Revenue Management?

Twenty years ago, most of us in the hospitality business had never heard of a Revenue Manager.  Back in those days people made their reservations either by calling us, or having their travel agent call us.  It was pretty simple.  Establishing our pricing was a fairly straightforward exercise, taking into account supply and demand, which was relatively homogenous.

Fast forward to 2014 and you have the internet and a plethora of new ways to book a hotel room.  Our puzzle includes guests who:

  • Call direct
  • Book on-line direct
  • Have their travel agent use one of those two channels
  • Use a wholesaler (a travel agent for travel agents) who does the same, or maybe books through the Global Distribution System (GDS) run by the airlines (Apollo, Sabre, Worldspan, etc.)
  • Use one of two Central Reservation Systems in Vail (with or without a travel agent involved)
  • Use one of the online travel agencies (OTA’s) such as Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com or more than a dozen others

There is also the question of how all those people who are booking on-line, whether direct or through a third-party, arrived at that particular website.  The possibilities are literally endless.  Attempting to track the demand from hundreds of such different channels is a full time job, to say the least.  Each of those sources of business lends itself to complex analysis of pricing, discounting, restrictions, behavior, etc.

Ryan Kelsey c

With this ever-growing complicated puzzle of “inbound traffic” the Antlers has taken the plunge of hiring a full time Revenue Manager.  Ryan Kelsey comes to us with a good analytical background, as well as local hospitality experience at the Charter in Beaver Creek and Destination Resorts in Vail.  We’re excited to welcome Ryan to the team, and love the fact that he can focus on this crazy puzzle of selling hotel rooms and providing the best possible return to our owners, while still maintaining great customer loyalty.

These days, when people ask me, “So how’s business?”  My pat answer is, “Well, it’s pretty good, but it sure ain’t easy!”  I realize that doesn’t make us special.  Business everywhere is tougher than it used to be.  Heck, it isn’t always easy being a consumer, either.  Think of the travelers who have to deal with the same plethora of choices about where and how to book their rooms. We’d love to hear from any of you who have a favorite way to book hotel reservations.  Naturally, we love it when you call us directly. That gives us the best chance of understanding all your preferences and satisfying all of your needs. But if you’ve found a preferable way to get a great Antlers suite with just a few online clicks, we’d love to know how and why.  And we promise to share the info with Ryan.

We Lost A Great One

Col. Don circa 1990We lost another one.  A great one.  One of the original Antlers owners.  He liked to tell the story about walking through the building (the original building) when it was a concrete shell.  Must’ve been 1971.  Colonel Don Wiethuechter (pronounced Wee-Tuke-Ter) was known to us as just Col. Don.  He was as supportive an owner as there ever was.  He came to every annual owners meeting as well as one or two other times a year, and always offered encouragement and appreciation.  Sure, on occasion he may have tied me up on the phone for a few minutes too long (hours, maybe?), but what I wouldn’t give right now to hear that voice say, “Hello Mr. Manager … How are you doing today?”

Col. Don and Bud Benedict were great chums and I remember when Bud retired, me being a little worried about that element of the transition.  My worries were unfounded … Col. Don had my back just as much as he ever had Bud’s … and as much as any other owner ever has.

I always claim that the Antlers Heart and Soul is what sets us apart from our competition.  It’s unquestionably what has kept me here (and happy) for 36 years.  Well, if ever there was a symbol of our heart and soul, it was Col. Don.  We’ve had some great owner/cheerleaders over the years, but Col. Don was Col. Don circa 1995there with the best of them.  I think we only took second place to his beloved Huskies at the University of Washington, and maybe his employer of 30+ years, the U.S. Army.

He would frequently travel with the Washington football team to away games and I think even received some sort of super-booster honor at mid-field one time.  I remember when Rick Neuheisel got the coaching job at UW, after getting canned from CU.  Things didn’t go so well for Rick at Udub either and we had a great time ribbing Col. Don for years afterward about our hand-me-down.  Despite his propensity to bleed purple (as they say), he always took it well.

I think we only have five or six of the original owners left now, although there are happily another six or eight that have been handed down in their families.  It’s such a bummer to see the number dwindle, but Col. Don will always be a permanent part of Antlers lore.

Soon To Be Platinum Rated

Dr. Brooks Newbill, owner of unit 109 at the Antlers, committed to a major renovation this past spring and the results are in….. Stunning!

The 680 square foot condominium was completely “gutted” in order to launch the project.  All existing walls and popcorn ceiling texture were removed.  The original kitchen, bathroom, fireplace and all flooring were taken to a final resting place.  The majority of furniture was donated and all older appliances were properly recycled.

These few photos are only a glimpse of the final result.

