A Return After 35 Years

We always say how much we love our guests. Many really do become like part of our family. But every once in a while, one reminds us of something else to love. There is nothing more rewarding than knowing that you helped create a memory that brings someone back home to the Antlers. And, that even after 35 years there is one thing that hasn’t changed — the heart and soul of the Antlers — our dedication to warmly welcoming guests to our home.

Melissa and Jeff Gilchrist first visited us thirty-five years ago. They met in college in Wisconsin. They were married on June 29, 1986 outside of Chicago. The following day on June 30, 1986 they arrived at the Antlers at Vail. Things were very different then. They planned their honeymoon using a travel agent and brochures that the agent provided to them.

Cover of Antlers at Vail print brochure that helped the Gilchrists decide upon Antlers as Vail as their honeymoon destination in 1985.

Vail became their chosen destination because it was a place where they could both enjoy the different things they like to do. Jeff loves to fish. Melissa was looking for relaxation and hiking in a beautiful environment. Those things haven’t changed.

In 1985 they paid $70 per night and received their seventh night free. They remember loving the kitchen and open floorplan of their condominium. Their favorite restaurant during that visit, Le Petit Cafe, sadly is no longer around. There are a few more homes across the Gore Creek, where Jeff caught many, many trout.

Photo of the covered bridge in Vail village in 1985.

This visit Jeff had more luck on a guided fishing tour than in Gore Creek. Melissa has really enjoyed the loaner bikes the Antlers now offers, as well as the other amenities. She’s been taking new hikes up the mountain and really getting away from it all. One morning she set out and didn’t see another person for more than two hours. She’s enjoyed the beauty of the river, the convenience of the village and that there’s plenty of things to choose from without getting overwhelmed.

Their first visit to Vail they have wonderful memories of a visit to Piney Lake. This visit they explored historic Leadville one day.

Map of Lionshead village from 1985. Much has changed.

In addition to the location and amenities, the thing that really stuck out to the Gilchrists about the Antlers is the motto, “The answer is yes, now what’s the question.” They saw that motto in action with the attentiveness that General Manager Magda King and Head Housekeeper Gladys Contreras showed them upon arrival. They were impressed with the cleanliness of housekeeping and responsiveness of the Antlers engineering department.

The Gilchrists celebrating their 35 anniversary at Sweet Basil in Vail village in 2020.

In the years since their first visit, Melissa and Jeff have raised two children. One of whom is now raising their own family. The other has an upcoming wedding this summer.

Our only question is whether it will take Melissa and Jeff another thirty five years to return. We hope not!

Thank you to Melissa and Jeff for sharing their story and memories with us. You have our heartfelt gratitude.

From the GM: 12 Years Ago Today

Today 12 years ago in Antlers at Vail history…

A piece of Antlers at Vail history: GM hiried 15 years ago as Conference Services Manager

I was 28 years old, and it was the first day of my second job in this country.

To earn this job, I had to convince the General Manager (Rob) that I was a great candidate for the Conference Services Manager position. When I described my previous work experiences, I had told Rob that my mom was a Chef. I worked under her wing for numerous events.

As you can imagine, when your mother is your boss, you can take anything! From very little pay to carrying a heavy tray with 10 dinner plates from point A to point B. While managing the bar. Lighting up the sternos in the chafing dishes. Accepting the blame for anything that went wrong. Rob laughed wondering if I was exaggerating — I was not.

I also told Rob that I was very loyal, and I promised him that in this -so-ever-changing-valley-, I would stay with the property for 5 years. After that, I would have to move on for my own professional growth. But that while I was working for him, he would have my all: my work ethic, my integrity, my five languages, and my honest opinion on how to make our property better. I’m so glad he hired me.

I’ve loved the Antlers since the beginning. My co-workers have always had the best hearts, the greatest sense of humor and gratitude. I think that these traits are the ones that our guests sense when they arrive. It’s not only that our housekeepers are proud of their impeccable rooms. Or that the maintenance department is always eager to avoid any technical issues and address a problem. Or that our Front Desk Staff is diligently looking for ways to make your stay more enjoyable. It is the combination of all of our talents that make us different than anybody else in the valley. And I truly think, in the country.

