10 Reasons why I would stay at the Antlers at Vail

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A while ago, I asked my co workers to answer that question, and for us it’s not an easy answer.   Why would we lodge in the place where we work IF we would ever consider doing it? I got very good answers.  Here are 10 good reasons why we would stay at the Antlers at Vail:

1.  Feeling a part of the village yet away from it; being close to restaurants and shops then coming back and seeing the mountain around me,

2.  Being able to sometimes have a choice of units; each unit conveys a different character,

3.  All units have a balcony and fireplace,

4.  Units have fully equipped kitchens,

5.  It is located 150 yards from the “gondy”,

6.  Marshmallows for hot chocolate in the lobby,

7. Maid service EVERYDAY,

8.  Awesome Catering Company

9.  Free rides around town (when staff is available),

My answer? I would stay at the Antlers simply because this place has a heart and a soul, and I can truly feel both every time I need help from anybody in our staff.

You can also tell us some of the reasons why you stay at the Antlers, thanks for being a part of our family! (If you have never stayed with us, I invite you to… it will be an awesome experience!)

Antlers at Vail wine and cheese party

Virtually every Monday during the winter the Antlers at Vail has a complimentary wine & cheese party for our guests.  It starts at 5:30pm and lasts for around an hour.  We want everyone to feel free to stop on by for some wine & appetizers.  It is a great chance to mingle with other guests and Antlers staff and to exchange stories from the day’s adventures out on Vail Mountain.


Millie says Farewell

Millie called today and wondered if this was OK to print in response to all the beautiful comments she has received on the BLOG.  I thought it deserved its own little space on the www




Hello to everyone.

First of all, I want to thank you guys for all those beautiful comments you have left on the Antlers blog. Now, I think is time for me to write something as a reply or let’s say a farewell. I would like to express my gratitude for the professional as well as personal development I have gained working here.

I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to share my life over the past 37 years with so many people. I am thankful for the success of my work. To my beloved staff, I can’t say enough about them, they have been my backbone through this entire process and it’s because of them that I have been able to succeed at my job.  It would be very foolish and naive of me to believe even for a second, that I alone am the reason for the success of my career. It would also be very prideful and silly to say the Antlers’ success is because I have surrounded myself with all the right people!! But, the truth of the matter is, God has put all of these wonderful people in my path and for that I am very grateful. The list would be too long to print if I were to name all of them. They know who they are and I will never forget their contributions! I will mention some of those wonderful people.

Hmm…Let’s start in 1972, the very beginning of the great Antlers story. I remember the time when I came in this hotel, and Bud Benedict was the manager of Antlers. I will always be thankful to this special person who gave me the chance to prove everyone and most important – to myself, that I can handle all pressure and the expectation from the staff and the guests. Luckily, I was able to control that and deliver the best of me for my second home (Antlers).

Everybody knows that Antlers at Vail became such a beautiful place thanks to the great managing skills of Rob LeVine. Since I know our manager, I have a great relationship with him on business and social level too. We have always been cooperating with such a high level of understanding each other. Rob, there is so much to say about you, but I will be short and say thank you for giving me a chance to prove myself, thank you for all these years spent with you, for your kindness, for having confidence in me, and I want you to know that I will miss you, as a manager and as a friend as well. I am and I will be forever grateful for your leadership and friendship we established over my 37 years run at the Antlers. But I hope that we are going to stay in touch. Rob thank you for all the things you have done for me, all the lovely parties, naming the Millie Barela Boardroom after me.

Thank you Randi for being there for me when I needed you the most and making my job easier. You have always been here for me on business and social level as well. It’s been a pleasure and adventure working with you and I will miss you so much.

I also want to thank Magda and Randi for the flowers, and Magda, you are doing a great job at the meeting rooms.

I also want to express my gratefulness to Tom and the engineering staff.

