Vail Family-Friendly Winter Activities

Vail family-friendly winter activities

The Antlers at Vail hotel is the perfect home base for families coming to ski Vail or coming to enjoy all of the other exciting mountain activities in Vail.

The Antlers at Vail hotel is the perfect home base for families coming to ski Vail or coming to enjoy all of the other exciting mountain activities in Vail.

The Antlers at Vail hotel loves families! Our spacious studio to four-bedroom condominiums are perfect for families of all ages and sizes. And, we even have pet-friendly lodging for those who don’t want to leave that important member of the family at home. Our location is perfect for those looking for something to do instead of – or in addition to – skiing Vail. Here are our family-friendly top five ways to have winter fun outdoors – including stepping out in the snowshoes that we provide free for guests.

Make like Bigfoot: Those who’ve never tried snowshoes might worry about learning curve, but the sport really is as easy as strapping them on and walking outside and the Antlers recently added snowshoes to the many complimentary amenities the hotel provides for guests. We love catering to families, and snowshoes are an easy family-friendly activity – and a great spontaneous way to enjoy Vail’s snow and scenery. Vail golf course has good beginner trails – and snowshoe rentals for those not lucky enough to be staying at Antlers – or just stroll along the Gore Creek path right outside our door.

"Arches" by local artist Paul Wertin on display now at the Vail Triumph Winterfest

“Arches” by local artist Paul Wertin on display now at the Vail Triumph Winterfest

Frozen Arches: Travel through undulating walls sculpted from 36,000 pounds of ice by Vail artist Paul Wertin along the Gore Creek Promenade in Vail Village. Inspired by the work of Christo, Wertin’s “Arches” is illuminated by programmed LED lights, and is the second Art in Public Places ice sculpture installation of this year’s Triumph Winterfest – on display until the ice melts.

The New Home Movies: Capture winter outdoor adventures as they happen with a GoPro camera. Playing in the snow is just that much more fun with a video record to share with friends and family. To help guests remember Vail’s epic snow, the Antlers at Vail provides complimentary GoPro loaner cameras at the front desk – and might just post your first-person video debut on its Facebook page.

Tube Time: Nothing says hair-raising fun in the snow like flying down a mountain on an oversized inner tube. Adventure Ridge on Vail Mountain offers a multi-lane tubing hill with an easy-access surface lift for a quick ride back to the top. And the perfect for families tubing hill is only one of the winter activities at Adventure Ridge, which also include ski biking, kids’ snowmobiling, and a new winter zipline.

Fun tubing on Vail Mountain. Photo courtesy Vail Resorts, Bob Winslett

Fun tubing on Vail Mountain. Photo courtesy Vail Resorts, Bob Winslett

Holiday on Ice: Vail Valley has several facilities for ice skating – both indoors and out – with perhaps the most picturesque experience to be had at the outdoor oval Alderhof Rink in the heart of Lionshead’s Vail Square, just steps from the Antlers. Ice skate rentals are available at the rink, which is open daily from 1:00 – 8:30 p.m.

With a policy of “The answer is ‘yes,’ now what was the question?” the Antlers offers a famously personalized guest experience. Want a cappuccino machine in your suite awaiting your arrival? Need a babysitter for a parents’ night out without the kids? Want groceries delivered before your arrival or during your stay? Just ask.

Families of all ages appreciate the Antlers at Vail’s comfortable condominium suites. Full-service kitchens allow families to serve homemade meals – with additional amenities including gas-fired barbeque grills and a “lending library” of upscale appliances from that cappuccino machine to a breadmaker. Large families can reserve a spacious multi-room suite, while smaller families may want to take advantage of the Antlers’ cozy one-bedroom condominiums – with a separate bunkroom included at no additional charge.

Check out special rates on an Antlers’ stay – including the opportunity to book a spring night April 7 – June 15, 2014, for $99 with any night’s stay during ski season.

Nothing But Platinum Rated Condos

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

David Collins s

Dave Collins, 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 Dave Collins to help Tom in that role.  Dave has worked as a project manager for projects large and small 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 to be the runner, not the runee.

Congratulations to Magda King as VVP Hospitality Professional of the Year Finalist

Magdalena King, Antlers at Vail Assistant Manager, is a finalist for the VVP Hospitality Professional of the Year

Magdalena King, Antlers at Vail Assistant Manager, is a finalist for the VVP Hospitality Professional of the Year

Magdalena King came to work at the Antlers at Vail as Conference Services Manager six years ago, and shortly thereafter moved into the position of Director of Sales. She has been our assistant manager now for just over a year. We are so proud to share the news that she has not only been nominated as the Vail Valley Partnership’s (VVP) Hospitality professional of the Year, but last week was named as one of three finalists vying for the final honor.

Magda is originally from Ecuador, speaks four languages fluently, and until recently served on the board of the local chapter of the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI). She is a wonderful mother of two charming children, and she still manages to find time to teach English to and lead a book club for our housekeeping staff. We receive many lovely thank you notes from guests specifically thanking Magda for her warm welcome and assistance. And, perhaps most importantly, she challenges us all to be better.

