5 Reasons to Visit Vail in April

Vail skiing 50th anniversary

Early Vail ski instructors line up for photo op (credit: Vail Resorts)

Celebrating  Vail’s 50th remains the name of the game for the 2013 Vail ski season, right through its April spring skiing finale, with plenty of special late-season festivities – many of them free. The fun ranges from a new Nordic twist on the venerable Taste of Vail’s 22nd year through a tricky closing day event featuring “floatable athletes” launching from snow to icy pond. To keep all those good times company, the Antlers at Vail hotel is offering a 30-percent discount on its lodging rates for the month of April, bringing the rate for a studio suite below $200. The insider Vail travel experts at the Antlers also recommend these five reasons to enjoy their home resort this April:

1)    Taste of Vail – the iconic spring food and wine festival turns 22 this year, showcasing the area’s finest chefs and nation’s top vintners. A new Nordic Wine Tour kicks off the Taste with cross-country ski/snowshoe wine and cheese stations on the Vail Golf Course. April 3 – 6. Event tickets start from $50.

2)    Spring Back to Vail Celebration – a week-long end-of-season bash in honor of Vail’s 50th, featuring free live concerts including reggae legend and Grammy-winner Jimmy Cliff, performing April 14 at the Solaris Plaza in Vail Village. April 8 – 14.

3)    50th Anniversary Film Night – a look back at Vail’s 50 years in film from Roger Cotton Brown, who created the first ever promotional film about Vail in the early 60s. April 4 and 11. Show is free with ticket, available at Lionshead Vail Welcome Center from 9 a.m. on the day of the show only. Film starts at 5:30 p.m.

4)    Skiing Heritage Week – a U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame induction ceremony April 13 is a highlight in a week of events that also includes the Ishpeming International Film Festival of classic ski movies. April 8 – 14. $350 for the All-Access Pass.

5)    Vail World Pond Skimming Championships – thousands watch as costumed skiers and snowboarders vie for fame and glory as they attempt to clear a 100-foot, ice cold pond in this wacky annual close-of-season event. April 14. Lake Golden Peak at Vail Mountain’s Golden Peak Base Area. Free to watch; $75 to participate.

Antlers at Vail’s April discount includes 30 percent off regular rates for the month, with a $285/night studio suite available for $199. Check the Antlers at Vail website calendar or chat with Antlers staff for additional events – from family snowshoeing to a Segovian pig roast – to accompany an April Vail visit.

Antler Vail Luggage … Who Knew?

I love unsolicited crazy ideas.  I even have a reputation for sending emails with nothing in the subject line but “Crazy Idea #627” (or 395, or 822 or…).   So I get this call the other day from Maria at VeraLuca Media.  She tells me that she represents Antler Luggage.  My first thought is, “How would you make a suitcase out of old, shed antlers?”

Silly me … she’s not thinking, “How would you make a hotel out of the same?”  It’s just a name, nitwit.

Anyway, Maria explains that Antler Luggage has just expanded their line of products with a series called “Vail”.  How amusing … no wonder she’s calling me … I guess.  She asks if we’d be interested in doing some kind of co-promotion with them.  They’ll provide a couple pieces of luggage (Vail luggage, of course) that we can give away.  No strings attached.   Really?  No strings attached?  You’re going to GIVE me something nice, that I can GIVE AWAY, and now you’re actually waiting for me to respond?  Say, this IS crazy.

For one who likes to say, “The answer is ‘Yes’, now what’s the question”, this is WAY too easy. 

True to form, if someone is willing to do something nice for us, we want to return the favor.  So not only will we come up with some kind of a contest to give away these lovely duffels with wheels, (keep an eye on our FB page), but I told her that we would also offer an immediate $40 one-time discount off anybody’s total room bill, who arrives with a piece of Antler Luggage.  It doesn’t even have to be AntlersVail Luggage …. just any old Antlers Luggage.  The $40 is representative of this, our 40th year in business.  Uh-oh… that promotional  message may be a bit too mixed.  Oh well … tough … $40 it is.  Who’s going to argue?

 

Off—and On—the Beaten Path in Vail This Summer

When someone tells you to “take a hike” you’ll be thankful if you’re in Vail, Colorado, where the area’s abundant trails and paths are suited for people of all ages and athletic abilities. The Antlers at Vail hotel is a conveniently located home base for exploring Vail by foot or with one of the Antlers’ free loaner bikes, and summer rates start at just $168 for a studio suite.

The Antlers at Vail’s friendly staff is happy to recommend nearby trails and provide directions for guests who want to explore the area. These are some of their favorite jaunts close to the hotel:

Creekside Sauntering

The Antlers is located on Gore Creek, which winds through Vail and has a paved walking and biking path that’s perfect for exploring the area. Head east and enjoy a shady, easy walk to Vail Village, or head west to Donovan Park, a fun children’s park and play area.

