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!

 

Vertebrate and Invertebrate Education for Housekeeping Week

The Antlers is known for offering some out of the box activities for housekeeping week. One year it was Zumba classes. This year we topped that with a Walking Mountains science program.

Walking Mountains came to the Antlers and conducted an interactive program on a beautiful day by the pool. Did you know that Walking Mountains offers adult programs? Well they do offer hikes but for something like this you may need to arrange a private custom program.

The program was a hands on experience to learn about vertebrates and invertebrates animals. They had the opportunity to dissect a fish and a squid and had LOTS of fun along the way. It also gave everyone an idea of what their kids get to experience while at Walking Mountains camps.

Scott Robinson, Director of Marketing and Communications for Walking Mountains concluded, “What a great experience. We were so pleased to see how engaged your staff was.”

Check out a few of the fun photos below.

Antlers at Vail housekeepers participating in a Walking Mountains science program for Housekeeping Week.

Antlers at Vail housekeepers participating in a Walking Mountains science program for Housekeeping Week.

 Antlers at Vail housekeepers learn about vertebrates and invertebrates.

Antlers at Vail housekeepers learn about vertebrates and invertebrates.

Antlers housekeepers dissect fish and squid during a Walking Mountains program.

Antlers housekeepers dissect fish and squid during a Walking Mountains program.

Antlers housekeepers after their Walking Mountains science program.

Antlers housekeepers after their Walking Mountains science program.

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Featured Staff Member: Liana Moore

Every e-newsletter, we feature a staff member. It is Liana (our Director of Marketing) who typically coordinates the staff interviews and pictures. Furthermore, she puts together the entire e-newsletter that you receive every two months.

This month I want to take some time to tell you more about her. Liana wears many hats. She is a Mamma Blogger (you should check her wonderful blog, Insider Families) a business owner of a small marketing agency and an incredible wife and mom of two – Taya and Niko.

We are so lucky to have her as a part of our team. She guided us through the process of updating our Corporate Image with a new logo and new… well almost everything. She introduces us to cutting edge technologies that enhance our online presence, improve user experience and make more revenue for our owners. When we are all puzzled with the overwhelming amount of information, her reassuring manners keep us focused and advises us towards the best path — A path that has provided so many positive results to our property.

Liana is a wealth of marketing information, always ready to share her knowledge and help any other staff member, at any time! She also helps other moms on our staff when sharing her own parenting experience. We all enjoy listening her well rounded traveling experiences and how she handles any difficulties when they arise.

Thank you, Liana! The Antlers is so grateful to you and your family. You truly help us to become better and better.

~Magda King

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Antlers Teams Receives Leadership Training

The housekeeping team were all smiles after being selected for and receiving face-to-face leadership training from VALUEUSA.

Last year the Antlers was the honored recipient of the Vail Valley Partnership’s Community Impact Award and then this year our own General Manager, Magdalena King won the Hospitality Professional of the Year.  These awards are not just a reflection of the culture fostered at the Antlers, but also a refection of the dedication of Antlers employees. Many members of the Antlers team go home after a long day’s work to study math, read a book or do homework with the goal of bettering themselves and their community.

Several years ago Magdalena initiated a partnership with the Literacy Project and then subsequently with the Vail Library to provide the Antlers housekeeping team with the resources to be able to learn English and to be able to advance their education. Since then several members of the Antlers housekeeping team have gone on to earn their GED and all have been learning English and participating in a book club. Because of their dedication to these programs they were selected to receive leadership training through Voice of Adult Learners United to Educate (VALUEUSA). In May VALUEUSA brought instructors to the Antlers to provide our housekeeping team face-to-face training to help them become better leaders in the community. They learned critical thinking skills, organizational skills, priority setting and more.

Both the Antlers front desk team and maintenance team have followed lead in starting up book clubs. The front desk has read a handful of books and engineering just got started with their book club, having now completed reading and discussing the management style in “The One-Minute Manager.”

The cumulative effect of many different Antlers employee programs … book club, English classes, a financial education series presented in Spanish, and others … play an instrumental role in some of our staff’s decision to go back to school, get their GED and effectively change their lives forever.

