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.

Top Ten Reasons to Stay at the Antlers at Vail

As Vail’s opening day for the 2018-2019 Ski Season is quickly approaching, it’s time to start thinking about booking your next ski vacation! Imagine bluebird days, fresh powder, après at your favorite Vail eatery, and your lovely home-away-from-home at Antlers just steps away from all the fun. Here are the Top Ten Reasons to stay at the Antlers at Vail this winter as curated by the friendly Antlers staff:

10. Your furry friends will LOVE it

Even our pets need a little R&R sometimes. We encourage you to bring them along on your family vacation! Just let us know ahead of time as we have a limited number of Pet-Friendly Condos available.

9. Enjoy all the comforts of home in your Antlers Condo

Relax with a mug of hot chocolate by the crackling fireplace in your living room or enjoy the breathtaking views from your private balcony.

8. Free Courtesy Shuttle

Don’t have a car? Don’t worry. Our front desk staff will gladly take you to the supermarket or anywhere else around Vail. Antlers’ shuttle service is a seasonal amenity. 

7. Weekly Complimentary Guest Receptions

Who doesn’t like free wine and cheese? Join other Antlers guests and our staff each week for a glass of wine and light appetizers January through March.

6. Spectacular Pool and Hot Tubs 

What better way to unwind after a long day of skiing? Our two outdoor hot tubs and pool are the place to be after hitting the slopes. The views of Vail Mountain and Gore Creek are hard to beat!

5. Fully-Equipped Kitchens

Each of our condominiums whether it’s a Studio Suite or a Four-Bedroom Penthouse has a fully equipped kitchen complete with pots, pans, plates, and everything needed to prepare a culinary masterpiece. Just BYOF (Bring Your Own Food).

4. Our Friendly and Informative Staff

From our front desk team to our housekeeping team, everyone is here to ensure you have a great vacation!

3. Daily Housekeeping Service

These days, it’s hard to find a condominium-hotel that doesn’t charge outrageous housekeeping fees. The Antlers at Vail still provides complimentary daily housekeeping services to help you have more time for fun and enjoying Vail.

2. Free Parking When You Book Directly

When you book directly with us via our website or by calling our reservations team, we do not charge for parking! So, say goodbye to parking fees and to scraping snow and ice off your car. Help yourself to our heated, underground garage located just beneath our property.

1. Location, Location, Location

 

The Antlers is located only 150 yards from the Eagle Bahn Gondola, bringing you closer to the slopes, ski school, and all the shops and restaurants that Lionshead Village has to offer. With Ski Butlers Complimentary Valet Service, your commute just got easier! Ski Butlers will even store and transport your skis to the gondola – just wear your boots and bring your poles. Didn’t feel like bringing your skis along? No Problem! Ski Butlers will even fit you in the comfort of your condo with top-of-the-line skis and equipment rentals, then store and transport your skis to the Eagle Bahn Gondola daily.

Ready to book? Give us a call at 1-800-843-8245 or choose your arrival and departure dates below to check availability.

Thanksgiving in Vail | Leave the Cooking to Us

 

Chef Barry Robinson’s Delicious Thanksgiving Feast

Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner this year at the Antlers, catered by Chef Barry Robinson.

This Thanksgiving, leave the cooking to us! Enjoy Chef Barry Robinson’s delicious thanksgiving feast. Ideal for those who’d rather spend Thanksgiving in Vail on the slopes rather than in the kitchen. Chef Barry’s classic Thanksgiving feast lets guests enjoy the excitement of a Vail ski vacation, while still relishing the comforts of a home-cooked meal. Add Chef Barry’s Thanksgiving Dinner to your lodging reservation by Tuesday, November 20th, 2018. We will deliver it to your condo in recyclable, oven-proof containers in time for Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday, November 22nd, 2018. 

Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner this year at the Antlers, catered by Chef Barry Robinson.

Vail Chef Barry Robinson will prepare Thanksgiving dishes he’s cooked for his own family for years. Dishes include roasted turkey breast and slow-cooked giblet gravy, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans with toasted almonds, caramelized butternut squash, savory stuffing, tart cranberry sauce and mixed greens with herb dressing. And dinner wouldn’t be complete without the Chef’s classic pumpkin pie with vanilla bean ice cream. Chef will deliver the meal to your condo in ovenproof, recyclable containers for heating and serving at your convenience on Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving dinner is $40 per person (plus 8.4% tax).

Home-Away-From-Home Antlers at Vail Thanksgiving

Relax in the Antlers platinum-rated Condo Suites.

With our friendly staff and comfortable condominiums, we strive to provide a “home away from home” experience for our guests. Antlers condos are comfortable for families, groups of friends and even pets. All Antlers’ suites feature a fully equipped kitchen making leftovers easy to reheat. A spacious dining and living area, cozy bedrooms and gas fireplaces make relaxing easy. Book your Thanksgiving lodging reservation with us today. Enjoy Vail, a delicious thanksgiving meal, and all the comforts of home at the Antlers. 

