A Return After 35 Years

We always say how much we love our guests. Many really do become like part of our family. But every once in a while, one reminds us of something else to love. There is nothing more rewarding than knowing that you helped create a memory that brings someone back home to the Antlers. And, that even after 35 years there is one thing that hasn’t changed — the heart and soul of the Antlers — our dedication to warmly welcoming guests to our home.

Melissa and Jeff Gilchrist first visited us thirty-five years ago. They met in college in Wisconsin. They were married on June 29, 1986 outside of Chicago. The following day on June 30, 1985 they arrived at the Antlers at Vail. Things were very different then. They planned their honeymoon using a travel agent and brochures that the agent provided to them.

Cover of Antlers at Vail print brochure that helped the Gilchrists decide upon Antlers as Vail as their honeymoon destination in 1985.

Vail became their chosen destination because it was a place where they could both enjoy the different things they like to do. Jeff loves to fish. Melissa was looking for relaxation and hiking in a beautiful environment. Those things haven’t changed.

In 1985 they paid $70 per night and received their seventh night free. They remember loving the kitchen and open floorplan of their condominium. Their favorite restaurant during that visit, Le Petit Cafe, sadly is no longer around. There are a few more homes across the Gore Creek, where Jeff caught many, many trout.

Photo of the covered bridge in Vail village in 1985.

This visit Jeff had more luck on a guided fishing tour than in Gore Creek. Melissa has really enjoyed the loaner bikes the Antlers now offers, as well as the other amenities. She’s been taking new hikes up the mountain and really getting away from it all. One morning she set out and didn’t see another person for more than two hours. She’s enjoyed the beauty of the river, the convenience of the village and that there’s plenty of things to choose from without getting overwhelmed.

Their first visit to Vail they have wonderful memories of a visit to Piney Lake. This visit they explored historic Leadville one day.

Map of Lionshead village from 1985. Much has changed.

In addition to the location and amenities, the thing that really stuck out to the Gilchrists about the Antlers is the motto, “The answer is yes, now what’s the question.” They saw that motto in action with the attentiveness that General Manager Magda King and Head Housekeeper Gladys Contreras showed them upon arrival. They were impressed with the cleanliness of housekeeping and responsiveness of the Antlers engineering department.

The Gilchrists celebrating their 35 anniversary at Sweet Basil in Vail village in 2020.

In the years since their first visit, Melissa and Jeff have raised two children. One of whom is now raising their own family. The other has an upcoming wedding this summer.

Our only question is whether it will take Melissa and Jeff another thirty five years to return. We hope not!

Thank you to Melissa and Jeff for sharing their story and memories with us. You have our heartfelt gratitude.

Posted in Antlers Guest and Owners.

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