Vail Valley Hospitality Professional of the Year!

Last Friday night, January 31, The Vail Valley Partnership held their annual Success Awards Gala.  It’s the same event at which the Antlers won the Business of the Year Award in 2003 and the Green Business of the Year in 2009.  This year, our very own Magdalena King was nominated for Hospitality Professional of the Year.  Out of several dozen nominees, Magda was then chosen as one of three finalists going into the awards ceremony.  Two nights ago at the Vilar Center, we erupted in cheers when her name was called from the stage as the Vail Valley Hospitality Professional of 2014.

Magda award

We could simply not be any more proud of Magda.  It’s so nice to know that others recognized what we already knew … that nobody could possibly be more deserving of this recognition. I could go on and on (and would be happy to).  However, let me just say that in addition to the countless examples of her professionalism (and everything that entails), Magda constantly inspires me and everyone else around her, to be more professional as well.

Magda & Cristina

It was quite fitting that upon receiving her award, she offered a brief “acceptance speech” which was both gracious and thoughtful.  Almost as many people (probably a hundred) congratulated her on her “award winning” public comments, as on the actual award itself.  It was great!

Shame on us for one thing … we didn’t think to get a good picture of Magda in her time of grandeur.  I took this one of her and her sister Cristina (on the left) with my phone.  It will have to do for now, but that’s a shame because there is also a great story behind her beautiful dress.

At the party afterward when Jill Lammers, the Vice-President of the Partnership, complimented Magda on that dress, I had to jump in and point out that Magda told me she had designed it herself, back when she lived in Ecuador.  Jill’s reaction was immediate, humorous and perfect … “Shut UP!” she exclaimed, “You win this award AND you designed your own dress!  You’re killing me.”

All in all, thanks to Magdalena, the whole evening made all of us at the Antlers feel super proud.


“As the Antlers Turn….” scene 11


 Lets play dress up.                    

 For those that live here and for those that visit on a regular basis, we know this is a casual town when it comes to attire.  So when there is an opportunity to put on your Sunday best and “jet set” with other locals for an evening, we jump all over it.  The 8th Annual Vail Valley Partnership Awards Banquet and Gala gave us the opportunity this past weekend.  This is the same Gala that the Antlers received Business of the Year in 2003 and Green Business of the Year in 2008.  We were nominated for “Happiest Table at the Banquet” this year… and we won.                    

Happy to be there all dressed up.  Happy for the adult beverages and dinner. Happy for the winners of this years awards.  Happy for the live music and dancing that everyone at our table enjoyed and participated in.                    

I do mean everyone.  Rob seemed just a bit out of character when the band struck it’s first note and he was twirling to the beat.  It lasted for quite awhile and he was finally tapped on the shoulder and asked to “take a rest.”  His shirt tails exposed and his tie slackened, he reluctantly walked off the the dance floor and began to mingle.          

I stand by while Rob plans his access back to the dance floor. (Security is in the background.)

 Chris got into a bidding war over who would be his next partner (the girls were lined up at the door for their chance, just like high school when they stood by the gymnasium door.  I heard one say “He’s such a dreamboat, and look at him dance!”  She then placed the back of her hand over her forehead and fainted.                 

Pick me, ohhh, pick me.

  This years Gala Girls included Randi, Stephanie, Darci, Amy, Katie and Magda.  They took charge as usual.  What a bunch of dreamboats in their own rite.  They not only showed us guys what fork to use and wiped the pudding off our ties, but made us extremely proud to be in their company.           

At one point Chris needed "protection". "Go hide in the bathroom Ratz and I'll tell you when it's safe".

The Gala Girls enjoy a common soft drink. But where is Magda?

This years event was held in the Ballroom at the Marriott.  In addition to the scheduled events for the evening, there also was a silent auction that preceded the festivities.
 I mention this because for the first time in my life, I bid on something and I wanted it. 
 A black and white of Arnie Palmer settling a friendly, $50 wager with Jack Nicklaus after a private round of golf.  Beautifully framed with the $50 bill encapsulated with it.  It was titled “The Bet – Circa 1967”. 
My bid held up until late in the evening.  Marie Roberts scratched her name on the bid sheet and offered more than I was willing to spend. 
Does anyone know this person?  I really would love to get my hands on that piece of art.  (This actually is a story within a story and I will let you in on the little secret of “her”  identity later.)

Sharing an enchanted moment with Marko. "Hey big boy, wanna' dance?"

 When I was asked to attend this years extravaganza, I spoke for all of us when I said “Sometimes I feel we are the most fortunate people in the world.”    

Marie, are you out there?  Give me a call.   



Randi explains to Magda “It’s bad enough when someone else wears your dress, but I wore the tablecloth!”