Where happened to baby Moose?

One early summer day in 2014 there was a bit of excitement at the Antlers at Vail. This excitement garnered national news coverage, but it also made us a bit sad. A baby Moose was separated from Mama and wandered into our lobby.

The Antlers is located next to national forest land and we have the privilege of seeing all kind of wildlife, typically from a distance. For very obvious reasons we’d prefer they stay on the mountain and not enter our lobby. But this little guy did just that.

Wildlife officials searched for mama and came up empty handed. They ended up transporting him to a new home at the Wildlife Research Center in Ft. Collins. And, now 5 years later we just learned, thanks to The Coloradoan, a few things about him. He is no longer a little guy. He is now an educator. He sings. And he is named after us — Antlers the Moose!

Welcome Keaton Luke, Front Desk Manager!

The Antlers is so happy to have Keaton Luke as our new Front Desk Manager!

Just a couple of short months ago the Antlers hired Keaton Luke as our new front desk manager. His friendliness combined with professionalism has made him a fantastic addition to the Antlers team.

Keaton lived in Southern California until he was eleven-years-old. His father was the General Manager of the Hilton Pasadena, across from the Rose Bowl. He grew up surfing, and skiing. He’s been skiing since he was two-years-old, starting at Mammoth Mountain. In 2003 his father took the position of General Manager at the Minneapolis Hilton and moved the family to the Midwest. There he became a Vikings fan as he had the opportunity to meet many of the players when they stayed at the Hilton. Around this time his family started taking their ski trips to Colorado. 

Clearly Keaton’s father’s career had influence over Keaton’s own career path. Keaton went to Iowa State university and earned a major in Business Management with a minor in Hotel Management, during which time he interned at the Minneapolis Hilton for his father. When his parents retired and moved to Florida he decided it was time to move out to Colorado.

He came to us from the Marriott where he started at the front desk, moving up to supervisor and then manager.

Keaton is obsessed with travel after spending five months on his own in Italy. He loves being active. His favorite activities include skiing, golfing, paddleboarding, and hiking. He also loves music, having attended over 100 concerts of just about every genre. He’s always happy to show friends around the mountain, talk sports or enjoy a craft beer. Make sure to stop in and introduce yourselves when you are visiting!

 

Vail Joins Other Colorado Resorts in Opening Early for 2018-19 Ski Season

Vail mountain is opening early! A combination of some of the best early-November snowmaking conditions and more than four feet of natural snowfall last week have allowed both Vail Mountain and Beaver Creek Resort to open early for the 2018-19 ski and snowboard season. Vail, originally slated to open on Friday, Nov. 16, will open for the season on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 9 a.m. Beaver Creek will open Saturday, Nov. 17, four days ahead of its scheduled Nov. 21 opening date.

Vail will offer skiing and riding out of both Vail Village and Lionshead Village, with upload and download access to the Mid-Vail area via Gondola One and top-to-bottom skiing and riding through Lionshead Village. Complimentary breakfast burritos from Vail Mountain and hot cocoa will be provided for early risers on opening day while supplies last.  

Vail mountain is opening early 2018-2019 ski season.

Vail is calling you. The base of Vail mountain (in Lionshead Village) two days prior to early opening for ski season 2018-2019.

“We are thrilled to be kicking off the 2018-19 season by opening early and truly setting the tone for the season to come at both Vail and Beaver Creek,” said Doug Lovell, Vail chief operating officer. “This is the first time we’ve been able to open both resorts early in more than 10 years. We owe a big thank you to our mountain operations teams for their hard work in making this possible for our loyal guests and season pass holders.”

Beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 14, skiers and snowboarders will have access to the following lifts and more than 500 acres of skiable terrain accessible via the following lifts on Vail Mountain:

  • Gondola One
  • Eagle Bahn Gondola (#19)
  • Born Free Express Lift (#8)
  • Avanti Express (#2)
  • Wildwood Express Lift (#3)
  • Mountain Top Express Lift (#4)
  • Little Eagle Lift (#15) 

All guests are reminded that they must observe all posted signs, closures and slow zones, especially during the early-season. Closed trails may contain hazards due to early snow coverage. Accessing closed terrain is a violation of the Colorado Ski Safety Act and will result in the loss of skiing privileges and could involve prosecution and a fine.

At Vail, the Golden Peak base area and the Riva Bahn Express Lift (#6) are a designated race training area only and will open to the public at a later date.

