Posts Tagged ‘Antlers hotel’

“As the Antlers Turn”….scene 10

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Vlasta, Jack and Gerda enjoy a glass of wine while we enjoy their company at the Wine and Cheese gathering on Tuesday

One of the pleasures of working here has been the opportunity I’ve had to meet and get to know the owners and guests that call the Antlers Hotel their home away from home. For those of you that don’t know me, I’m not shy, and if you should ask me a simple question like “How’s your day going?” it has often taken me a half hour to answer.  What I really enjoy is asking people about “their story” and absorbing what they have to say. I have heard some great testimony about success, failure, family and just life in general over the years.            

Meet Vlasta Giese, Jack Joseph and his bride Gerda.  Each one of them have a story that easily could be put into novel form.  I have chosen to keep this at 700 words or less and write the “made for movie” screenplay later.  If all three look happy in this photo, it’s because they are.  “Don’t sweat the little stuff” is what Vlasta will tell you any day of the week.  Jack and Gerda would concur.           

Vlasta Giese is 88 years young and came to this country from Czechoslovakia in 1949.  She will tell you “I was very fortunate to get out.  It was just after the “Ruskiis” occupied my country and this, just after the Germans had left.”  I asked her when she started skiing and she said ”I remember before the occupation I hiked up to Krkonosky with my friends.  We had to walk all the way and it took many hours.”    (Fun Fact:  That translates to skiing for more than 70 years.)  She has been coming to the Antlers to ski and hike for nearly 20 years. She also requests that we open the pool early so she can swim her daily laps.        

Gerda Joseph, age 81, left her native Austria in 1948.  She also experienced WW II and the un-welcome occupation of Vienna.  She will explain “As a child, I don’t remember being frightened as much as I was bewildered.  To this day, I don’t believe that anything else has compared to that experience.”  She also learned to ski  “after taking street cars to the city limits and hiking for miles through the Vienna Woods”.  After her migration to the States, she managed to attend Colorado College as an exchange student and returned to the University of Vienna and received her degree in 1952.  (Fun Fact:  Rob LeVine also attended Colorado College so that means Gerda was there before he was born.)        

Jack Joseph was born in 1926 in Chicago and he will tell you ”Even if you’ve never picked up a history book, you probably know there were a few things I lived through that were not considered the best of times in American history.”  He also admits that “I don’t have as much experience skiing as Gerda.  I only started sometime in the early 60′s after I married her.  For me, my skiing adventures began at Indian Head Mountain in Upper Michigan”.  He thought for a second and continued, ”I think they had about 300 acres of terrain back then and 400 feet of vertical.  Vail gives us a little more to enjoy”  he said with a wink and a smile.      

Jack and Gerda purchased a condominium at the Antlers in 2008 and stay for several months during the winter season.  You can spot both of them every morning at 8:30 AM heading to the gondola.  “We like to get out there before the crowds.”        

Vlasta likes to sleep in.  “I want it to warm up a bit before I hit the slopes.  Besides, the “hunks” don’t get out there until later in the day anyway”. 

Trust me….if you have not met these people in your life…be patient…and they will introduce themselves…and just make you happy…because you know them.

Greg Ziccardi

“As the Antlers Turn…” scene 6

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Did you ever plan on getting hurt? 

I don’t think anyone gets up in the morning and thinks “Today would be a good day to break my ankle.”  I don’t know anyone who says ” As soon as I’m done with breakfast, I’m going to slam the car door on 4 of my fingers or slip on the ice, fall forward and break my nose again.”  Injuries happen and it’s always a surprise.

We here at the Antlers hotel have had our share of mishaps over the years.  Some serious and some not so. Regardless of the severity, we heal.

Let’s say you are out skiing with your friends and you fall down. My personal observation of everyone that gets “bit by a snow snake” is as follows.  First you’re surprised that you just fell down.  Then you believe it hurts.  Then you wonder why it hurts. Then you apologize to your friends for having to wait for you to get up.  Then you feel really bad because you think you just ruined every one’s day.

Reality ultimately sets in.  You are the one that has to have surgery.  You are the one that goes through therapy.  You are the one that has to use crutches or learns to write with your left hand because of the cast.  Then you heal and you realize it really was just a bump in the road.  It’s another notch in your belt.  Something to talk about with your buddies.  You’re right back where you were and just a little wiser, not cautious, wiser.  There is a difference.  Regardless of how or where you sustain an injury, you can chose to not ever participate in that activity again.  That’s being cautious.  To continue and participate and know not to make the same mistake again, that’s being wiser.