Everyone knows how wonderful person Greg is, on social and professional level as well. Greg, I want to thank you for all those wonderful stories you have written for me, for the great article on the Antlers’ blog which left me without words, for your hard-working time you are dedicating for this hotel, and for all those lovely years spent with you.

Well, everybody knows that someone must continue with my job at Antlers, and I think there isn’t better person for this position than my sister Lora. We spent together a wonderful 35 years, and I am so proud of that. Lora, you know everything about this job, and what is most important everyone trusts you, so I don’t see a reason why you should be afraid of doing this job on your own. I know that we are going to see each other in future, but I am already convinced that it will be hard to get used to it on the life where I will not be able to see you every day like until now. I want you to know that I love you so much, and I am sure that you will do the job like no one before. You have the best housekeeping team in front with Gladys, and there is no reason to be afraid. I wish you luck and a lot of success.

The guests and owners of Antlers have always used to be satisfied of the cleanness in this hotel. As a executive housekeeper, I will always be thankful to my housekeeping team, especially to my sister Lora, Gladys, and all the rest of the housekeeping staff so and the people who have gone and come including my friends and family which helped me to reach this successful level I have today, at the ending of my career.

I also want to thank to Chris Ratz and the front desk staff. Thank you for your outstanding cooperation.

Well, I think it is time to end up my farewell here. I want to thank you for your time reading this article and thank to all employees in Antlers from which I have learned tremendously.  If it wasn’t your constant support and encouragement I would not have been able to perform my duties so well.  Professionally, I have gained a lot of knowledge and I shall always cherish this as one of the most satisfying phases in my career. Personally too I have shared a special bonding with all of you and I shall take away with me cherished memories of our times together.

Thank you so much for making my time at Antlers a truly enjoyable one. I invite any of you who would like to keep in touch, to speak to me before I leave on Monday and I will be happy to give you my phone and e-mail co-ordinates.

Now, it is time to dedicate all my time to my lovely husband Willie and my wonderful kids and grandkids.

I wish you all the best and I’m sure I will see you around somewhere.

Best Regards,

Millie Barela

What Is A Legacy… Millie Barela

Quietly Going About Her Business

Quietly Going About Her Business

Grandson Brian is a Third Generation Employee

Grandson Brian is a Third Generation Employee

She came to Eagle County with her husband Willie in 1959. Think about that. What in the world was here in 1959? For those of us that say we have been here for 20+ years and think it deserves an award for longevity, take a seat.

Millie Barela was not even married a year when Willie was lucky enough to land a job with the Gillman Mine operation. Their plan was to settle right here in Minturn and start their forever adventure together. They rented a house “on the other side of the tracks” for $22/month. They saved what money was coming in and bought their first and last house for (and this is not an over or under exaggeration) $650.00. Life was good and Willie was making such a good wage ($1.20/hour) that Millie did not need to work. Her job was to get ready for the camping and fishing trips they would do in their free time.

Being the progressive young woman that she is, Millie decided she wanted a car. It was 1964 and Vail was a place that still wasn’t on the map, but things were starting to happen. The Christiania Lodge was hiring and Ted Kindal gave Millie one of the first housekeeping jobs ever in Vail. She car pooled with her friend Lucille until she could buy her Jeep. She learned to ski with the originals on Vail Mountain, but really preferred skiing Meadow Mountain in Minturn. Yes there was a ski area where sled hill is now and as Millie describes it, “they had a chair lift and a place to drink coffee at the bottom”.

The years past at the Christiania and Millie commanded the respect she was due. Her pay escalated to $1.90/hr. In 1972, when the Antlers was still operated by Gore Range Properties, she applied and was hired as Head Housekeeper “by a guy named Richard, I think”. I asked her why she changed jobs and she simply said “more money, they paid me $2.50/hour”.

That is the rest of the story and it ends this year. After 37 years with the Antlers, Millie Barela is going to retire and this time she means it. We could speak all the stereotype phrases, “she will be missed”, “how can we replace her”, “the place won’t be the same”, but Millie deserves more than that. It’s not very often that an employee and a beautiful person can walk away from your daily life and truly have an impact on how you carry on.