Art Walking

Vail’s public art collection includes forty works ranging from paintings and sculptures to murals, playground components and site-integrated art. Art in Public Places offers free summertime guided tours including discussions of the history of the Vail Valley and the importance of site-specific art. For dates and times, visit www.artinvail.com.

Mountain Ambling

Just 200 yards from the Antlers at Vail hotel, the Vail Gondola is ideal for those who prefer downhill striding to uphill climbing. Ride to the top and enjoy a scenic walk down the mountain trail, enjoying the Rocky Mountain vistas and wildflowers along the way.

Nature Rambling

Just east of Vail Village, the Vail Nature Center offers a variety of summertime nature walks, guided hikes and back country treks. For more information visit http://www.vailrec.com/hikingprogram.cfm.

Rover Romping

The Antlers at Vail is a dog-friendly hotel, and Bighorn Park just east of the Vail Racquet Club offers over seven acres of leash-free terrain for canines and their owners. The northern half of Stephens Park in West Vail is also an off-the-leash zone.

Since 1972, the Antlers at Vail hotel has offered a unique Vail lodging experience in a relaxed mountain setting. The Antlers is the proud recipient of the Platinum Service Award Winner from the Vail Valley Partnership and was named the Vail Valley Green Business of the Year in 2009. With condominiums ranging from studio suites up to four bedrooms and plenty of space to spread out, each room at the Antlers offers all the comforts of home including fully-equipped kitchens, fireplaces, outdoor balconies, free Internet access and free parking. The Antlers Vail is conveniently located in Vail’s Lionshead area with numerous restaurants, galleries and shops within walking distance, and the free Vail town shuttle stops just footsteps away. For more information, call 1-800-843-8245 or visit the Antlers web site at www.antlersvail.com.

Media Contacts: Rob LeVine, General Manager, The Antlers at Vail, (970) 476-2471, RLeVine@antlersvail.com or Darla Worden, WordenGroup Strategic Public Relations, (307) 734-5335, darla@wordenpr.com.

Antlers at Vail Hotel Offers Complimentary Snowshoeing for Guests

Snowshoeing at the Antlers at Vail hotel

Photo: Dee and Tula Monstah

“Do something I’ve never done before” is a popular New Year’s resolution, and the Antlers at Vail hotel is making it easy for its guests to try the sport of snowshoeing. “If you can walk, you can snowshoe,” says Antlers General Manager Rob LeVine. “Because our guests love hiking so much in the summer, we decided to invest in snowshoes so they can explore the Vail Valley on foot in the winter.”

Snowshoeing is easy to learn and suited for people of any athletic ability. Beginners might enjoy an easy stroll at the Vail Golf Course, while more experienced athletes can get off the grid with a hike at Vail Pass or take a short drive to Meadow Mountain in nearby Minturn. The Antlers staff is happy to recommend trails, and snowshoes are available on a first-come, first-serve basis to registered guests.

The Antlers Vail offers condominiums ranging from studio suites up to four bedrooms with fully-equipped kitchens, fireplaces, outdoor balconies, free Internet access and free heated indoor parking – plus free snowshoe rental. Every room provides plenty of space to spread out and all the comforts of home, and the Antlers’ Vail-insider staff is on call to answer questions big or small. Conveniently located 200 yards from the Vail Gondola, numerous restaurants, galleries and shops are within walking distance and the free Vail town shuttle stops just footsteps away. For more information, call 1-800-843-8245 or visit www.antlersvail.com.

Free Yoga Classes at the Antlers at Vail

We will be doing our free Vail yoga classes for our guests again this winter. Classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30pm to 5:30pm. They are a great way to stretch and unwind after a long day skiing or boarding. Two days not enough? Please check out the Vail Athletic Club for their class schedules. Antlers guest can pick up complimentary passes at the front desk.

Yoga Pose

 

7 Reasons to Take your Family to Vail This Summer

Summer activities at the Antlers at Vail hotel

Left, soaring with Zipline Adventures; center, the Antlers at Vail hotel; right, the Antlers trademark loaner bikes

1. Vail’s ideal for a ‘walkabout.’ Whether you’re into scaling fourteeners, hiking up Vail Mountain or taking an easy stroll along the banks of Gore Creek, the Vail area has an abundance of trails, parks and paths for people of all ages, abilities and walks of life (pun intended). At the Antlers at Vail hotel, the staff will happily recommend off-the-beaten-path hiking and walking tours – and with a little urging, they might even personally show you their favorite trail.