Here’s a few things that have befallen some of the Antlers employees.

Gladys and Lora have both had their share of set backs.  Lora tripped on the carpet and broke her clavicle last year.  Gladys has pushed a vacuum with her right arm for so long, she needed surgery on her elbow.  They’re healed now and still participate.  Lora continues to walk on carpet and when Gladys needs to use a vacuum, she alternates elbows.

 

We had an employee picnic a few years back and brought a volleyball net with us.  Tom is a tall guy and we wanted him on our team until he “did a smash” and landed awkwardly on his ankle.  He took himself out of the friendly game and watched his ankle balloon.  He found out the next day that the ligaments in his ankle were all torn.  Follow doctors orders and he was bowling at the next employee get together.          

Can anyone guess who belongs to this leg?  It was a great run down Windows in Sun Down Bowl when a large snow snake reared his ugly head.  “Just another notch on my belt and a bunch of screws in my leg.  Worst part about it?  I couldn’t fly anywhere because I couldn’t get through security.”  He has seen and experienced worse in the years he has played here and he continues to be a constant participant.  Nothing keeps him down.  On Sunday, he will ski in the morning, play golf in the afternoon and then text everyone that he’s at the bowling alley if anyone wants to join him.

Magda has a good one in recent months.

I have something to say about myself.

Darci is still in the process of fixing herself.

And Randi is the most recent participant on the playground.  All that coming soon……..

“As the ANTLERS TURN….” scene 2 by Gz

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

…….Rob was not crying at his desk this day.  He was visibly upset though.  He looked up at me and explained how the day had started.

“The guests in 524 just called and they were in a bit of a rage”.  I immediately got concerned for lack of confidence in myself.  (I was thinking “Oh man oh man.  I know whatever it is, it has to be my fault.  He can’t fire me today. I have a wedding to pay for in the spring.  Just take it like a man. I don’t even know what I did wrong.  Oh man oh man”.)

He continued “The way they were explaining it to me.  They were up all night because of the sound of dishes being moved, carpet being ripped up, blinds being chewed on, and so on.  They are NOT happy”.

“Any ideas what it is?’ I asked him, now totally calm knowing it wasn’t me moving that stuff around and eating carpet.

“Well, he got up in the middle of the night to investigate and saw the shadow of an animal, and this is his account, about the size of a bear cub running across the floor and then behind a chair.  He called from his cell phone this morning and they’re having breakfast.  He wants us to address this immediately”.  Rob sat back in his chair and took a deep breath.  “I think what he’s most upset about is the fact that he had to put a blind fold on his wife to get her out”.

I was concerned, but had my doubts.  “What would you like me to do?” I asked him.

El Jefe tilted his head and starred slightly to his right as he does when he is contemplating a reply to a question.  “I’m going to change their reservation and move them to another condominium, move  their luggage, put a bottle of wine in their place, with a sincere apology, and discount their stay.  If you could do me this favor.  Put one of those cage traps up there that we catch chipmunks with.”

I was fighting back laughter when I replied “You know Rob, what you just told me is a 1000 to 1 scenario but if there is a bear up there, we’re going to need a bigger trap”.

He looked at me steely eyed.  I said “I’ll go check it out”.

Just around the corner from Rob’s office is the front desk and Pedro, one of our more knowledgeable front desk employees whose only problem is he never knows when to stop talking, overhears our conversation.  He proceeds to tell Darci, the mailman and 2 other guests that “there is a bear in house.”  Ratz has told him countless times to “Speak when you’re spoken to but try to limit your response to a half day”.  Rob approaches them and explains the room move.  “Could you update housekeeping for me?”

This is the type of conversation that goes on between the Antlers Front Desk and Houskeeping litterally dozens of times a day.

Darci is on the radio and says “Front Desk to Housekeeping”.

Gladys answers “Go ahead”.

“There was a little problem in 524 this morning so Rob moved the guests to 604.  So 604 is a check-in and the guests are already moved and 524 is a check-out and the room is dirty.”

“OK. Thank you.” and then Gladys relays the message in Spanish to the crew that is responsible to clean 524.  These gals are good and when it’s time to clean a room, it gets done.

Five minutes later there was a blood curdling scream and there were reports it was heard as far away as the Vail Marriott……