Linden Hill Boys Ski Trip

In 2009 I was working at a school in Northfield, MA called Linden Hill School. It was the oldest boarding school in the country for Middle School aged boys with Learning Disabilities. My father had worked at Linden Hill School for 30 years and was the Asst. Headmaster; my mother was the Academic Dean. I had been a part of the Linden Hill family for 32 years. I loved the school, faculty and the boys who were there working on their education. Every year there were always a few boys that could not go home for the Thanksgiving week due to distance. The school did its best to place these boys with a classmate’s family or faculty member for the week.

That year I took a cross-country trip in an RV from Massachusetts to Colorado with three students from Abu Dhabi, visiting many tourist sites and states along the way. On this trip we drove through Vail and I realized I really wanted to visit in the winter to ski. After this 19-day 9000-mile road trip, I started to develop a plan to ski at Vail.

I planned to bring a group of students, so I had some important criteria for the Vail hotel where we would stay. The hotel accommodations needed to accommodate the entire group in one condo. It had to have a kitchen so I could cook and prepare meals for the group. It needed to be within in walking distance of a ski lift so we could just dress and go. And, it needed to be affordable. After searching and searching I found the ANTLERS AT VAIL, WHICH MET ALL OF THE CRITERIA!

As I was planning the trip for myself and 3 other boys, word got around that I was planning a ski trip to Vail. Parents started calling me and telling me that their son was also asking to spend Thanksgiving with me in Vail. I ultimately ended up bringing 8 students on the trip. 2 boys were from Abu Dhabi, 2 from Saudi Arabia, 3 from Mexico and 1 from Costa Rica.

The weekend before Thanksgiving we boarded a plane and flew out to Colorado. After landing and getting our rental vehicle we headed to Vail. Out of the 8 boys 4 had seen snow before, 3 had seen it once and 1 had never seen snow or skied before! While driving to Vail the boys were so excited to see the spectacular Rocky Mountains and to go through the tunnels. We loved the views. But I will admit that driving in the snow gave me white knuckles (though more from the precious cargo I had in the car then from the snow)!

When we arrived at Antlers at Vail the boys thought it was amazing! Our accommodations were awesome with a small condo that fit us tight but well. There was a complete kitchen and plenty of space for them to relax. The location was perfect. We were close to all of the attractions Vail has to offer, and we were less than 5 min to the lift! It was a great week and I know the boys loved it.

The memories I have with these boys at Antlers and Vail are priceless. Even more these days because the school I had called home for 32 years has now closed. The Antlers hotel is a fantastic lodge for groups. It allowed me to have this great time and give these kids an experience they and I will never forget!

Thank You Antlers at Vail

JP Sanieski, 2010 Antlers at Vail guest

Art of the Meeting: 7 Tips for the Perfect Vail, Colorado, Event

MEETING ROOM #2  1139From an industry trade show for hundreds to wildflower Vail weddings to a group of lawyers from across the country more interested in skiing than meeting, the Antlers at Vail gets all kinds of group requests in the course of a year. Because each group’s needs – from high-tech audiovisual capabilities to catered fine dining to convenient ski storage – are different, we pride ourselves on our personalized – and personal – service for one and all. Along the way, we’ve come up with a few tips for meeting planners to consider when booking a Vail event:

One on One: Want to make sure everything goes perfectly from the first planning stages to the final checkout? Choose a hotel where the person who books your meeting is the one who services it. We can handle up to 100 people comfortably, depending on the type of event, but because we are a smaller venue, the meeting planner has the benefit of one person who can see the group’s experience through from start to finish – they don’t have to track down a separate ‘day of contact’ person from the person who books them, for instance. And details don’t “slip through the cracks.”

Can You Hear Me Now: Make sure a venue’s audiovisual system can handle your technology and presentation needs. While Antlers has just installed an all-new A/V system for winter 2014, hotels with slightly older systems may not be able to sync easily with whatever a presenter might be bringing. And many hotels charge extra for audiovisual services, which are provided by an outside company. At Antlers, it’s all handled in-house without any fees. One additional tip, learned the hard way: When in doubt, put everything on a flash drive that can be easily moved from one computer to another in case of glitches.

Location, Location, Location: The number one rule of real estate applies to group events, too – from meetings and conferences to weddings and reunions. Your attendees or guests will be happiest if they have quick access to an area’s amenities – like the Antlers’ proximity to great restaurants, shops, your morning latte, a bike/hike path, the slopes (the Lionshead Gondola is just yards from our front door), and events from Vail Jazz Fest to the Lionshead Oktoberfest. And for everything else, the free Vail shuttle stops right outside our door.