Simply add dinner to your reservation when you book your Antlers lodging, or call 970.476.2471 to add it on to an existing reservation.

An Antlers at Vail lodging & Thanksgiving dinner package is also available.

 

Relax this Thanksgiving in Vail. This Thanksgiving leave the cooking to us and enjoy Chef Barry Robinson's delicious thanksgiving feast, and bake-your-own sugar cookies.

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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!

BIG Improvements in 2019

With all of the many improvements that the Antlers has made over the years, we know that our real Achilles’ Heel is the south (original) elevator. Clearly it does not begin to match the Platinum quality that we have worked so hard to achieve in the condominiums, and all around the property. Although we have spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to make that elevator acceptable, the handwriting is on the wall that it just needs to be completely replaced.

While it would seem logical to replace the elevator in its current location (and as much as we’d like to), due to current code issues and a myriad of physical constraints, it’s just not feasible.  Fortunately, local architect Henry Pratt has helped us to identify a new, alternative location in the southeast corner of the courtyard.  It’s next to the area that we currently use as bicycle storage in the summer. We’ll still have to cut through the post tension slabs that comprise the garage and parking deck.  That isn’t cheap or easy, but at least it’s viable. With that new location comes the opportunity to make some much needed improvements to the lobby, front desk, reception area and associated office spaces. If we’re going to be considered a Platinum rated property, those spaces also need to be upgraded to that level of quality, just as the condominiums have been. 

A much more welcoming entrance will give our guests and owners a far better first impression.  For anyone who has visited grand hotels or five-star resorts and observed how much gets invested in the arrival experience, it’s easy to understand the importance of that concept … particularly in the hospitality business.  A two story structure with vaulted ceilings will replace the Antlers current one-level front desk “pill box”, offering much more efficiency in addition to the radically improved aesthetics.

Fortunately, at a recent special meeting of the Antlers owners, there was overwhelming consensus to do what needs to be done, even if it is quite expensive. The total cost of the project is around four million dollars! We’re lucky that our ownership understands and appreciates the need to provide a great product for our guests … throughout the building.  Those that have been around for awhile also remember that similar investments they’ve made in the past, have been more than offset by the increased value of their property.

The plan now is to break ground in April 2019, at the end of ski season. We’ll have to be closed for a couple months during demolition and the heaviest construction, but we think we can do a “soft” re-opening by mid to late summer (look for some awesome deals on rentals at that point). Then we should be 100% complete and ship shape in time for the 2019-2020 ski season.  Stay tuned for more information!

 

Pay It Backward Returns!

In today’s lexicon, the term “Pay It Forward” has come to mean doing something nice for someone in hopes that they’ll do something nice for someone else … a wonderful gesture of blind faith with the intent to perpetuate a series of future generous acts.

Logically then, “Pay It Backward” must refer to that circumstance when someone has already been so nice that they simply deserve a little reward.

With that in mind, several years ago we at the Antlers decided to host a Pay It Backward weekend. In line with our constant desire to be a good corporate citizen, we identified three dozen deserving non-profits and invited each of them to designate a person of their choice to spend two free nights in Vail … no strings attached. It could be their Executive Director or a hard working staff member. It might be their Volunteer of the Year. It could even be a recipient of their services, who they just think deserves a break today. Whoever they wanted … totally their choice. Naturally, “significant others” and family members were welcome also. We simply wanted to take the opportunity to thank them for doing what they do … helping to make this world a little better place.

 

Pay It Backward s

Needless to say, that first year was a tremendous success. Almost all of the invited nonprofits participated and sent a deserving staff member or volunteer.  They were all so appreciative and not only enjoyed a relaxing weekend away, but also the opportunity to connect with others.

Since then, we have held the second and third annual Pay It Backward Weekends. Not surprisingly, those were just as successful as the first one. In addition to the two free nights, the Antlers hosts a reception for everyone on Saturday evening. Similar to our weekly guest receptions in the winter, Chef Barry Robinson wows the crowd with his gourmet offerings. The Antlers provides plenty of wine and refreshments and people have a chance to share their non-profit’s story, if they choose. Again, no strings attached … people can come to mingle and network with all the other humanitarians, or they are totally excused if they’re just too busy enjoying Vail and our surrounding mountains.

In 2015, Fireside Productions attended on behalf of the Women’s Foundation of Colorado and donated their time in producing a video that captured the spirit of the event …

The list of invitees has changed a bit, but over the years the following organizations have been invited (somewhat randomly) to participate. We have tried to find a good mix of social, environmental, humanitarian, health, military, children and animal related causes. The Antlers had a previous relationship with some of them and others we had just always admired. Naturally, there are a million others who would be equally deserving, but hey, you’ve got to start somewhere. 