 

Vail Mountain is Opening Early: Offerings

10 Days of Epic

To celebrate 10 years of the Epic Pass, Vail Mountain will offer 10 days of specials on Fridays and Saturdays from Nov. 16 through Dec. 16. Some specials include complimentary fries with the purchase of an Epic Burger; 50 percent off ski school group lessons; après at Express Lift Bar featuring $3 drink specials; and 20 percent off Epic Mountain Express rides to and from Vail. Additional details are available at www.vail.com/readysetsnow

Snow Days

From Dec. 13 to 16, Vail Snow Days features an expanded four-day lineup of events and activities from free concerts, a Pray for Snow Bonfire, pub crawls, and more. Visit www.vail.com/snowdays for a list of all activities.

On-Mountain Dining

The Marketplace at Eagle’s Nest and Mid-Vail will open for the season for daily operations on Wednesday.

Vail Ski & Snowboard School

Beginning Wednesday, the Lionshead and Vail Village Ski & Snowboard School offices will be open. Walk-ins are accepted. For the best price guaranteed, guests are encouraged to book in advance online at www.vail.com or by calling (970) SKI-VAIL (754-8245).

Vail Mountain Nordic School

The Vail Mountain Nordic School, located in Golden Peak, opens Wednesday with guided backcountry, snowshoe and cross-country ski tours in the mountains around Vail. For more information, visit www.vail.com or call (970) 754-3200.

Lift Tickets

The Ticket and Season Pass Offices located in Lionshead and Vail Village will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information about Vail Mountain visit www.vail.com, stop by the Mountain Information Center, or call (970) SKI-VAIL (754-8245).

 

Why Rent Oxygen?

Chris Ratzlaff, Rent Oxygen Owner and former Antlers AGM

For those that have visited the mountains before, you are probably aware of the effects when coming to altitude. Most people notice reduced aerobic performance or fatigue while doing activities such as skiing or biking. And yes, many can experience mountain sickness signs. Signs include reduced or restless sleep, headaches, fatigue or other flu-like symptoms. This can cut into quality time on the mountain and limit vacation fun. That’s where Rent Oxygen can help!

Although many clients contact Rent Oxygen only when someone has altitude sickness. Now over 50% of their clients are reserving their oxygen machines in advance. With machines that can be shared among a whole group/family, the users can avoid altitude symptoms for everyone and even recover better, after a day on the mountain. Reach out to RentOxygen.com at 844-699-4366 info@rentoxygen.com to learn more on how to upgrade your vacation. Ensure you are up on the mountain each day this year.

For more information read an article our marketing director wrote on how to prevent altitude sickness.

Featured Team Member: Cristina Roberts

Cristina Roberts with her daughter Vickie at the 2016 Antlers holiday party.

The Antlers has always been proud of its housekeeping team. When a new addition to the building was added in 2000, the new board room was dedicated to long-time executive housekeeper Millie Barela. Executive housekeeper is an important position. Keeping rooms spotless for guests alone is a big task and on top of that this team takes it to an even higher level with the personalized responses to special requests. Prior to a guest’s arrival they will ensure that a dog bed is waiting for furry pets. They stock and deliver cribs and high chairs. They even keep specialty appliances on hand to make sure that guests have what they need to feel at home.

Rob LeVine hired Cristina Roberts for this all-important job of executive housekeeper and leading this department in 2014. Cristina has elevated the department in many ways from finding cost savings to personalizing service. But most important to her is how she has been able to help the members of her team personally. From helping individual housekeepers with bills and insurance, Cristina makes it a point to support them all. She has been an integral part of encouraging the housekeepers in their english lessons, as well as starting a book club.

Cristina comes from a family of five siblings who all grew up in Ecuador. Her parents recently celebrated forty-five years of marriage. Family and religion are important to her. Cristina is a proud mom of a sixteen year old daughter, Vickie, who just earned her driver’s permit. And, she is aunt to seven nieces and nephews whom she enjoys spoiling with ice cream and chocolate.

Cristina left Ecuador in March 2006 for New York. Then in 2011 she moved to Colorado to be of help to her sister and Godson.

Cristina has taught as a teacher in a preschool, worked as a medical interpreter, been a baker and did stone gardening. But her real passion is helping people.  Not only does she do that through her job at the Antlers but she also volunteers for several community organizations — teaching at her church, as an interpreter for Eagle County Courts, working with the literacy project at the Avon Library and coordinating donations for community organizations such as Bright Future Foundation and CASA. She is currently working on her certification to be a victim’s advocate with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.

We can’t say enough about how fortunate we are to have Cristina as a leader here at the Antlers.

