Posts Tagged ‘Antlers’

How Soon we Forget

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Maybe it’s 9-11, Katrina or Sandy.  Maybe it’s Columbine or the fires in Colorado in recent years.  Maybe it’s the floods that ravaged Colorado just a few months ago that were called “Biblical in proportion”.  Whatever your memory of a disaster, unless you are completely immersed in the tragedy at hand, we have a tendency to move on and forget there are people who have been maimed, displaced or emotionally altered for life (and in all likelihood, all of the above).

Most recently, Boulder County was battered with nearly 17 inches of rain in 3 days and thousands of people were effected.  The majority of us moved on with our daily lives while they had to put theirs back together.

We here at the Antlers had the opportunity to help one of these victims.  His name is David and he lost everything. It was his girlfriend Denise (a former school teacher in Eagle) and the United Methodist Church in Boulder that spread the word.   David needed help.  She reached out to her friends and the Antlers donated a place for him to stay for a month (free of charge) until he got back on his feet.

I had the pleasure of getting to know this young man and he shared with me some of what he had been through.  This is a short account of his pain and pleasure:

After a week, he was permitted to inspect the damage the rains had caused.

….”For the next 7 days I watched this waterway flow through my unit.  During those 7 days I thought of why this had happened?  How it could have happened to me?  Who’s fault was it that this building was destroyed?  How would I be compensated?  etc.  I built up anger, dealt with sadness and the realization that while it was just stuff, it was everything….photos and heirlooms…childhood collections….dishes and furniture…everything.”

“Most of my things were buried in 4 feet of mud and raw sewage that had solidified as hard as concrete.  I simply could not dig it out.  Everything else was gone.  It had floated down the St Vrain River with everyone else s stuff.”

“The insurance companies were quick to point out that I had coverage on every imaginable event; but not a flood.  So starting from scratch is where I found myself.  It was lonely and scary.”

… “In the end, more than anything,  it was a lesson in kindness” he told me.  “Folks sweated and worked themselves to exhaustion without regard for why.  They did it out of pure kindness.

“Then I met all the good folks at the Antlers.  From their kindness and that of the owners of the condominiums, I had found a home base from which I could put together a game plan and get back on my feet.”

He continued.  “That time was a turning point for me, a very positive one at that.  From the Antlers I was able to secure a full-time job in the mountains (he had been working as a part time contractor) and locate a fully furnished apartment in Steamboat.”

Maybe a lesson for all of us is what he said as he was packing up his truck to move on and settle in his new place.

“I may never have a nice collection of pots and pans again (or need them), nor will I get to sit back and look at pictures of my grandpa standing by his WW II fighter plane, but I am moving to the mountains to realize a dream.  Best of all, I have a greater appreciation of what can happen to ones mindset or state of being if you lend a hand to a person in time of need.”

“The people in Boulder and the folks at the Antlers helped me see the positive in a rough situation that could have easily brought me to a dark place. ”

“So thank you…thank you to all those that made the effort to lend a hand.  The impact was greater than you’ll ever know.”

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David at “home” in one of his temporary accommodations at the Antlers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Loading up the few items he had and on his way to Steamboat.

Best of luck with everything moving forward David.  Glad we could help.

Greg

 

 

The Snow Ventures Dog

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Cory from Snow Ventures located in Breckenridge sent us this picture of their Travel Agency’s mascot with the Antlers “Antlers”.  That dog really looks happy.

Hiking Mt Sherman 2011

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Mt Sherman Hike (14,036′)
A decent short 14er for those who want to notch the first one on their belts. It takes about 4 hours to reach the top and return. The land may seem brown and lifeless compared to some other 14ers however; it is rich in mining history as can be seen from the scattered mining structures all around the area. This was one I could see from the ridgeline very near to the top of Sherman.

When my fellow Antlers employee Dan and I hiked it on June 27th, it still had snow fields to cross at the start of the hike. However, we got through easy enough without too much post holing (and a slight deviation from the trail that turned into a lot more work than expected… DANNNN). Still, the rest of the trail was clear and easy going once we started gaining elevation. The most exhilarating thing about this hike was the wind that day. Sherman is very very exposed so a windbreaker/rain jacket is a MUST or you will risk being exposed to the elements that make hiking very uncomfortable.

A little bit windy up there

Only 40 a minute drive away from the Antlers here in Vail it was definitely a great day hike and a good first 14er for any moderate hiker looking to reach the next level. Make sure to add to the wind walls when you reach the top and sign the registry!!!

After we added another foot or so it still wasn't very helpful

“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

Greg Gone Green

Friday, December 24th, 2010

“Going Green” in the lodging industry is not a trend anymore; it’s a way to do business.  Since the early eighties, the Antlers have been committed to green practices.  Recently we have introduced even more initiatives.  Our Sustainability Coordinator believes the new innovations available to all of us not only save energy and reduce waste, but often save the other kind of green ($) at the same time.  “There truly is a balance, sacrificing comfort or quality is not part of the equation anymore.”