In a marketing workshop which I recently participated, the speaker asked us to write the vision that we have for our business. This is what I wrote: The Antlers is the place where the owners, employees, and guests alike feel truly at home. By home, I mean: loved, respected, embraced, nurtured, rested and important. Where anybody is welcome and with each interaction, they will experience the true meaning of service and how this simple act of kindness can change the world.

There hasn’t been one day in these 12 years that the Antlers hasn’t given me the wonderful gift of serving others and give the best of myself. I am forever grateful for this place! And if you haven’t experienced it yet, I welcome you. I promise you that we will love you, respect you, embrace you, nurture you and warmly make you feel at home….

Magda King-
(12 years later) General Manager

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.

 

Extended Stays at the Antlers

Bob Johnson & his Husky, Lily, enjoy living like locals at the Antlers.

The Antlers is grateful to have many guests who make our hotel their home for a month or longer. It’s always fun to hear their stories, and welcome these guests back. Our 30 Day Live-Like-a-Local package has received national attention in a recent publication of the Boston Globe. The package includes tax-free luxury lodging in a variety of options from a studio to four-bedroom residences; complimentary lawn tickets for Bravo! Vail and Vail International Dance Festival, Vail Jazz Festival, and Vail Summer Bluegrass Series tickets (depending on event dates); complimentary bikes; loaner GoPro camera; and unlimited access to the Vail Athletic Club. With the launch of this package it is timely to share feedback from guests who’ve recently stayed 30 days or more with us here at the Antlers.

Meet Bob Johnson

Bob, his wife Heather, and their playful husky, Lily, have stayed about a month with us every winter for the past 8 years in one of our pet-friendly condos. They visit us from Washington state. Bob & Heather found the Antlers by way of their friends who were attending a medical conference and have stayed with us ever since. Bob told me that they return each year because the Antlers makes for a flawless 30 days. Being close to the lifts, close to restaurants, and always having the friendly Antlers staff available to help makes their vacation perfect. Bob also told me that it’s the relationship that makes the difference for them in staying here instead of at other properties. “The staff is always friendly and says hello”, he says. During their stay Heather enjoys our complimentary yoga classes, they dine at Vail’s many great restaurants, they have longer ski days sometimes, and other times enjoy a couple of hours on the slopes. Having the Antlers as their home base makes skiing extremely easy with Ski Butlers ski valet service and our proximity to the Eagle Bahn Gondola. Staying with us for 30 days gives them the opportunity to enjoy a sport they love hassle-free, and is a special highlight to look forward to every year. They find that their extended stay is an incredible value. Hearing this from Bob really made our day, and he told us that we made their month. They’re lovely people. It’s always a pleasure to welcome Bob & Heather back.

Meet Mike Beatty & Sue Burton

Another wonderful family we get the opportunity to see every year is Mike Beatty, Sue Burton, and their lovely lab, Lulu, (not pictured). They visit us every year from Ontario. Mike and Sue have been guests of ours for about 10 years. They love our service, hospitality, and our proximity to the Eagle Bahn Gondola. Mike & Sue say that everything about the Antlers is excellent. During their most recent stay with us, we had the pleasure of inviting them to a local celebration of the Vail Symposium’s 45th anniversary of Convening Locally, Thinking Globally. It was wonderful to catch up with them, have dinner, and talk about our ski days together. They’re wonderful people, and it’s delightful to welcome them back to the Antlers year after year.  

Whether you’re enjoying the slopes for a long holiday in the winter, or enjoying a season of Bravo performances in the summer, the Antlers is a wonderful place to call home for your extended stay in beautiful Vail, Colorado. Are you interested in becoming one of our extended-stay guests? Keep us in mind! We’d love the opportunity to invite you in to the Antlers family.