Advocates for Children – CASA
Alliance for Sustainable Colorado
American Heart Association
American Red Cross Mile High Chapter
Arvada Center for the Arts
Audubon Rockies
Bicycle Colorado
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado
Boys & Girls Clubs
Canine Companions for Independence
CAR Housing Opportunity Fund
Catholic Charities
The Center For Mental Health
Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation
Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Colorado Horse Rescue
Colorado Public Radio
Colorado Fourteener Initiative
Colorado Water Trust
Conservation Colorado
Crossroads Safehouse
Denver Children’s Advocacy Center
Denver Dumb Friends League
Denver Indian Family Resource Center
Denver Rescue Mission
Easter Seals
Engineers Without Borders
Firefly Autism
Food Bank of the Rockies
Habitat for Humanity of Colorado
Hearts and Horses
The Home Front Cares
Hope House of Colorado
Hospice of Northern Colorado
IDE – International Development Enterprises
Joshua Station
MaxFund
Mesa County Partners
Mile High United Way
Mi Casa Resource Center

Rocky Mountain Raptor Program
Rocky Mountain Rescue Group
Ronald McDonald House
Salvation Army of Colorado Springs
Sense of Security
Wounded Warrior Project
Women’s Foundation of Colorado
9 Health Fair

      Plans are now underway for Pay It Backward IV on May 11 – 13, 2018! 

As always, the Antlers takes pride in remembering that life is short and there’s a lot more to a successful business than just making money.

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!

 

Randi Davis, Controller Extraordinaire

When I became the Antlers General Manager in 1987, the very first senior manager I brought on board was Randi Davis. It’s not very far-fetched to say that my first hire was my best hire. Lucky for us, thirty years later Randi is still with the Antlers today!

In addition to the normal challenges of her role as Controller, Randi had the added pressure of being hired to do a job which I had held along the way. Happily, I can’t think of a single instance when I was tempted to say, “But this is the way I did it.” In virtually every circumstance, she performed her duties as well, and generally better, than I ever did.  Frankly, it’s kind of humbling.

Her job includes ALL of the HOA accounting. Many condominium properties of our size have two, and sometimes three people, to execute their accounting functions.  Not the Antlers … it’s just Randi. Even more impressive is the fact that she handles the majority of the HR functions as well! Again, other properties often have a dedicated person performing just those tasks.  More than once I have explained to the Antlers owners that Randi fulfills the roles of two complete departments … All. By. Herself.

Riding the gondola with Magdalena

The annual audit for the Antlers is always performed by an independent CPA. We’ve had four different companies provide that service for us over the years. Perhaps the greatest testimony to the quality of Randi’s work comes without fail at the end of each fiscal year, when after about a bazillion transactions, the auditing company has so few “adjusting entries” to our books and to all the work that Randi has done throughout the year. There have even been a couple years when they had none.  Now that’s just about unheard of in the accounting world!

Our employees have always enjoyed the enormous benefit of having an on-site HR person helping them with everything from insurance claims to their 401K plan. No outsourcing here. The Antlers was even one of the first small companies to provide a cafeteria plan for our employees, and over the years we’ve continued to be on the cutting edge when it comes to employee benefits. All of those programs were implemented and administered initially by Randi Davis.

Ripping it up in the back bowls

Beyond performing her work duties with the utmost poise, Randi is equally graceful outside the office. Whether it’s carving turns through the powder on Forever (or tearing up the bumps on Highline), or pedaling her bike across the finish line of another one-day century ride, I’ve had the pleasure of watching her always make it look easy. Always up for an adventure, when she announced a few years ago that she was going to climb Kilamanjaro, our collective reaction was … of course you are. And of course she did!

Of all those wonderful qualities, both in and outside the workplace, perhaps Randi’s greatest strength of all has been the fact that everybody (and I mean EVERYBODY) at the Antlers, loves her. I think I’ve seen close to 200 employees cross the Antlers threshold since 1978, and there hasn’t been a single other person who has had more universal respect and admiration, than Randi Davis. Of course it helps when you’re the one doing payroll, but still …     In addition to being great at her job, she’s just so damn pleasant.

The women of Antlers … awards banquet 2011

Riding with Team Antlers, here at the famous ice cream truck on the Colorado River Ride, with friend Lisa Siegert Free.

Long story short, it has been my personal immense joy, and the Antlers incredible good fortune, to have known and worked with my friend Randi for these past 30 years.

 

Star Shortstop on the Antlers softball team

You wouldn’t know that these ladies just finished a 100 mile bike ride, Randi and our friend Karen Braden-Butz

With Stephanie Willingham … circa 1990, when big sunglasses were all the rage

The Antlers crack bowling team

Riding the chairlift with our best friend, Bert Farin

Randi Davis … elegant, yet grounded. Never one to take herself too seriously. A role model for all of us.