With no walls left, new walls needed to be raised.

With no walls left, new walls needed to be raised.

This is eventually the kitchen with a new window.

This is eventually the kitchen with a new window.

After a little more than four months, the condominium is back in the rental pool and ready to be enjoyed.

The sliding glass door from the living/dinning area, overlooks the pool and Gore Creek.

The sliding glass door from the living/dinning area, overlook the pool and Gore Creek.

A new fireplace, entertainment center with additional storage space.

A new fireplace and entertainment center with additional storage space.

The kitchen includes granite counter tops with stainless steel appliance and heated tile floors.

The kitchen includes granite counter tops with stainless steel appliances and heated tile floors.

A king bed in the master.

A king bed in the master

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A wardrobe with plenty of space.

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A double vanity, walk-in shower and heated tile floors complement the master suite.

It also needs to be mentioned that the furniture and all the amenities to complement are of the highest standard.  The electronics and appliances are the most current available and Dr. Newbill elected to install LED lighting throughout the unit.

Congratulations Brooks Newbill, your home away from home is truly outstanding.

Another Moose Takes Refuge

Anyone that walked into our Lobby last Sunday did a double take at the sight of a very large Blue Moose standing near the fireplace.

This one did not wander unwittingly into our lobby, but rather, was intentionally dropped off under the cover of darkness. Our neighbors in Lionshead made quite the effort to wheel the 250 pound sculpture over on Saturday night from the Blue Moose Pizzeria.

The sign around its neck read “I hear you accept pets and this is a great place to stay”.

This visit didn’t get as much coverage from the press as the last one.

Dan Cullen, Front Desk Agent extraordinaire, catches up on the Sunday local news

Dan Curtin, Front Desk Agent extraordinaire, catches up on the Sunday local news

Cliffs, Creeks and Cameras at the Antlers

Emmy-award winning filmmaker, aspiring cinematographers to showcase work at Antlers at Vail hotel

adventure, films, vail hotel

Emmy award-winning filmmaker Michael Brown will showcase a spectacle of outdoor adventure films made by the Outdoor Adventure Film School Students.

The Antlers at Vail main conference room will feature kayakers cascading over waterfalls, climbers with spider-like fingertip strength, runners grinding in effort and even dogs diving for thrown buoys. On June 10, 2014 at 6 p.m. the Antlers at Vail hotel will host a presentation by Emmy award-winning filmmaker Michael Brown who will showcase a festival of outdoor adventure films made by the Outdoor Adventure Film School students over the course of the Mountain Games.

Renowned outdoor cinematographer Michael Brown is a pioneer of telling the story of adventure, and has earned more than 30 international film festival awards and three Emmys.

The Vail Symposium has partnered with the Outside Adventure Film School bringing Brown as a guest speaker to the annual debuting of short adventure films made by aspiring filmmaker students over the course of the Mountain Games.

“This event has always been a huge hit in the past with just the students showing their short work,” says Tracey Flower, the Symposium’s Executive Director. “This year we are coming on board and bringing Michael Brown – a veteran of the industry – who can speak to the audience and the students about his illustrious career.”

Brown will share clips from his videos and speak about the struggle, character, commitment and dangers of creating these mystifying videos. As a part of the Symposium’s Unlimited Adventure series, the Town of Vail Public Library has sponsored the program.

Students from the Outside Adventure Film School, over the course of the Mountain Games, are tasked with creating a video that tells the story of the games. They only have days to find the story, film it and then edit it into a three to six-minute segment. The students will showcase their films, telling the trials and tribulations they faced in the short time they had to put the films together following Brown’s lecture. If you are interested in participating in the film school there are still spots left for locals at a discounted rate.

“This event is unique for the outdoor enthusiast or the film fanatic,” said Flower. “In a few years, these students will be the ones trekking into the backcountry and bringing home awe-inspiring stories.”

If you go…

Who: Michael Brown and the Outdoor Adventure Film School
What: Screening Adrenaline I Lecture and Short Film Presentation
When: June 10, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: The Antlers at Vail
How Much: Free | $10 Suggested Donation

As the Antlers Turn….Pictures Tell Stories

It’s fast and furious around here, the remodels are moving ahead as planned, and on schedule.  We have evolved from furniture storage and demolition to welcoming various crews to to get started on abatement, painting, plumbing, electrical, fireplace installation and tile work.  Here are a few picks that show some of the progress.

Unit 502 is "under the tent" for abatement

Unit 502 is “under the tent” for abatement

Three days later, all the "popcorn" is gone

Three days later, all the “popcorn” is gone

After abatement, walls and ceilings are textured before painted.

After abatement, walls and ceilings are textured before being painted in unit 211.