Aniceto Quinones, Best Laundry Worker There Is, Retires

In 1994 Aniceto Quinones was looking at the classifieds and jumped out of his chair to run to the kitchen where his wife was cooking his favorite meal.  “Ilda, Ilda, I found the job I want.  I’m going to the Antlers to tell them I’m their man.”  Millie Barela hired him that week to take care of the Antlers’ tremendous laundry facility.  Ever since, he’s been the first one to work in the morning, one of the last to leave at night and he takes his job very seriously.  On average, Aniceto works 10 hours a day because that is his work ethic.

The laundry facility that Aniceto calls his home away from home, is not what it was 15 years ago.  When he started there was one washer and two dryers which he managed until our 2000 building expansion which incorporated 22 additional condominiums.  The laundry is now equipped with the newest and most efficient machines available. 

Since then Aniceto Quinones has arguably been the single most important employee at the Antlers.  We could compensate for any number of mistakes or shortcomings , but our guests and owners have absolutely no tolerance (nor should they) for sheets and towels that are not perfectly cleaned.  Like many other Antlers employees, Aniceto will tell you that he’s not just running the laundry … he’s making sure our guests have a great vacation. 

The Antlers is eternally grateful for Aniceto’s many years of dedication and exceptional performance.

Aniceto is the best laundry worker there is.  That’s not only our opinion, but that of Bill Jones, the owner of In-House Laundry.  Bill is our vendor for laundry supplies as well as the laundry equipment  itself.  His company services about 75 hotel operations in the Vail and Roaring Fork Valleys, and there’s nobody more qualified to pass judgment on Aniceto’s performance.   When he says that the Antlers has the best, it means the Antlers has the best.  But sadly not for much longer.

Aniceto has announced his retirement and is leaving us this month to enjoy his family in Mexico. We are eternally grateful for his years of dedication and exceptional performance. We are sure happy for him, but his shoes will be hard to fill.

General Manager, Magdalena King expressed her well wishes, “It’s been an honor and a pleasure to work with Aniceto all of these years. His invaluable service as a laundry man, many times was unnoticed because we never had any issues in his department. Everything was accomplished in timely manner and exceptionally well.  Aniceto never expected a reward or the recognition, yet he is always the first one to celebrate others. He’s made his family proud.  We all feel nothing but gratitude for all these years of commitment to the Antlers”.

Trash Pickin’ & Picnickin’ Returns May 6th, 2017

This Vail ski season has been one for the record books. The snow and skiing has been amazing all season. Just when we think it is melting off, another snow storm drops a few more inches of snow. But it will truly be over in just a few days. And, as the season winds down we execute our plans to get our property, and also the Vail community ready for summer. 

Join the Antlers for Trasch Pickin’ & Picnicin’ May 6th, 2017 and get a free night on us!

We’d like to once again invite our guests to be a part of our family and green team May 6th, 2017 with our annual Trash Pickin’ & Picnickin’. You come help us pick up trash on the highway for a few hours Saturday morning (May 6th), join us for a free picnic afterward at Broken Arrow in Arrowhead (that’s optional) and we’ll give you a free night* on either Friday or Saturday night.  That’s it … no other catch.  If you want to stay an additional night, we have special rates available. And of course if you visited this winter you can take advantage of your $139 spring nights.  But if you just stay one night … it’s a freebie! It’s our way of thanking you for staying with us, and for helping us keep our world a little cleaner place.

While we’ve been cleaning up our two-mile stretch of Vail Pass since 1988; we’ve also started joining the Community Pride Highway Cleanup arranged through the Eagle River Watershed Council. The past few years we’ve had a handful of guests join us and had a ton of fun, so we’re bringing it back again this year and letting you know in plenty of time to make plans. Join the Antlers green team again this spring, following the end of ski season and as the spring melt gets underway, to help clear the trash and debris that emerges after a long winter of being buried in layers of snow. This is our community’s way of sprucing up the valley for residents and visitors alike!

