Lionshead and Gore Creek Promenade on Thursday, July 4 – Saturday July 6 from 12 – 4 p.m. each day.

For a complete schedule visit VailAmericaDays.com.

Full Circle; around the world from Vail and back again.

“Friends are the Family you choose.” That quote is attributed to a lot of people but who said it first I have no idea. When you work for, stay with or visit the Antlers at Vail you become a part of a family much larger than you might realize. Being a relatively new employee here – only 4 years this August- I had no idea what I was really getting myself into. I say only 4 years because our current head housekeeper Lora Montez has been here at least 38 years her sister Millie Barela was on the original construction clean-up crew in 1972 before becoming head housekeeper for 32 years. Rob LeVine our General Manager has been here 35 this year. A few have been here between 20-25 years! Like Randi Davis our Controller has 26 years under her belt and Gladys Villeda one of our housekeeping supervisors is going 25 years strong! I really could go on but that is a blog for another time!

Millie, Gladys and Martha 2000

Millie, Gladys and Martha 2000

The great thing is when people leave, especially former employees, they tend to come back and you get to meet a lot of “family” members. And everyone always has a story to share whether it be reminicing about their days at the the Antlers or what has transpired since. I had the chance to meet, very briefly, a member of the Antlers family yesterday Polly Letofsky. Polly worked at the Antlers in the late 90’s doing the very job I do now, conference services. She left the Antlers to embark on a journey to walk around the world. More importantly I was able to hear her speak this morning. Polly is in town giving a presentation for one of the many Colorado Municipal League Conference  sessions going on this week. She is very fun and has some great stories to tell about her adventure. I didn’t get to hear all of her presentation though because I was after all suppose to be working! (Shhh don’t tell anyone I played hooky for about 30 minutes).

“Polly left her home and headed west across 4 continents and over 14,000 miles – by foot – to become the first woman to walk around the world. As an awareness campaign for breast cancer, strangers welcomed her into their homes. But it was never an easy road; Polly struggled with earthquakes, muggings, languages, even religious riots”. This is one story worth hearing, knowing and sharing!

Polly at the Antlers Employee Party 1999

Polly at the Antlers Employee Party 1999

I guess I have some pretty big shoes to fill! I don’t have any currently plans to walk around the world but you never know, life can take you places you never saw coming. Listening to Polly talk about her adventure is inspirational to say the least, and very entertaining.
Katie Nelson,
Conference Services Manager – (Future achievements currently unknown but unlimited)

 

Pets and Musical Children Make the Antlers at Vail Home

Dock Dogs competition at the 2013 GoPro Mountain Games.

Dock Dogs competition at the 2013 GoPro Mountain Games.

We love the variety of friends who make the Antlers their home while here in Vail. As the official pet-friendly hotel of the Go Pro Mountain Games, we enjoyed many furry friends visiting over the weekend. Those furry friends included a skateboarding bulldog and competitors in the 2013 Dock Dogs competition at the GoPro Mountain Games. Most of those friends have checked out now, and our friends at the Colorado Children’s Chorale have checked in. Our condo arrangements (from studios to four-bedroom condos, all with full kitchens) make us an ideal home for families, or anyone coming for an extended stay.

 

The Colorado Children's Chorale during their annual visit at the Antlers at Vail.

The Colorado Children’s Chorale during their annual visit at the Antlers at Vail.

The Colorado Children’s Chorale is at the Antlers for their annual visit.  They are in town for a workshop designed to develop performance skills such as singing, dancing, acting and stage movement. Professional conductors and Chorale members work with attendees to share music and theater skills plus elements of teamwork and self confidence. The workshop concludes with a performance, Voices in the Valley, featuring workshop participants on stage with the Colorado Children’s Chorale at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater on Friday, June 14 at 7:00 p.m.

Here’s a taste of all the fun we’re looking forward to at the Antlers at Vail Condominiums and Conference Center this week in a video of the Colorado Children’s Chorale Rehearsing in the Antlers at Vail Courtyard in 2010.

Jazz @ Vail Square Comes to Lionshead Starting July 4

Will Campa belts in out in the tent at Vail Square in 2012.. by Anthony Thornton

Will Campa belts in out in the tent at Vail Square in 2012.. by Anthony Thornton

The 2013 Jazz @ Vail Square Thursday night lineup brings stars from every corner of the jazz genre to the Antlers’ neighborhood

The Vail Jazz Festival in Vail, Colo., has planted itself firmly on the map for jazz connoisseurs all over the world, but in recent years with its mix of Cuban, Latin, rock, blues, swing and soul, it has seriously pushed the limits of the genre and has thus attracted a slew of enthusiastic new fans. Celebrating its 19th year, this summer is sure to recruit a whole lot more.

