And the Winner Is…..

Randi, Darci and Chrissy smile for the camera lights….Greg thinks the light is a train in a tunnel

The 2009 Vail Valley Gala and Awards Ceremony was held this past Friday at the Ritz-Carlton in Beaver Creek.Let me explain why this night is so important.First and foremost, clothing. The people that are privileged to attend, get to dress up. With regard to attire, we all live in a place that expresses the casual side of clothing. When there is an opportunity for us (women) to look in the back of the closet for that formal cocktail dress or gown, we (women) will pounce on the opportunity to get it dry cleaned. Let me say this: the Antlers group cleans up pretty nice. This is one good looking staff after the ski pants, gators, and goggles are replaced with pressed formal wear and all colors are coordinated.Next would be dancing. Then there is eating and drinking. Everyone seems to excel at all three categories and not necessarily in that order.Then there is attentiveness. We all listened closely when the Master of Ceremonies announced the winners of the 5 categories. This is what brought us here and why we were celebrating on this evening to begin with…..and then he spoke of category 4….” The Green Business of the Year Award Goes To……(could it be, oh please let it be)….. THE ANTLERS AT VAIL! “Our table showed no reserve and erupted in applause. If we had brought our six guns, we would have been firing them at the elaborate, ballroom ceiling.We accepted the award and it is now proudly displayed next to the Business of the Year award we received in 2003. In contrast to last year when we were honored to be nominated for Green Business, I must admit, winning is a bit more satisfying.Our staff, our owners, and our guests made this happen and we could not be more proud. Thanks to everyone.Greg Z

No Pictures

IF YOU HAVEN’T EXPERIENCED IT, COULD YOU PLEASE JUST IMAGINE IT  The sun is out and the sky seems to have invented a new color. It’s blue, but more than blue. There has been some incandescent additive throw in. You feel like only here could you be witness to this. It’s a beautiful, new shade that serves as a back drop to everything else that seems surreal.The evergreens are not green, but rather have transformed themselves to pure white. The snow has laid down on every branch from top to bottom. It has accumulated so much as not to lay the branches down, but strengthen them as they are now locked together as if they have been sprayed and frozen in place.There are people everywhere, but you hear nothing, It is only calm and quiet. As you make your turns down the mountain, you can’t even hear your skis. They float through what seems like the tops of clouds.This is exhilarating, and time even seems as if it were frozen in place.The only thing that has moved is the sun. Without even realizing, your day has past and while all that beauty around you begins to fall asleep, you can’t help but try and calm yourself from the energy that has been transfered to you. Your eyes are still wide and you reflect on the day. You’re tired, but you can’t relax.This is my ski report for Saturday, January 31. Skiing with friends and enjoying every moment on that mountain. What a place this can be.Greg Z.

The G.H.O.S.T. Is Back

The Antlers Haunts Ford Park AgainAll though there was some confusion about our softball team and whether we would be organized again, our fearless leader Rob Levine took charge and we found ourselves drenched in sunshine at Ford Park. It was Monday evening at 5:30 and the usual suspects took the field.We were a team again, but still confused. The apprehension, the nervousness, the lack of athletic ability. It was all evident for the first 3 innings. Simple grounders were rolling between legs. Pop flies were not dropped, but rather falling harmlessly over our heads. Mighty swings of the bat resulted only in walking back to the bench with heads down in shame.But this team has grit and we managed to keep the Snow Pigs from a commanding lead. We found ourselves in the 6th inning only 2 runs down and dare I say, feeling like no would could stop us now. But as it goes, swing and a miss, swing and a miss, swing and a miss. We lose 9 to 7 but feel great about it.Yes, the G.H.O.S.T. is back and this season we may even scare someone. (For season ticket information. you can contact the Antlers. We would love the support).