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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 2-Bedroom Residence: Wally & Bettye Tipsword

Wally & Bettye Tipsword at the Antlers creekside pool.

Wally & Bettye Tipsword purchased their first condominium at the Antlers in 1981. Ten years later they purchased another Antlers condominium, and eight years after that they purchased a third, this one from Bettye’s sister. Wally is a World War II veteran who survived being shot down and a internment at a POW camp to return to his hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma to found and run several successful businesses. Four generations of Tipswords enjoy making the Antlers at Vail their second home year after year.

The fourth generation of Tipswords enjoying skiing Vail.

A few years back the Tipswords made improvements to one of their condominiums and then this past fall completed a major renovation to their two-bedroom condominium. They retextured and painted the ceilings and walls throughout, added new wood doors, trim and soffit throughout. A new stripstone gas fireplace, new tile flooring in the kitchen and bathroom, new wood cabinets, backsplash and marble countertops in the bathroom and kitchen create a clean modern living space. These upgrades brought this 2-bedroom condominium from being one the lower rated condos in the building up to a platinum rating. The Tipswords have been so happy with their newly remodeled mountain home at the Antlers that they are planning to remodel their third Antlers condominium this fall.

Why did you choose to purchase a vacation home at the Antlers?

Bettye’s sisters, Blanche and Bridget, who often skied Vail had told us that The Antlers was the most beautiful spot in Colorado and that it was far and above other condos in Vail because of its spectacular location right on Gore Creek.

The living space of the Tipswords 2-bedroom residence before and after the renovation.

What is special about your newly remodeled Antlers vacation home?

The new fireplace is a real highlight and the kitchen is absolutely gorgeous!  We feel very at home. From the balcony you can see the creek, the mountains, and the activities of Lionshead.  It doesn’t get any better than that!!

To browse through photos of the Tipswords newly remodeled 2-bedroom residence, click any of the thumbnails below to enter the gallery.

Featured Homeowner: Randy & Sue Brundage

Antlers at Vail Newly Remodeled Antlers Vacation Home

1-Bedroom with Bunk Alcove Residence

Randy, Susan and Libby Brundage enjoying skiing Vail Mountain on one of their many visits.

Randy, Susan and Libby Brundage enjoying skiing Vail Mountain on one of their many visits.

Jeff and Diane Brundage bought a second home at the Antlers ten years ago, and thoroughly enjoy their time in Vail, inviting friends and family to visit. After visiting for several of these years, their brother and sister-in-law, Randy and Susan Brundage, made the decision to also purchase a vacation home at the Antlers. They proceeded to purchase a low gold-rated condo at the Antlers and upgrade it to become platinum rated. The fall of 2015 Randy and Sue completed a significant remodel to the family’s 1-bedroom with bunks residence that included reconfiguring the bedroom for a larger king bed by moving a wall, replacing the old fireplace with new stripstone, installing beautiful wood doors accented by wood ceiling beams and a large sliding glass door and new window for better views to the spectacular river and mountain views. A new bathroom, new lighting throughout and elegant new furniture completed the design.

Why did you choose to purchase a vacation home at the Antlers?

Randy, Libby & I have enjoyed skiing for many years. Of all of the ski resorts we visited we kept returning to Vail, and to the Antlers to visit Randy’s brother and sister-in-law, Jeff & Diane. Almost two years ago we decided to purchase our condo at the Antlers to be located close to Jeff and Diane, as well as strategically located within easy walking distance to the gondola and all of Lionshead. Our condo’s location looks out over the pool and Gore Creek and onto the mountain which is breathtaking. We feel so comfortable returning to the Antlers with their helpful staff and many amenities.

209beforeafter

The fall of 2015 Randy and Sue completed a significant remodel to the family’s newly remodeled Antlers vacation home that included reconfiguring the bedroom for a larger king bed by moving a wall, replacing the old fireplace with new stripstone, installing beautiful wood doors accented by wood ceiling beams and a large sliding glass door and new window for better views to the spectacular river and mountain views. A new bathroom, new lighting throughout and elegant new furniture completed the design.