Her gift to all of us, our owners, and guests is the gift of example. We all need to pattern ourselves as she has lived and worked. That is the legacy of Millie Barela.

Greg Z

(Of course she will be missed, but we can understand she wants to spend more time with Willie and all those beautiful grand-kids). We love ya” Millie.

Have a story or a fond memory?  Feel free to leave a comment for her.

An end of season Result…

According to Greg, the end of season 4 at 4 was by far the craziest he had ever seen on closing day at Vail Mountain. Typically on the last day of the season at Chair 4 at 4 o’clock, everyone gathers to party, show off their retro suits, and the rest, well you would have to be there. Our adventurous Greg was and called to report in short, what was taking place. At the end of his summary, he stated, “I’m scared.”An hour later, we were greeted with a 4 at 4 result…Greg. Thanks for keeping us informed and entertained Greg.

What’s Everybody Up To?

The 2009 ski season has reached its final few weeks and this is the time of year that employees start making plans for the exodus to near or far away places. I asked a few what plans they have in order to regenerate and then return to start the summer season.I asked Darci what she is doing now that the season is over and she has won the Super Bowl title of front office managers…..“I’m going to Disney World!” Herself, Joel and Mariah are headed to sunny Florida to party with Dumbo and Pluto.Chris Ratz. and Sara have plans that are a bit similar (warm weather) but have no fun parks to visit. “We went to Hawaii a few years ago and had to come back after 3 days. This time we plan on staying for the whole reservation.” Book em’ Danno.”Magda, you’re from Ecuador, are you going home to visit?” “No. My crazy Grandma is visiting my crazy sister in New York and that is where I would like to go. She is here until July and we will need to take turns taking her to the discotheque.”Chris A. and Erin managed to get a house on a beach and are spending a week in Cabo. “We got a good price. Free. I’m really happy my girlfriend knows people in right places.”Matt Z. is going to spend time in San Diego and visit with some friends. “My beloved Cubbies are in town that week and I hope to catch some rays, the beach, and a ball game or two. They’re going to win it all this year, you know.”Tom S. has already been and back. “Eleven of us were on this 100 foot chartered boat and we floated around the Socorro Islands for a week swimming with the fishies and we didn’t run out of beer this time.”Amy S. is going to “almost heaven”. “I haven’t been back to West Virginia in awhile. It will be good to see the farm agin’.”Rob, you have to be going somewhere this year? “Yep. To the golf course every chance I get. There still is hope.”Yours truly plans the most opulent trip of all. First it was Italy. Then I considered Malta. I looked into Uruguay. Then I booked it….Cleveland. Lots of friends and family and it really is a great place to visit, but after 35 years here, I wouldn’t want to……..See you all for summer time in VailGreg Z

Bowling Party

For our annual “end of season” party this year we all went bowling down in Eagle. There was plentiful beer and food and a good time was had by all. Sadly, this was Kati’s last Antlers event.

Employee Profile

Who is Gladys Villeda?Just one of the sweetest housekeepers ever to enter a unit at the Antlers.Gladys was born in Honduras and managed to move to the United States in January of 1989. Her dream of living and working in New York was short lived and she didn’t last a full winter there. The last I checked, the climate in the Honduras is a bit warmer than up-state New York and I think that may have had something to do with her decision to relocate.Her choices were clear and after short deliberation of where to settle next, she choose Vail. Ehmmmm?In January of 1990 Gladys was in Vail to do all the things she has dreamed of doing in a summer wonderland. She realized quickly that she was living in a winter wonderland and decided to stay right here anyway and start her career at the Antlers. We are so glad she did.Ask her about her hobbies (she has never attempted to ski) and she will tell you that she has four hobbies. They are her children and that keeps her busy enough. If she is not watching Antonio Bandaras movies, she is planning her trip to Hawaii or Puerto Rico (imagine that).You’re Welcome!Gladys speaks excellent English and speaks with sincerity. She often radios the front desk after cleaning a unit and a typical conversation would go like this: “Unit 204 is ready for check in”. The front desk responds “Thank you Gladys”. She says “You’re welcome”. Or “The guest staying in 605 would like service next”. “I will do it next”…..”Thank you Gladys”…..”You’re welcome”. If you happen to see her leave for the day….”Thanks for a great job today Gladys”….”Your welcome, I will see you tomorrow, sleep well tonight”.You’re welcome to come stay with us and and meet this great gal.