JUST ANOTHER……DAY IN PARADISE

I reported awhile back about skiing again and mentioned that I look forward to going out with my kids as long as they put on my boots and make sure I’m warm enough (01/13/08 post). Well Lauren, my youngest, is home on school break and offered to do just that. We skied together for the first time in 10 years and what a blast on Vail Mountain. THIS IS YOUR VAIL SKI REPORT MARCH 19.The sky was brilliant blue. The temperature was 37 degrees. The sun was much warmer than that. The snow was soft and easy to ski. In spite of spring break, the crowds were minimal. What a wonderful day on the mountain.For anyone keeping stats, I took my first major spill under Chair 7 in Game Creek and put on quite a display for all that were fortunate enough to witness it from the chair. Without exaggeration, 300 hundred yards on my back doing whirlybirds. No problem though. Not even my ego was damaged.Spring skiing is here and you have to come and enjoy this before it’s done.

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.

Ski lay-off….Too Long…

NEWS ALERT! UPDATE! YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST! STAY TUNED!SKI LAY-OFF WAS TOO LONGGreg Z. went skiing on Friday for the first time in 8 years. It seems he has struggled with fear, bad memories, no interest, and several other things related to psychological barriers that only Doctor Phil could begin to address. When asked why the sudden change of heart, his response was only “I live here and it’s a long time before the golf courses are playable again”.We did a little research on this Antlers employee and found that the he raised 3 children and taught them all how to ski. “I spent a lot of time in the parking lots looking for gloves, putting on boots, and drying tears before an exhilarating day on the cat walks. This was part of the bad memories”, he explained. He continued, “when they all got better, I couldn’t keep up and I just ended up being brought down on a stretcher. This resulted in my fear. I didn’t want any more re-hab in my life. I convinced myself that I had no interest in the sport and my ability was not that of all the legendary skiers in this valley anyway”.He had so much fun on Friday that he went out again for a few hours on Saturday and that his outlook has changed about everything. “I’m back baby! This is fun. There is something for everyone up there. As soon as these legs get back in shape, I’ m going to ski with the kids again, but not until they put my boots on and make sure I’m warm enough”.We asked Greg what he enjoyed most about his re-discovered passion and his simple reply was “The views”. I had forgotten how beautiful it is”.Any advice for the person that may be thinking as you did? “Get over it. Get up there and dance like no one is watching”. He added, “don’t push yourself, ski to your own ability, and stop every once in awhile to take in all that’s around you”.He told us as he was headed to the hot tub with a cocktail that “I deserve this tub. My legs are burning, I’m exhausted, and it feels great. I never feel like this after a lousy game of golf.”

Antlers GHOSTS

Although the 07’ ski season is upon us here in Vail, I felt it necessary to inform you of our success in the summer softball league as the Antlers staff (and a few stranglers we found roaming aimlessly on the streets), dusted off our mitts, bought 2 bats, 4 softballs, and called ourselves the ANTLERS G.H.O.S.T. (God help our sh%@#ty team) We were an organized softball team again. Let me re-phrase that. They were organized and we showed up for each an every game with high hopes and aspirations of proudly displaying the athletic talent we were not quite sure we had. Our dreams were dashed of possessing the 1st place trophy and displaying it in the Antlers lobby, when after one inning, of one game, we found ourselves losing by 7 runs and wondering how to make an out. The anguish continued and I wonder if it has taken this long to write of it, because of it. Healing takes time. Some of the healing included the following: LeVine-thigh, hamstring, ankle…Ziccardi-two knees, right arm… Schlaeder-ankle… Walls-leg… Harl-both legs… Everyone else-bruises, contusions (most of these injuries sustained because we tried to catch the ball with various body parts rather than use our mitts).

I was proud of our team though, and the enthusiasm we all displayed throughout the 8 game season could not be compromised. We finished with a perfect record in our division ( 0 and 8 ) and we were taught many lessons because of the experience this past summer.

One of the most important lessons was realized after the first game. We knew that one case of beer was not enough to keep the team satisfied in the dug-out. Then we learned that Bagallis had the best pizza. Then we learned that the Sand Bar had the best wings. Then we learned that a team barbeque was in order to celebrate a complete disaster of a season.

There is talk of organizing again for next year, but that was only for 5 minutes after the last game was played. We thank all of you that attended and were able to witness our play and extend a thank you to all that supported us otherwise. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.Greg Ziccardi