We are so happy to have her as a such an integral part of our team and hope she receives the recognition she deserves and is named Hospitality Professional of the Year. We’re cheering for you Magda!

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.

 

Going, Going, Gone

A while back I posted some pictures of the “drunken tree” that sits just behind the Antlers on Gore Creek.

It’s been leaning for years and this summer the tired old fella finally decided it has had enough.  These pictures were taken in a 3 week time span.

GOING………..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA                 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

GOING………

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

GONE………….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Natures way of providing us with a new public beach.

Greg

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.

Antlers at Vail Awarded TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

The Antlers is excited to share that we have been awarded TripAdvisor's Certificate of Excellence.

The Antlers is excited to share that we have been awarded TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence.

The Antlers at Vail is excited to share that we have received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10 percent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.

To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor, and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.

“TripAdvisor is delighted to celebrate the success of businesses around the globe, from Sydney to Chicago, Sao Paulo to Rome, which are consistently offering TripAdvisor travelers a great customer experience,” said Alison Copus, Vice President of Marketing for TripAdvisor for Business. “The Certificate of Excellence award provides top performing establishments around the world the recognition they deserve, based on feedback from those who matter most – their customers.”

Access to the Best of Vail

After a visit from the Easter Bunny, kids enjoy a hunt for eggs in Lionshead.

After a visit from the Easter Bunny, kids enjoy a hunt for eggs in Lionshead.

 

Today I am marking my two and a half week anniversary here at the Antlers at Vail with my second blog post. This is my first experience working in the lodging industry and while I have had the fortune to work with the Antlers as the official condo hotel of both the Bravo! Vail music festival and Vail Symposium, there has still been a lot for me to take in.

I feel very fortunate to be working here as a part of the Antlers family, and to get to experience to some extent what our owners and guests get to experience. My first week here our Grand Poobah (aka Rob) shared an informal SWOT analysis with me. The top item on the strengths list was “location”. But I don’t think that does it justice. It is really more like the very best access to all that Vail has to offer, and that is a lot.

The antlers-bedecked cruiser bikes are free for guests. A fun way to tour the village!

The antlers-bedecked cruiser bikes are free for guests. A fun way to tour the village!

 

Two weekends ago my family came into town for the Vail Rec District’s Easter egg hunt. We parked here at the Antlers, enjoyed the Easter activities and then stopped back in at the lobby to enjoy some conversation, coffee and hot chocolate for our daughter before heading home. Last weekend we took our daughter up skiing. Of course, everyone knows the convenient proximity of the Antlers to the gondola. Earlier this week I needed to run to the bank. Instead of getting in the car and driving, I grabbed one of the free antlers-bedecked cruiser bikes and enjoyed a refreshing ride through town. As a long-time Vail local, working here reminds me of all the reasons that I live here. I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to bringing my hiking boots in and enjoying some impromptu Vail hikes this summer!

Posted by: Liana, the new marketing gal

The Antlers at Vail welcomes The 2013 MAGNETIC RESONANCE PHYSICS COURSE

 Dr. Emanuel Kanal

We are so proud to be the host hotel for Dr. Kanal’s MRI group.  Through the years, it’s been such a pleasure to work with Dr. Kanal and his staff.  Every attendee is amazed by Dr. Kanal’s knowledge and his teaching techniques. This course is highly recommend to radiologists, neurologists, cardiologists, physicists, technologists, industry specialists, and others who seek to understand how MR imaging works and how to clinically apply it.

Below please find a small description about his course:

Since 1985, Emanuel Kanal has taught literally thousands of people the concepts underlying MR imaging physics and their clinical applications. His teaching style is informal, interactive, humorous, enthusiastic, energetic, and unique.  Among the unique aspects of this course is that it takes full advantage of the graphic, interactive format of his custom developed MR tutorial and simulator software programs, which permit real-time simulation of the effects of MR image parameter manipulation on the scanned images. The course will review basic MR imaging principles, including explanations and applications of such parameters as T1, T2, T2*, proton density, TR, TE, TI, flip angle, contrast agents, relaxivity, etc.

It will review spin echo, gradient echo, and inversion recovery (including FLAIR and STIR) imaging techniques and it will lead into a number of more complex MR issues, including several hours dedicated to MR angiography, diffusion and perfusion weighted imaging, sequence optimization techniques for high relaxivity MR contrast agents, and MR spectroscopy.

Kanal is recognized as one of the most sought after MR educators in the world today; is the first to have developed, applied, and presented dynamic bolus contrast-enhanced MRA; and is the pre-eminent physician authority on MR safety issues. As is his style, Kanal will be available to answer questions and clarify concepts at and between each conference session. Participants will leave this conference with a solid understanding of complex but clinically vital MR imaging, angiography, and spectroscopy physics principles and how to apply them to routine clinical diagnostic patient care.

The Antlers is offering amazing rates for attendees of this course.  For more information, a brochure is available for you: Dr. Kanal’s 2013 Vail Course Brochure