A few examples that are now in place, or soon to be in place are the refillable amenities containers that are in all the guest condominiums. Standard globe lighting is being replaced with more expensive but longer lasting L.E.D lighting. Energy management systems are being installed in some of our condominiums which recognize when a room is not occupied and activates a “sleep” mode for energy consumption. We are investigating and considering the idea of “staging” the energy consumption in our building in order to not reach peak demand periods as other properties do.

Some of these ideas and many more are unique to the Vail Valley.  We have taken the lead once again and hope to continue to set an example for all others to follow.

Its Starting To Look A Lot Like Christmas…..(Dec. 18-25)

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

The holidays in Vail can be a magical combination.  This year looks to be better than ever with Vail’s, week long,  Holidaze celebration.  The holiday activities include Snowman decorating, kids glow stick parties, and free concerts by Milkshake and Brady Rymer & The Little Band That Could.  Got a sweet tooth?  I hope so, because Brownies and Candy Canes will be given away at the base areas all week.  All these fun, family activities, along with some great early season snow, promise to make Vail “the place to be” this holiday season.

These Are The Daze (Dec. 6-12)

Friday, November 12th, 2010

It’s Vail… it’s Snowing…. and the Daze are growing shorter.  That must mean that Vail’s Snow Daze are nearly upon us.  This annual event kicks off December 6th and runs thru the 12th.  Activities include concerts, street and apres party’s,  and the return of the Dummy Demolition Derby.   A nice variety of top musical talent will bring sweet music to everyones ears.  Musical acts include Mix Master Mike(Dec. 9) at the Solaris, Dwight Yoakam(Dec. 10) in Vail Village, O.A.R.(Dec. 11) at Ford Park, and finally Weezer(Dec. 12th) at Ford Park.  The price is right too, as all of the shows are free.  So come out and help us celebrate the 2010/11 ski season in grand Vail style.  Check out the Vail Snow Daze website(www.vail.com\snowdaze) to get specific details and more info.

Bighorn Cabin

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Greetings hikers!

Bighorn cabin is a private property (although left open as a storm shelter) located at about 10800 feet in the Gore Range Wilderness. A good moderate hike and definitely one of the least steep in the area it is great for those looking to head into the mountains and photograph wildflowers, see some wildlife, and enjoy the great outdoors. The trail used to be a part of an old wagon trail so be sure to look for signs on the sides of the trail to be a part of the old homesteaders travels. You will reach some rock fields, to be sure of the way make sure to look for cairns (rocks stacked up like a tower). Not far from the Antlers in Vail this is a great hike accessible to all. One thing to remember is that parking there is limited so going early or taking the bus is recommended. Also, for the aggressive hiker this is a good way to reach the Grand Traverse which is a long ridge at the height of 12000 ft designed for mountain bikers and expert hikers.

Here is a terrain map provided by Google showing the basic route up to the cabin and some other trail heads in the area.


View Bighorn Cabin in a larger map

Enjoy!

Tyler

Grouse Lake Hiking Trail

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Grouse Lake, a beautiful 6.25 mile hike to a beautiful lake known for its fine fishing. This hike is a great one if you are up here in the summer and its too hot to do anything but you are going to anyways because… well its your vacation that’s what you do. The hike follows Grouse Creek through a balmy mossy forest with plenty of chances to cross over the creek and catch some spray. Named for the large gentle bird that is brown in summer and changes to white in the winter they are quite common in the area. A fun fact I just learned, local lore says that if you don’t look a mother grouse in the eye as you approach her, she will not run away. I suggest someone try it out and report back to me because I find that hard to believe. They are also very defensive of their chicks but are not really dangerous even when angry. I’ll see you up there!

~Tyler, your friendly neighborhood night auditor.

Here is a map showing the trail head and its location in relation to Vail and the Antlers.


View Grouse Lake in a larger map

The Hanging Lake

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Hangking Lake

The Hanging Lake is probably the best bang for your shoe leather hike in Colorado. Its just a two mile hike follow a nice stream up the side of Glenwood Canyon. When you reach the top you will be treated to a breathtaking crystal clear lake being fed by a waterfall which in turn is fed by the spouting rock. They say the average hiker will make it to the top in about an hour. It is a highly trafficked trail and so there is railings built in along dangerous areas, bridges crossing the stream, and a beautiful viewing deck built around the lake. When you arrive, make sure to take the trail to the left right at the entrance to the lake. This will take you to the spouting rock which feeds Hanging Lake Creek. Let it be known there are no dogs allowed on this trail, no fishing or swimming in the lake, and it can be a bit confusing to find the trail head since it can only be accessed by traveling on the eastbound side of the highway.

Still, when I hiked it it was incredibly fun, got some great pictures, and even made it down before the rain set in. I highly recommend this hike to anyone looking to get some easy outdoors experience. Below is a basic map (sorry Google doesn’t have the topographic of that area yet) that shows where the trail begins and the basic pathway to the lake. I hope you enjoy the hike!


View Hanging Lake in a larger map