The festival stops in the Antlers’ neighborhood in Lionshead from 6 to 8 p.m. every Thursday for Jazz @ Vail Square in an open-air tent, just 150 yards from the Antlers at Vail.

Here’s the lineup:

July 4: Curtis Stigers and SaRon Crenshaw pay tribute to The Red, White & The Blues.  Kicking off the summer’s star-studded lineup with a star-spangled onslaught of talent with renowned saxophonist/vocalist Curtis Stigers and New York-based guitarist SaRon Crenshaw paying tribute to all that’s red hot and bluesy. Have you heard the theme song to Sons of Anarchy? That’s Stigers. He headlines the Pops with Bravo! Vail last year with 3,000 people listening in rapt wonder.

July 11: Wil Campa y Su Gran Union. Get your dancing shoes on for a veritable circus of steel-drum infused energy. Great indeed, the Cuban ensemble is comprised of 12 musicians who typically break out in collaborative stepping and instrument swinging. Making their Vail debut last year, they are back by popular demand.

July 18: Ann Hampton Callaway.  Having performed on Broadway, sung with Wynton Marsalis and the Boston Pops and wowed the valley with her passionate, spontaneous delivery last winter when she landed at the Vilar Center paying tribute to Ella Fitzgerald Callaway returns to highlight the nation’s most revered stage and screen classics in her Great American Songbook-focused performance.

July 25: Frank Vignola & Vinny Raniolo.  Although Frank Vignola may be a jazz guitarist, he has been influenced by rock icons such as Eddie Van Halen and Frank Zappa, and has played sidekick to the likes of Madonna and Ringo Starr. Five years ago, he teamed up with fellow New York guitarist Vinny Raniolo and the duo make their strings smoke as they match melodies on stage.

Aug. 1: John Pizzarelli Quartet. You could say that John Pizzarelli comes from a musical family. His father Bucky performed for two presidents (Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton) and was in the band for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. John has played guitar with James Taylor and Paul McCartney. Along with his brother Martin on stand-up bass, John will be joined by his wife, fellow guitarist Jessica Molaskey, with whom he has a radio show in New York City. Pianist Larry Fuller and drummer Tony Tedesco round out the ensemble. Expect surprising, unique twists on jazz classics.

Aug. 8: Tommy Igoe Sextet. The spotlight turns onto the drum kit for this show, in which Tommy Igoe  (son of legend Sonny Igoe) hammers out numbers that are guaranteed not to be your grandpa’s jazz. Having written the drumline for Broadway’s The Lion King, Igoe takes after everyone from his father to The Beatles. He started The Birdland Big Band, which is famous for regularly selling out Manhattan’s Birdland Jazz Club. He is joined by five more virtuoso musicians.

Aug. 15: Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band. Also a percussionist, Poncho Sanchez specializes in the congo and can also belt out his fair share of salsa. He and his band have won Grammys for best Latin Jazz. Bringing an onslaught of horns, piano, percussion and a lot of Latin soul, Sanchez should ignite a dance party if not an actual flame or two.

 Aug. 22: Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers. Some people view jazz as a chilled out brand of music best suited for closed eye listening and calm finger snapping, but Lavay Smith takes that stereotype and launches it right out of its armchair. Oh, and did someone say dance party? With vocal stylings reminiscent of Billie Holiday and Bessie Smith, Lavay brings not just her Skillet Lickers to Vail but also some serious swing dancing.

Aug. 29: Clayton Brothers Sextet and The Vail Jazz All-Stars. Mainstays and resident heroes of the Vail Jazz Festival, saxophonist Jeff Clayton and bassist John Clayton compose the most dynamic delivery of original jazz this side of the Rocky Mountains with fellow famed jazz stars Terrell Stafford on trumpet, Bill Cunliffe on piano, Wycliffe Gordon on Trombone and Lewis Nash on drums. The energy leaps yet an extra octave with the Vail Jazz All Stars – a selection of the most talented young jazz musicians in North America whom the Sextet has mentored through the intensive Vail Jazz Workshop. It all leads up to this, the climax.

If you are staying at the Antlers, not only will you be able to conveniently access the performances, but you also might even be able to catch some of the fabulous sounds from your hotel condo balcony. We are looking forward to it!