2. Do something you’ve never done before. Go on a real cattle drive. Kayak. Soar on a zipline. Vail offers dozens of unique experiences and activities, from four-wheeling to hot-air-ballooning to flyfishing and more.

3. Spread out and stay awhile. The Antlers is rated #1 on TripAdvisor in Vail specialty lodging for good reason – it’s a convenient home base for families, with bunkrooms for small families, spacious four-bedroom suites for large families, and dog-friendly rooms for pets with families. The Antlers at Vail staff is happy to organize reunions for extended families, too.

4. Embrace your inner reindeer. Guests are welcome to borrow one of the Antlers’ trademark, antlers-adorned bicycles, and cruise around town or follow the bike path along Gore Creek.

5. Want more two-wheeler thrills? Rent a mountain bike from Charter Sports, catch the gondola to the top and cruise down the winding bike path – rated one of the top mountain biking trails in Colorado.

6. Let your kids burn energy. At the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola, Adventure Ridge offers bungee jumping, a climbing wall, mini golf, horseback riding and other exciting activities for kids.

7. Listen to a symphony under the stars. Watch a ballet. Celebrate the heart of soul music. From the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival to the Bud Light Hot Summer Nights Concert Series, Vail offers a rich offering of performing arts and music festivals all summer long. And since the Antlers at Vail is the residence hotel for the New York Philharmonic, you might even hear the sounds of a world-reknowned musician practicing during the day.

Since 1972, the Antlers at Vail hotel has offered a unique Vail lodging experience in a relaxed mountain setting. The Antlers is the proud recipient of the Platinum Service Award Winner from the Vail Valley Partnership and was named the Vail Valley Green Business of the Year in 2009. With condominiums ranging from studio suites up to four bedrooms and plenty of space to spread out, each room at the Antlers offers all the comforts of home including fully-equipped kitchens, fireplaces, outdoor balconies, free Internet access and free parking. The Antlers Vail is conveniently located in Vail’s Lionshead area with numerous restaurants, galleries and shops within walking distance, and the free Vail town shuttle stops just footsteps away. For more information, call 1-800-843-8245 or visit the Antlers web site at www.antlersvail.com.

Impact of Marijuana Legalization on the Antlers

I got a funny call the other day.  The guy says, “I’m John Ellis and I’m with NHK Japan TV.”  I wasn’t actually positive what he had said, but undeterred I answered with my standard, “Great, what can I do for you?”

He said, “We’re here doing a story on the legalization of marijuana and would you be willing to do an interview?”  My first thought was “Why me?”  On the advice of our crack public relations team,  WordenPR, I always try to make myself available to the press.  So was this a result of that?  Or did they have more classified information about my youth, qualifying me as somewhat of an expert on this subject?  I wasn’t totally sure of myself (still not recognizing exactly who I was speaking with), but my PR instincts took over and for better or for worse, I said, “Sure, why not?”  Any press is good press, right?

“By the way, where’d you get MY name?”

“Oh, we went to the Chamber of Commerce and they said we don’t want to deal with it … call LeVine.”

Excellent … probably not the youth thing.

About twenty minutes later John shows up at the Antlers with Mami, a lovely twenty-something-year-old interpreter/interviewer and Taka, the camera guy.  They set up shop in the lobby and proceed to spend the next half hour asking me how I anticipate our business to be effected by the passage of Amendment 64.

 

It’s clear to me (being the quick study that I am) that they’re looking for a story and want me to say that I expect to be overrun with pot-heads rushing to Colorado to get high. Or that our regular guests will quit coming altogether because of their own personal intolerance.  Or that our staff will be so stoned that we won’t actually be able to get anything done.

Naturally, I say nothing of the sort, and tell them repeatedly what I believe to be the truth … that I don’t really foresee much, if any, impact at all.

They seemed a bit surprised when I acknowledged that we already have guests (and probably more than a few) who get high behind closed doors.  Since the new law still doesn’t allow toking in public, that won’t really change.  We certainly expect our guests to respect the “non-smoking” designation of some condos, regardless of the specifics, and we’ll continue to enforce that.   As far as employees go, our staff is very conscientious and I have every confidence that they won’t allow what they do on their personal time, to affect their work performance.  It’s no different than drinking.  Liquor’s legal, but being even a teeny but tipsy at work  is totally taboo … not to mention an immediate invitation to look for other job opportunities.

Over and over, in as many different ways as I could think of, I kept saying that legalization just wasn’t a big deal, and wouldn’t really have much effect on our business.

I suspect they were a little disappointed at the lack of a story.  Oh well … Sorry.

 

There was one amusing sidebar to the whole thing.  When John first introduced me to Mami, I was kidding around with her (what a surprise) and said, “I’ll be happy to do this interview, but I need some consulting help on how to increase our Japanese market.”  She played along and agreed, in her somewhat broken English.  John asked if we had much Japanese business and I said yes, some, but not nearly enough.