211 bedroom

211 bedroom

The texture guys move to unit 410 next.

Unit 410 abatement is complete and the texture guys move there next.

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Unit 406 had the older style fireplace

Unit 406 new fireplace installed

Unit 406 now has a newer style fireplace installed

Unit 406 old bathroom

Unit 406 had an old bathroom.

The plumbing has begun in Unit 406 new bathroom

Unit 406 will soon have a new bathroom as the plumbers have moved in.

 

The electricians have begun in unit 309

The electricians have begun in unit 309

 

New fans and lights have been installed in 414 bathroom

New fans and lights have been installed in the bathroom of unit 414.

And Bobby "the tile guy" has started on the shower tile.

And Bobby “the tile guy” has started on the shower tile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new fireplace has been installed in 109

The new fireplace has been installed in 109

And the new walls are going up

And the new walls are going up

 

Stand it up and screw it in place

Stand it up and screw it in place

As mentioned, we are right on schedule.  More updates coming.

(An aside….It’s not all a construction zone in the Valley.  Spring has sprung and the Sun is shining, while the Aspens are budding, the Evergreens are pollinating, the Flowers popping, Fish are jumping and the Bears are yawning.  All the while the Joggers are jogging, the Bikers are biking and the Golfers are golfing.  This is a glorious time of year.)          Greg

Oh, and the moose are lumbering.  This was taken just outside Darci's front door on Tuesday.  She was late for work.

Oh, and the moose are lumbering. This was taken just outside Darci’s front door on Tuesday. She was late for work.

 

As the Antlers Turn…Not Quite a Remodel…Ulmschneider Blazes LED Trail

Mark Ulmschneider, owner of Unit 517 at the Antlers, must have been reading my mind.

After converting the majority of lighting in the common areas of the Antlers to the newer, more efficient and long lasting LED lighting, it’s now time to consider the same for our individual condominiums.  I thought it best to start replacing the halogen type bulbs first because availability is quickly becoming non-existent.

I did a walk through of all the units and counted only the halogen-par type bulbs in each.  Some of the units have only 3 recessed in the kitchen and others have over 40 throughout the condominium.  Total for all the building is over 950.

That’s a lot of light bulbs and remember, it does not include the standard incandescent bulbs in the lamps and chandeliers (let’s throw another 1,000 in when those are counted).

Having a discussion with Mark this past winter about the replacement and conversion of all lighting over time, he said “Why don’t you just go ahead and do my whole place.  It’s all got to be done eventually anyway, doesn’t it?”

So that I did.  Twenty-six LED’s were swapped out at a cost of $565.

I must say that the quality of the light is nearly identical to the original and one would be hard pressed to notice any difference.

I talked with Mark the other day and explained that although LED lights use less energy, the savings on his monthly utility bill would not be that significant.  But I do have every intention to track his Holy Cross bills in the future and find out just how much he actually does save over time.

Important as any energy savings are, just as important is the impression the Antlers leaves on future guests.  More emphasis is put on green initiatives in our industry these days and staying abreast with these changes is no longer a choice, but a necessity.

Also, this conversion is guaranteed against failure for at least 5 years and replacing burned out light bulbs dozens of times every year is now a task in the past (at least in unit 517).

Cathedral kitchen and bar lights are all on dimmer switches

Cathedral kitchen and bar lights are all on dimmer switches

 

 

 

Seventy-five watt equivalents use only 15 watts after the exchange

Seventy-five watt equivalents use only 15 watts after the exchange

The chandelier lights are flame type and also on a dimmer

The chandelier lights are flame type and also on a dimmer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks Mark for moving forward on this.

Now we need to come up with a plan to replace the other 939 lights and a 1,000 more after that.  (Actually, we are putting some thought into this and we’ll be asking for your feed back soon.)

Greg

 

As the Antlers Turn…..and the hammer comes down

As I mentioned just a couple of days ago, Springtime in the Rockies is the start of some new construction projects around the Antlers.

I was sure to take some pictures on Monday of the condominiums in line for improvements.  The idea being we could show a little “before and after” as things progress.  Well, things have started to progress as shown below.  There must be a little destruction before anything can be rebuilt.  Unit 109 has taken on a new, temporary look.

Ready for a Check-in on Monday

Ready for a Check-in on Monday

 

Gone on Wednesday

Gone on Wednesday

Cook dinner on Monday night

Cook dinner on Monday night

Sure hope the dishwasher was emptied by Wednesday

Sure hope the dishwasher was emptied by Wednesday

Lets get cozy by the fireplace on Monday

Lets get cozy by the fireplace on Monday

We're going to need a lawn chair on Wednesday

We’re going to need a lawn chair on Wednesday

We need to blame Pete on this mess

We need to blame this mess on Pete

...and Dave

…and Dave along with his trusty side-kick Roberto

I asked Pete what the next stop was on his “train for demolition”.  He winked and with a wry smile said “I look forward to visiting 309”.