The Antlers – which has incorporated numerous eco-friendly business practices long before the term ‘green’ was coined – recently was awarded the TripAdvisor GreenLeader and Actively Green statuses, in addition to the Vail Valley Success Awards 2009 Green Business of the Year and the Vail Valley Community Impact Award 2015.

Call us at 800-843-8245!

 

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Featured Team Member – Gladys Contreras

Gladys Contreras is originally from Hondouras. She began working at the Antlers in 1990 as housekeeper, so has been with us 27 years! Although a little quiet and reserved, Gladys is known for embracing the phrase, “The answer is ‘yes’, now what’s the question?”  She’s just got that attitude. She worked her way up over the years to become a supervisor and integral part of the Antlers team. She very much enjoys her current role of supervising the staff and making sure that everything is very organized and in its place. She must also have a green thumb, as she cares for all of the plants belonging to Antlers owners in her office, and then brings them back to the owners when they are in house. Many guests recognize her as the constant, happy housekeeping face that is always here to make them feel at home!

She is very grateful for her time at the Antlers. One of her favorite memories is the year that Rob LeVine dressed as Santa Claus and delivered presents to her family at her house! Gestures like that are what has made the Antlers home for her and has kept here here all these years.

Her sister Delores (Lola) worked with us for many years and we miss her. In Gladys’ spare time she enjoys spending time with her three daughters and her granddaughter Yaritza.

As many of the Antlers housekeepers, she has worked hard to learn English and now communicates well in what is a second language to her. We are so proud to share the news that she recently became a U.S. citizen!

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Featured Team Member: Cristobal Hernandez Rodriguez

Featured Antlers Team Member: Cristobal Hernandez Rodriguez

Cristobal Hernandez Rodriguez came to work at the Antlers as a houseman 8 years ago. He is the son of a famous tailor in Vera Cruz, Mexico and trained with his father in that profession for fourteen years before moving to the U.S. and then coming to work with us at the Antlers. Not only is Cristobal kind hearted and reliable, but he is also an extremely hard worker. He was working two jobs in addition to his job at the Antlers when he first started as a houseman. Eventually we realized that he had other skills that we could take advantage of and were able to entice him to work just with us. He now sews all of our custom linens, fixes cushions and really anything else that can be improved by a skilled tailor. He helps out in the laundry, in addition to his many duties as houseman. He lives on site at the Antlers and is on call two days a week. As Rob LeVine put it, “In any group of employees, there’s always one or two that you just wish you could clone.  Cristobal’s at the top of that list.  His unfailingly great attitude along with his incredible work ethic make him an absolute delight to work with.  Yes, we are beyond fortunate to have him on Team Antlers.”

A GREAT Addition to the Antlers

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Kim Rediker joins the Antlers at Vail team.

I remember going to a Vail Town Council meeting sometime in early 2004 and thinking, “This new woman on the Council is way too young to have that much poise”.  It later occurred to me that she was the same age as me, when I was elected to the Town Council in 1989, but I can tell you that she was a lot more prepared for the task than I was.  I hadn’t met Kim Rediker prior to that, which is a little surprising given that we both worked in the hospitality business.  I thought I knew everyone in the Vail hotel scene.  Apparently not. 

In the past dozen years I’ve enjoyed watching Kim work in a myriad of community roles, both public and private.  It didn’t take long to appreciate how smart and dedicated she was, in addition to all that grace.  I’ve also had the pleasure of working with her on the Vail Economic Advisory Council for a good part of the last decade.  In that role (and others), she’s always demonstrated one of her great strengths … pragmatism.  I have long valued that skill as highly as any other.  Kim truly understands that you can be right about something all day long, but if you’re not effective it doesn’t do anybody any good.  There are SO many circumstances that come up every day in the hospitality business where understanding, compromise and pragmatic decisions are the key to success.

I love the fact that Kim has that “big picture” view.  That’s just one of the reasons I was so stoked when Magda convinced her to come be the Assistant GM.  Combined with Magda’s similar talents, the Antlers is in REALLY good hands going forward.

Rob