RAWLINGS_0037Dine Al Fresco: An outdoor dining spot can bring a breath of fresh air to meetings – ask during planning stages if the venue includes the chance to step outside at meals. When you get your lunch at the Antlers (or even your continental breakfast), take it down the steps just outside the conference room and eat poolside, overlooking Gore Creek. Don’t miss the start of your meeting, though.

Fee or Free: Hotel “extras” can increase your bill significantly when each service comes with a price attached. Consider what services your conference-goers might need, including WiFi, parking, or even watching a movie, and ask about hidden charges. The Antlers at Vail prides itself on its many complimentary extras (including unlikely ones like bikes and snowshoes) – so much so that we wrote a separate blog post on the subject.

Community Props: A strong community marketing organization helps conference planners find your community and get the big picture on what the area has to offer. Vail is lucky to have the nonprofit Vail Valley Partnership – a 2012 and 2013 winner with Colorado Meetings + Events magazine for “best destination marketing” – representing the community to groups.

Know Your Audience: Tailoring a meeting for best results can be as easy as having a way to efficiently gather audience responses. Antlers meetings offer polling devices – used successfully with diverse groups including Vail Symposium – that project conveniently graphed results on the screen instantly.

Planning a Vail meeting, conference or group event? Come and check out the Antlers at Vail’s 2,600 square feet of group meeting space with four meeting room options and an executive boardroom. Some groups combine their meeting each day with popular Vail activities such as skiing, golf, or fly-fishing.  In fact, the Antlers has even promoted a scuba exploration course to our groups that was taught in our swimming pool right outside. Have an idea you’d like to try? Just ask. Looking for ideas? Check out our blog posts on past Antlers’ groups.

Recipe of the week

Hello everyone! After a long and exhausting day on the mountain, it is sometimes nice to have a quick, early dinner and relax for the evening.  I just made this recipe and don’t think it took me longer than twenty minutes.  It is quick, delicious and filling, which will make relaxing in the hot tub that much easier!  Pair with a dry Chardonnay or if you are daring, a crisp, Rosé to complete this dish! – Chef Angelee.

Paillard of Chicken served with a Sauté of Spinach, Grape Tomatoes and finished with a Dijon Cream (Serves 2)

Paillard of Chicken

2 Chicken Breasts, *pounded thinly* between 2 pieces of Saran Wrap

1T Unsalted Butter, melted

¾ c Bread Crumbs

1tsp. Garlic Powder

Salt and Pepper to taste

2.5T Vegetable Oil

Dijon Cream

1 c Heavy Cream (If you do not wish to use heavy cream, substitute chicken broth)

1.5T Dijon Mustard

½ t Garlic Powder

Salt and Pepper to taste

Sauté of Spinach and Grape Tomatoes

1.5T Unsalted Butter

14 Whole Grape Tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

½-1 lb. Fresh Spinach (I only had a 1/2 lb. which is why I used that amount…you can add more if you wish)

Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large Ziploc bag, mix the bread crumbs, garlic powder, salt and pepper (to taste).  In another Ziploc bag, add the melted butter and then add the chicken to coat.  Put the coated chicken into breadcrumb mixture and press to coat.  (Let the coated chicken rest for a few minutes on a plate while the oil is heating.)  Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat.  Add the vegetable oil.  Once it is hot, (but not too hot because the breadcrumbs will burn), add the paillards.  Once they begin to brown around the edges and they begin to ‘curl up’, turn and continue to cook.  Cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.  (I like to salt breaded foods when I turn them because the salt is best absorbed then.) Remove from pan and put on a rack over a plate or cookie sheet to rest.  Wipe out the pan leaving a tablespoon of browned bits.

Add the cream and garlic powder to chicken pan.  Reduce heat to low to begin reducing the liquid.  Once it nicely coats the back of a spoon, add the mustard.  Mix well and leave on warm until ready to serve.

Heat another sauté pan over medium heat.  Add the butter and the tomatoes.  Sauté the tomatoes until they just ‘pop’, then add the garlic and spinach.  Let the spinach barely wilt, add salt and pepper to taste and leave on warm until ready to serve.

Put the tomato and spinach sauté on a plate.  Add the paillards of chicken, coat with the Dijon cream.  Serve and enjoy!

*When pounding out chicken breasts it is best to turn over the breast, pounding the underside versus the top part of the breast.  You need not pound as hard and it will flatten much more easily.