I walked upstairs and low and behold, the housekeepers have made their preparations.

They pack up the linens and dishware before the indoor tornado hits

They pack up the linens and dishware before the indoor tornado hits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More up-dates coming………….

Greg

 

As the Antlers Turn: April Showers Bring…

….unit improvement projects to the Antlers.

Tom and Pete in our Engineering Department have quietly been preparing to “bring the hammer down”.  I refer to the upgrades that are scheduled for several units at the Antlers this spring.

Since the Unit Quality Improvement plan was put in place last December (Nothing But Platinum Rated Condo’s” 12/27/13 blog- Rob) many of our owners have participated in some form or another.  Be it a new dinning table, a piece of art or a new king mattress, everyone seems to understand the concept of “keeping up with the neighborhood”.

Several owners have committed to major improvements this spring and that’s why Tom and Pete have been busy all winter putting more than a few ducks in a row.

To be more precise, there are 11 of these major projects beginning in April (the most ever taken on at one time) and the logistics and timing involved in an undertaking like this cannot be taken lightly.  Everything and everybody needs to be where they are suppose to be on any given day.  Demolition, materials, delivery, contractors and all the scheduling must be in place.  There is not much margin for error when the final inspection is on May 25th and a guest is checking in on June 1st.

New by June.

Over $500,000 will be invested into these 11 condominiums in the next few months.  The improvements include everything from new bathrooms and kitchens to carpet and heated ceramic tile floors.  Fireplaces along with windows, sliding glass doors, new interior doors and trim and stainless steel appliance upgrades are just a few things that will be new by June.

Why.

Ask any one of these owners why they are making the changes now and the overwhelming consensus is about unit quality.  Whether it’s done in steps or a complete demolition and remodel, the majority of Antlers owners agree that our guests have expectations that must be met if we are to remain competitive and even a level above the competition.  Again demonstrating the Antlers, its Owners and Staff remain committed to guest satisfaction.

Moving Forward

Our thanks to the owners who have committed to these improvements and I look forward to posting progress and photos of the the following condominiums as April showers begin:  Brooks Newbills 109, Marie Millman & sisters 211, Bob & Susie Abramsom 302, Stephen & Nancy Snyder 309, Frank & Flavia Bencina 403, Scott Brinkman 406, Edwina Daley 410, Steve & Jamie Hersee 411, Joe & Marie Forish 414, John & Nancy Scott 502 and David & Ulrike Martin 504.

Stay tuned.

Greg

 

 

 

Pink Vail: The World’s Biggest Ski Day to Conquer Cancer

The Antlers at Vail hotel is offering special Pink Vail rates April 4-5, 2014

The Antlers at Vail hotel is offering special Pink Vail rates April 4-5, 2014

People walk, run, and even shave their heads to benefit cancer care. Here in Vail, we ski! 100% of the proceeds from Pink Vail stay local, benefiting patient care and survivorship programs at Shaw Regional Cancer Center – a boutique cancer center serving residents of Colorado and around the country. Unfortunately, many of us have been affected by cancer. Pink Vail celebrates the united fight against the disease in a fun and unforgettable way.

We at the Antlers at Vail like to support good causes and so are an official hotel and not only are we offering great Pink Vail lodging rates to participants but we will also donate $5 for each room booked to Pink Vail.

  • We are offering Pink Vail participants a special $199/night for April 4 & 5, 2014.
  • Participants who raise $300-$749 will receive a rate of $129/night in a studio, 1 BR, or 1 BR with bunks for April 4 & 5, 2014 .
  • Participants who raise $750 or more will receive a rate of $99/night in a studio, 1 BR, or 1 BR with bunks for April 4 & 5, 2014 .

Call (800) 843-8245 and mention code: Pink Vail or 142870 to book! To sign up to fundraise go to PinkVail.com.

 

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

Register solo or form a team at www.pinkvail.com and ask friends and family to support your fundraising efforts. Then, join us on April 5, 2014 for a day on Vail Mountain to celebrate our united fight against cancer. Incredible prizes are awarded to top fundraisers, best costumes, and winners of the “Checkpoint Challenge.” The event includes on-mountain deck parties, live music, and the Celebration Ski-Down—a tribute ski to those who have fought or lost their battle with cancer. All proceeds from Pink Vail benefit patient care and resources at Shaw Regional Cancer Center.

 

REGISTER AS AN INDIVIDUAL

START/JOIN A TEAM

DONATE