Just then, a Colorado Mountain Express van pulls up to the door and a young couple gets out, ready to check-in.  You guessed it … they’re Japanese.  I turned to Mami and exclaimed, “I can’t believe how FAST you work!  You’re hired!”  I think she was amused … but probably not as much as I was.  I crack myself up sometimes.

When we explained to the arriving couple that this was NHK, their reaction made me appreciate the parallel to our own PBS broadcasting system.  We’re talking Japanese national public television.  This is a big deal.  I hope I looked okay in the interview and as usual, didn’t say anything TOO dumb.

Antlers Holiday Lobby

Now that we’ve put Thanksgiving in the rear view mirror, it’s time to decorate the lobby!

Although we take issue (like many) with Christmas decorations going up too early, under the heading of “True Confessions”, ours were actually up by November 8 this year.  However, we have a great excuse … Two of our MVO’s (Most Valuable Owners), Ron & Dawn Bobuk, were visiting from San Diego.  When Dawn asked innocently, “Would you like me to help put up the decorations?”, we were NOT going to say no.  On the contrary, we actually locked her and Amy in the lobby for three days with only bread and water.  OK, that’s a stretch, but they DID work tirelessly.

Between the Department 54 Village,

Our new Christmas tree,

And the lobby overall…

We’ve never looked better.  Thanks Dawn!

Students Shoulder to Shoulder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will act as if what I do makes a difference

This Vail Symposium poster hangs in our office and we at the Antlers try to live by those words.  They help guide many of our decisions, including our efforts to be good corporate citizens.  We are quite proud of our record in that regard, and frankly it just got a little better.  A couple months ago, Bob Bandoni introduced us to Students Shoulder to Shoulder.  Their tagline is “The International School of Global Citizenship”.  Rather than try to explain what that entails, we just urge you to investigate their website.  It’s meaningful.

 

Although the program is five or six years old, Bob explained that they were planning their first Global Solutions Forum here in Vail, in October.  The idea was to bring representatives together from the various NGO’s around the world and the schools who now participate with Shoulder to Shoulder.   The real purpose is simply to further their success and advance the mission.  It took all of about two minutes to recognize the value and importance of this effort.  In the context of our day to day preoccupation with our own lives and businesses, the opportunity to play some small part in something so meaningful was irresistible.

Last week, the Antlers was honored to host ten representatives from a number of the different schools that are now part of the Shoulder to Shoulder “alliance”.  Like some of the other worthy causes that the Antlers has adopted over the years, this was all done at no charge to the participants or their schools.  By helping making it affordable for them to participate in this conference, we like to think that the Antlers is playing a small part in the fulfillment of their mission. 

Like all great ideas, Bob Bandoni and the others behind this effort see it as something much bigger.  It’s not just personal growth for the students, but rather a significant step on the path to making this a better world.  That’s a lofty goal, but one which the Antlers is really proud to be associated with.

 

 

Magda King Named Assistant Manager for the Antlers

Magdalena King
The Antlers at Vail has promoted Magdalena King to the position of Assistant Manager. “We’re thrilled about Magda’s new role at the Antlers,” says General Manager Rob LeVine. “I recently heard Bob Vanourek, co-author of ‘Triple Crown Leadership,’ speak for the Vail Symposium, and he talked about the importance of choosing candidates with the right heart—that is, passion and enthusiasm for the business. It validated our decision, because Magda King has the right heart for hospitality in general, and specifically for managing the heart and soul of the Antlers.”
      King, who became a U.S. citizen last year, is originally from Ecuador and speaks four languages fluently. “I’m honored and excited to accept this position, especially in light of the many other qualified candidates we had,” she says. King has been with the Antlers for five years and was previously Director of Sales. She has also served on the board for the local chapter of Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI).
     The Antlers is a 90-room condominium hotel with 2600 square feet of meeting space located in the redeveloped Lionshead area near the Vail Gondola. Offering 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-bedroom condominiums with full kitchens, fireplaces, and outdoor balconies, the Green Star-rated property includes a heated-year-‘round outdoor pool, fitness room, two hot tubs, saunas and a heated indoor parking garage. The Antlers was named the Vail Valley Green Business of the Year and received the Platinum Service Award from the Vail Valley Partnership.  For more information, call 1-800-843-8245 or visit the web site at www.antlersvail.com.
Media Contacts: Rob LeVine, General Manager, The Antlers at Vail, (970) 476-2471, RLeVine@antlersvail.com or Darla Worden, WordenGroup Strategic Public Relations, (307) 734-5335, darla@wordenpr.com.