Cristina with her daughter, one of her nieces and associate executive housekeeper, Gladys.

Blind Date with a Book

This spring the Antlers at Vail housekeeping department participated in a fun book club, Blind Date with a Book. They had ten books to read. All books were from several different genres, some in English, some in Spanish. These included titles such as Romeo & Juliet and Selena’s Story. Everyone chose different books to read and discuss. They then traded books. Myrna and Carolina each read three books, tying for most books read. Congratulations, Myrna & Carolina!

Next up they will participate in One Book One Valley and read Like Water for Chocolate.

Vail Mountain Opens for Summer 2018!

Saor down Vail’s Forest flyer alpine coaster starting June 8, 2018. photo: Andrew Taylor/ Vail Resorts

Here’s the scoop for summer 2018 Epic Discovery hours and Vail gondola hours!

Epic Discovery will open for the third summer at Vail Mountain on Friday, June 8, 2018. New this summer, The Scout Sampler Pass will give children access to the Kid’s Play Area, a structure specifically for Vail’s youngest guests. The play area includes a log balance beam, log crawl tunnel, log steppers, and a rock climbing boulder. Also new this summer is the Family Adventure Pack; buy three Adventure Passes and receive the lowest-priced fourth for free. The Kids Ride Free Program, which provides kids ages 12 and younger free access up the gondola with the purchase of an adult ticket, will return this summer.

Summer 2018 Gondola Hours

Gondola One, Vail Village

  • June 1-3
    • 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Friday through Sunday
  • June 8 – September 3
    • 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., daily
    • The 10th will open for lunch service on June 22nd. Reservations recommended.
      • 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Friday through Sunday
  • September 7-30
    • 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Friday through Sunday

Bikes will be allowed up the gondola until 4:00 p.m., as soon as conditions allow.

Summer 2018 Eagle Bahn Gondola Hours

  • June 8 – September 3
    • 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., daily
    • Eagle’s Nest BBQ will be open daily for lunch from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
    • Bistro Fourteen will open for lunch service on June 15th.
      • 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., daily
  • June 21 – September 2
    • 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Thursday through Saturday
    • Bistro Fourteen will open for dinner service on June 22nd
      • 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday through Saturday
    • Game Creek Restaurant will open for the summer season on Sunday, June 17, Father’s Day and will be open for dinner service Thursday through Saturday evenings.
  • September 7-30
    • 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Friday through Sunday

Bikes will be allowed up the gondola until 6:00 p.m., as soon as conditions allow.

Summer 2018 Epic Discovery Hours

  • June 8 – September 3
    • 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., daily
  • September 7-30
    • 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Thursday through Sunday

For more information about Vail Mountain, call the Mountain Information Center at (970) SKI-VAIL (754-8245) or visit www.vail.com.

 

A Farewell and A Welcome

We recently featured our Controller, Randi Davis, here on the blog. She was celebrating her 30th anniversary with the Antlers. Happily for her, this milestone also meant that she started thinking a bit more seriously about retirement. Randi has announced that she will be retiring at the end of May. We are excited for her and her future adventures — traveling the country in an RV. Randi is not one to sit still and we are sure she’ll make the most of and enjoy this next chapter.

We are glad to have found an enthusiastic replacement for Randi who has an entire month to work alongside her. Welcome to Chase Simmons, our new Controller!

Chase Simmons is from Peachtree City, Georgia, which sounds like an interesting place. It is a golf cart community outside of Atlanta where instead of parking lots full of cars you will find parking lots full of golf carts. He graduated from the University of Georgia and in his own words is a HUGE sports fan. Going to Georgia sporting events continues to be an active hobby. Since his father is a pilot he has managed to make it in person to six games in the past year, all while living here in Colorado.

Chase originally moved out to Breckenridge to be a ski bum for a year. He soon realized that he didn’t want to leave but also didn’t want to give up his career aspirations. He proceeded to find a job at the Vail Marriott where he quickly moved up the ladder, being promoted to Assistant Director of Finance within 16 months.

He is a whitewater kayaker, having attended a traveling kayaking boarding school for his last semester of high school. So he loves to kayak, bike and ski. Chase is also a lover of Golden Doodles and Labs, and is getting his daily fix now in the sales and marketing office.

Also somewhat new to the department is Elena, handling accounts payable. Elena is originally from Moldova and has been in the US for 10 years.  She is married and has 2 children, in preschool and elementary school.  She is currently studying accounting at Colorado Mountain College.  She loves to travel.  

Welcome to both Chase and Elena!