 

 

Outside Adventure Film School

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

Summer Family Fun in Vail

 

There is much to enjoy in Vail during the summer for locals and visitors alike

There is much to enjoy in Vail during the summer for locals and visitors alike

 

This beautiful sunny Colorado weather we enjoyed earlier this week has me itching for summer and all of the fun family activities that summer brings. We live in such a great place to raise family (or enjoy an extended family vacation), particularly in the summer when you can get out and enjoy fresh mountain air, sun and a multitude of activities.

Here are a few of the activities I am looking forward to enjoying very soon:

 

  • Taking the kids into town to ride the free Town of Vail bus, playing at the pirate ship park, cooling off in the children’s fountain and then enjoying a treat. Warning to parents: A candy store conveniently located itself right next to the fountain, so be prepared to take your kids in for a treat.
  • Taking a picnic and riding the gondola up to the top of Vail Mountain to enjoy some leisurely hiking and spectacular views.
  • Coming into Vail to meander through the Vail Farmers’ Market, enjoy some free jazz, getting some balloons for the kiddos and then enjoying lunch on a patio.
  • The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens hosts a butterfly release on May 24 at 11 am. Local school classes release the beautiful butterflies. It is a great opportunity to check out the gardens and play at the park adjacent to the gardens.
  • There are a multitude of great hikes in the area. I’m looking forward to taking the kiddos up on some of the easier trails for some exercise and to enjoy nature and take in the views.
  • Speaking of nature, Walking Mountains Science Center has all kinds of great family activities. I’m looking forward to checking out their Earth Keepers Preschool program and a nature walk.
  • I have also put the Bravo! Vail family concert featuring the National Repertory Orchestra on my calendar. It starts at 10am on July 14 with an instrument petting zoo—lots of fun for the kiddos as they get to try their hand at a variety of instruments. Then the concert starts at 11am.
  • Beaver Creek has some great activities too. We will make it over a couple of Fridays for their Fridays at the Park with free gondola rides, pony rides with Beaver Creek Stables, snow cones, roasting s’mores and more! The Beaver Creek rodeo  on Thursday evenings is fun too. They have a mutton-busting event that is pretty humorous.
  • But, the thing I am most looking forward to this summer is hanging in my own ‘hood. I live in EagleVail and it is in my opinion the best Vail area location in the summer! We have a plot in our community garden just across the street. I am looking forward to taking the kids over to plant seeds and look after the garden, and enjoy grilling out with friends in the garden. Also, EagleVail has a new salt-water pool that is just 100 yards from our back door. I’m looking forward to relaxing at the pool with the kiddos.
The Vail area boasts a multitude of spectacular hiking trails for all abilities. Photo courtesy of Jack Affleck and VLMD.

The Vail area boasts a multitude of spectacular hiking trails for all abilities. Photo courtesy of Jack Affleck and VLMD.

What are some of your favorite Vail area family activities and events? Share them with us in the comments section below!

One of the reasons that I am so glad to be a part of the Antlers family is our involvement in the community. As I was writing this post, it dawned on me how many of these events we have a connection to. The Antlers is the official condominium hotel of the Bravo! Vail orchestras. We host Serac Outside Adventure Film School, which is also a very cool thing going on during the GoPro Mountain Games. We are a pet-friendly hotel so home to some of the Dock Dog competitors who come to town for the Mountain Games. We also host some of the Vail Jazz Foundation’s musicians. So, not only can I look forward to partaking in these activities but also in getting to meet some of the people involved!

Posted by: Liana, the Antlers’ marketing gal

50th Annual Colorado FBLA State Leadership Conference in Vail during Vail’s 50th Anniversary

Welcome to Future Business Leaders of America for Vail's 50th anniversary!

Welcome to Future Business Leaders of America for Vail’s 50th anniversary!

The Antlers at Vail would like to extend a warm welcome to Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)! For more than 25 years, Future Business Leaders of America members have descended upon Vail for their state leadership conference and we are very happy to be able to host some of these young leaders here at the Antlers. The young leaders staying here at the Antlers come from all over Colorado. Though they are here to attend leadership workshops and to compete in business-related events in hopes of qualifying for the national conference in Orlando, we hope they manage to enjoy all of the fabulous amenities and activities that Vail has to offer. And, this year is the 50th annual Colorado FBLA State Leadership conference. It is apropos to be held here in Vail for Vail’s 50th anniversary.