Antlers at Vail Employee Profile

Lets meet DARCI WALLSEmployed at the Antlers since 2004, she is our reservations manager and our good friend.I had a few questions…..and Darci had a few answers……So where are you from originally? ” I was born and raised just down the road in Eagle”You must be a great skier? ” I haven’t skied since 7th grade and I only did that because my Dad made me”.So what our your hobbies? “I like to shop, but I think it’s more like a habit”.What is your favorite place other than Vail? “Anywhere there are palm trees. And a beach. And pretty drinks with umbrellas in them”.What kind of car did you want for your 16th birthday? “A Ferrari 360 Modenna”.Did you get it? “No. It was a S15 pick-up, with a little rust and bald tires. I graduated to a yellow Cadilac DeVille that got no gas milage, but it had leather seats. Me and my friends were really hot in that car. I’m saving for that Ferrari”.Who is your favorite actor? “Mike Myers and any movie he is in”. Ohhh Behave.What’s your sign? “I’m a Scorpio”. I never would have guessed.If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be? “Marilyn Monroe”. Good answer.What is your ultimate goal? “To retire somewhere around the age of 35, with a Ferrari in the garage”.What are you doing this weekend? “None of your business”.When you arrive, Darci will greet you with a smile. She told me that coming to work is a pleasure because of the people she works with. “We are all like family here”. I am witness that she is capable of making you feel the same way.

Super Bowl Party

Every year we talk about having a Super Bowl party in the conference room with the big screen. Well, we finally decided to do it this year, but only as a “trial run” with just our staff and few other friends. Of course it was an incredible game, which helped, but overall it was a great time. Half way into the second quarter we whipped up a makeshift box grid and Janina drew numbers for anyone who wanted in. Fifty cents a square. Evelyn mopped up with the 7 – 0 numbers at the end of quarters two and three, worth $15 each. Aaron from maintenance made out with the final $20 when Eli hit Plaxico at the end. Greg, Lisa and I had bets on everything from whether the next commercial would be for beer or a car, to what song Tom Petty would play first. Oh yeah, we bet on the game, too. Ultimately, I’m into them for three bucks. Whoopee.Joe and Janina Greene (110 owners) joined us, as did Nate and Lisa (from the Sonnenalp and the Christie Lodge, respectively). Staffers Justin, Magdalena (and husband Tony), Darci (with daughter Maria), Crissy, Lisa and Ratz all joined in for at least part of the game. We used up a fair amount of Coors beer, somewhat past the born-on date I believe (but hey, “free” rhymes with “me”). And the foodstuffs were perfect … Greg boiled some old fashioned tube steaks, which when smothered with Evelyn’s elk chili were good enough for me to down a pair of them (or was it 3?). Ratz snagged a bunch of crawfish from the Vail Chophouse, who had a Mardi Gras celebration going on. Plenty of grilled Buffalo wings, chips, deviled eggs and some of Lisa’s leftover (but tasty) birthday cake all insured that everyone went home pleasantly stuffed.All in all it was a hoot. Now that we know this works, we’ll have to do it again next year with a few more folks invited. Heck, maybe we’ll even crank it up for the Stanley Cup. Give us a shout if you want to join us … you’re definitely welcome.Rob