Featured Staff Member: Matthew Parrish

Matthew Parrish with his wife Gina and puppy Athena.

We like to think that we stole Matthew Parrish away from the Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch. While working there he saw an ad for the Antlers, was impressed by the company culture that came through on our website and applied for a job. The fact that General Manager Rob LeVine called him directly to offer him the job made an ever-lasting impression. He loves the personal touches of working at the Antlers; Having coworkers who all want to provide great guest experiences, are professional but also down to earth and treat everyone as equals. 

Matthew Parrish joined the Antlers team in September 2015 in guest services. He is a self-starter, and from the beginning was always willing to help out other departments. Sales & Marketing were the primary beneficiary of his enthusiasm. So when the opportunity arose to add him to that team, we jumped. Matthew now works in conference services, group sales and marketing. He gives personal attention to our groups from booking to post-event follow up and is a big part of the reason that groups love us. He is also a tremendous asset to our sales and marketing efforts.

Matthew grew up in southeast Texas. His mom and stepfather have a small ranch where they raise New Zealand Red Deer and kangaroos. He grew up spending spring breaks with his aunt and uncle in Brian Head, Utah where he came to love the mountains. Matthew studied Hospitality Administration in college. That combined with his love of the mountains made Vail the ideal place to begin his career.

In September 2016 Matthew married a Vail local. He met Gina the week after he moved here, started dating and two years later got married. She went to CU Boulder where she studied theater and film. She moved back to Vail after graduation. He feels very lucky to have found Gina. I am sure that feeling is reciprocal. They have lots of fun and she’s his greatest support. In August of 2017 they rescued a Corgi Beagle mixed puppy, named Athena. They love playing outside with her in the snow and cuddling with her on the couch.

Gina and Matthew live on-site in one of the Antlers employee housing units and are very grateful for that opportunity. It helps them save on housing and gives them peace of mind regarding the ever-increasing shortage of workforce housing in the valley. But it is also a benefit to the Antlers. Matthew serves as Manager on Duty overnight about once per week. He is adept at addressing any guest issue that might arise in the middle of the night. He has even been known to act as bellman for a large group that arrived at 3 a.m.

We feel so fortunate to have Matthew as a part of the Antlers team!

 

Featured Staff Member: Dave Collins

Dave Collins with his wife, Libby.

When Dave Collins lived at the Antlers in 1976 he certainly didn’t foresee working for the Antlers many years later. He joined the Antlers team about four years ago as project manager overseeing all of our platinum remodels. It is a big job considering how many owners have upgraded their units in recent years. While some of the remodels are small jobs, one or two per season is down to the studs. Right now in Vail the construction trade is in high demand. Not only is the Antlers able to provide a better cost for our owners by having Dave manage the projects, but owners would be hard pressed to find a contractor to take on any smaller jobs in this market. His expertise is invaluable. Dave keeps the projects moving and on schedule so that we can get remodeled condos back in the rental pool for peak seasons.

As Magda King says, “Dave is simply the best! He is thoughtful, smart, and of great support to all of us. I am not sure what we did to deserve him. We are very fortunate”

So who is Dave Collins? Like so many here, he moved here to ski. Back in 1970 he worked at Bill Duddy’s Ski Rentals and taught skiing. In 1973 he got into the construction business and built log homes, about 50 to 60, of them until 1980. He moved back to Denver and took on some large projects including the Oxford Hotel. He then moved just a little further south and built homes in Castle Rock. Then in the mid 1980s Beverly Hills called. He moved out to LA, lived on a boat and built homes for big wigs in the entertainment industry. In 1995 he sailed that boat up to the Northwest and built homes on Bainbridge Island outside of Seattle until he got a call to come back to Vail to work on the Austria Haus, Alpine Club at Arrowhead and other Arrowhead developments including a $40 million home. He built the Adam’s Rib Clubhouse (now Frost Creek) and more. In 2008 after the financial and construction bust he went back to teaching skiing and even got his level 3 certificate. Kind of a big deal at his age, as he says. We are now lucky to have that breadth of experience put to good use in bringing our condos to platinum levels.

He has been married 14 years to his girlfriend from 1970 whom he met at the Gondola Ski Shop. He has one daughter in New York, four step children, and three step grand kids (2 in Denver and 1 in LA). He lives in Gypsum, drives a big truck and a roadster. He still loves to ski, ride motorcycles, golf and fly fish.In his spare time he works on his house and also does wood work.

The Antlers Maintenance Department with Associate Executive housekeeper, Gladys Contreras and General Manager, Magda King.