What is special about your newly remodeled Antlers vacation home?

We are so pleased with the renovation to our condo. The ceiling lighting throughout has brightened the entire living area. The wood work makes the condo feel so warm. Our new fireplace and mantle turned out fabulous. The new bathroom is fresh and clean. The attention to detail and expertise by the Antlers team transformed our aged condo into a platinum vacation retreat for us. We cannot wait to return to enjoy our view of the mountain and Gore Creek from our cozy condo.

To see the photo gallery with photos of the complete platinum remodel, click on a thumbnail below.

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Featured Homeowners: Matt & Tammy Dannheisser

Antlers at Vail Platinum 4-Bedroom Residence

The Dannheissers purchased a Platinum 4-Bedroom Residence and immediately started planning a remodel that would set an even higher standard for the entire property.

The Dannheissers purchased a 4-bedroom platinum rated condominium and immediately started planning a remodel that would set an even higher standard for the entire property.

In July of 2015 Matt & Tammy Dannheisser became proud new Antlers at Vail homeowners. The Dannheissers purchased a 4-bedroom platinum rated condominium and immediately started planning a remodel that would set an even higher standard for the entire property. They removed a wall between the dining and living room to open up the large space. Contemporary new chandeliers, wood beams, recessed cove LED lighting, porcelain and metal fireplaces, a 60” TV and new furniture transformed the living and dining areas. Three of the bathrooms were completely upgraded with new cabinets, counters, backsplashes, beveled mirrors and more. The master bedroom was enlarged and a new porcelain and metal fireplace and French doors completed the design. New closet systems and alder doors were added throughout. A new laundry room with a new washer and dryer was added for guest convenience. The Dannheisser’s Vail residence, along with one other Antlers condominium, are the highest rated in the building.

What is the best part of being an owner at the Antlers?

Antlers is different than most others in Vail  – it is a community where the staff not only goes out of their way to be of assistance, they have genuine care and concern for their owners and guests.  There is great comfort in knowing that our second home is being well taken care of by people for whom doing so is not an occupation but rather a passion.

What is special about your newly remodeled Antlers condominium?

When we looked for a place to purchase, there were many boxes we wanted to check: close to lifts and being close to the center of activities were perhaps foremost among them.  But, we were also seeking four bedrooms (enough for children and grandchildren to comfortably visit), a large gathering/living area where many people could comfortably gather, good views, plenty of “elbow room,” upscale furnishings, ski concierge, and staff with whom we felt very comfortable.  That we were able to accomplish all of these with our Antlers unit has made our stays wonderful and leaves us with a feeling of wanting to return as soon as possible.

Click a thumbnail below to browse through the photo gallery of the Dannheisser’s complete remodel.


Featured Homeowner Series: 1 Bedroom Condominium

Antlers at Vail Featured Homeowner: 1-Bedroom Residence

Whether enjoying the view fron the balcony or relaxing in front of the fire Antlers at Vail Condo 608 is a fantastic place to stay while in Vail.

Whether enjoying the view from the balcony or relaxing in front of the fire this condo is a fantastic home base while for Vail adventures.

Retiring Air Force Colonel Hal Hagy and his wife Anne were early Antlers at Vail condominium owners. Hal & Anne became great friends with the first Antlers General Manager Bud Benedict and his wife Marcet and enjoyed getting together at every opportunity to share some laughs and soak in the atmosphere of the Vail valley of the 70’s and 80’s. In 1989, during the first push for condominium upgrades and before mandated ADA, they were the first homeowners to put in a handicapped accessible bathroom.

Anne and Hal Hagy circa 19xx

Anne & Hal Hagy during a visit to their home at the Antlers at Vail during the 1970s

Over the years they undertook a couple of additional remodels to their unit and eventually passed ownership of the condominium down to their daughter Susan. Our featured homeowner, Susan, has been a kind and supportive owner, recently joining the board of directors, and has continued to remodel the condo. A couple of years back she upgraded the kitchen and bathroom and recently made major improvements to the bedroom and living space by moving a wall, adding a larger bedroom closet, adding all new woodwork throughout, including gorgeous wood beams, doors and trim. She added new LED lighting throughout and removed the popcorn ceiling that remained. These improvements have resulted in one of highest rated condominiums in the building.

 

Anne and Susan Hagy enjoying some mother-daughter time in Vail Village.

Anne and Susan Hagy enjoying some mother-daughter time during Antlers owners weekend and Anne’s last visit to Vail, in 2008.

What is the best part of being an owner at the Antlers?

In my case, I feel incredibly humble and grateful to call the Antlers home away from home. I love the personal touches in my unit that represent my history and happy memories spent there with my parents. I appreciate the amenities available to host family and friends. Visiting with staff is like spending time with old friends and I’ve known Rob for most of my life. (So we really are getting to be OLD friends!)

Retired Air Force Colonel Hal Hagy

Col. Hal Hagy, March, 1987, in front of Garfinkels in Lionshead… the same visit the family celebrated Hal’s 70th Birthday with a party in the old Antlers “Lounge”. This photo was taken by his daughter Susan.

Participating in the rental program means sharing this very special place with new visitors and return guests. We look forward to spending part of each year in the outdoor playground that is Vail. The topography of the Rocky Mountains is quite a contrast to our primary home in coastal Florida.

View from 608 balcony looking southeast in 1979, before many of the homes on Forest Road had been built.

View from the Hagy’s condo looking southeast in 1979, before many of the homes on Forest Road had been built.

Buying a 2nd home in Vail was ALL Dad’s idea, but soon after the purchase, Mother spotted me from the balcony in my bright green jacket skiing home, she said it was the best decision. Location, location, location!

What is special about your newly remodeled Antlers condominium?

The outdoor view from the new King platform bed just makes me smile. I also love the addition of an extra door to the bedroom, adding both convenience and more natural light.

Antlers Featured Homeowner

Antlers at Vail 1-Bedroom Residence: Featured Homeowner

Remodeled spring of 2015 to become a platinum-rated condominium

New wood flooring, stone fireplace, ceiling beams and beautiful new furniture make the living space of this one-bedroom Vail condo a relaxing place to unwind after a day of mountain adventures.

New wood flooring, stone fireplace, ceiling beams and beautiful new furniture make the living space of this one-bedroom Vail condominium a relaxing place to unwind after a day of mountain adventures.

Mel Timmermann and his wife Catherine were original Antlers at Vail hotel owners. A salt-of-the-earth John Deere tractor dealer from Litchfied, Illinois, Mel was a favorite of the staff. He always went out of his way to make sure everyone knew they were appreciated, particularly housekeeping. Sadly he passed away a number of years ago, but his children continue his legacy at the Antlers. This spring one of his daughters, Kathy Caloia, directed a significant remodel to the family’s 1-bedroom residence that included reconfiguring the bedroom for a larger king bed by adding a new wall and French doors, replacing the old fireplace with new stone surround, installing a beautiful wood floor in the living and kitchen areas accented by wood ceiling beams. New lighting throughout and elegant new furniture completed the design. The Antlers at Vail is proud to add this 1-bedroom residence to our ever growing list of platinum-rated condominiums.

Why did you and your siblings choose to keep the family’s vacation home at the Antlers?

We created many wonderful family memories over the years making the Antlers a special place for all of us. My father frequently said that he hoped the condominium would stay in the family for generations. Last summer the 4th generation of our family made her first trip to the Antlers. We are very grateful to our parents for having the foresight to provide this wonderful vacation home.

What is special about your newly remodeled Antlers vacation home?

The newly configured large king bedroom is a real plus. The newly configured bedroom, along with the attention to detail that went into the living space creates a warm, comfortable updated space for our guests to enjoy.

To see a slideshow with photos of the remodeled condominium click any of the thumbnails below.