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.


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.)



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………….



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.


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.





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



Register solo or form a team at 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.






Government at its Best

We’ve said it before.  You’ve heard it before … maybe a zillion times. We live in an amazing place … but this time it’s with a different twist.

Aside from the incredible aesthetics, recreation, culture and obvious “specialness” of Vail, behind the scenes we are beyond lucky to be served and led by the most incredible group of people you can imagine. With apologies to others equally deserving of the shout-out, Stan Zemler, Kelli McDonald, Suzanne Silverthorn, George Ruther, Dwight Henninger, Pam Brandmeyer, Judy Camp, Mark Miller and Kristin Bertuglia are the ones who the Antlers comes in the most contact with. To a person, they are the most professional, accomplished and motivated bunch of folks you’ll ever meet.

With all due respect to our elected officials (who by and large are pretty good too), these are the working stiffs who get it done. Anybody who ever complains about “government employees” just isn’t familiar with Vail. Period.

So what motivated this over-the-top, smoke-up-your-skirt rave? Simple … I happened to take the time to read the Town of Vail’s 2013 Year in Review. It took awhile. Quite awhile. I encourage anyone with a modicum of connection to the ToV, to look at it … at least skim it. As a sidebar, the Antlers is honored to get a mention in that sizable document … first person to tell me where, gets a free night at the Antlers. Not you Suzanne … you author, you. Not you either Kristin … hint, hint. And no fair using ctrl-f, you have to read it.

Pardon my effusiveness, but the sheer volume of high quality work accomplished by this organization is mind-blowing. From complicated infrastructure improvements to all manners of economic development to an unceasing dedication to environmental impacts (in everything they do) … it’s beyond inspiring. It’s overwhelming.

We who live in Vail, full-time or part-time, as well as those who just visit occasionally, owe these people and everyone who works for the Town, a HUGE debt of gratitude.

Vail Valley Hospitality Professional of the Year!

Last Friday night, January 31, The Vail Valley Partnership held their annual Success Awards Gala.  It’s the same event at which the Antlers won the Business of the Year Award in 2003 and the Green Business of the Year in 2009.  This year, our very own Magdalena King was nominated for Hospitality Professional of the Year.  Out of several dozen nominees, Magda was then chosen as one of three finalists going into the awards ceremony.  Two nights ago at the Vilar Center, we erupted in cheers when her name was called from the stage as the Vail Valley Hospitality Professional of 2014.

Magda award

We could simply not be any more proud of Magda.  It’s so nice to know that others recognized what we already knew … that nobody could possibly be more deserving of this recognition. I could go on and on (and would be happy to).  However, let me just say that in addition to the countless examples of her professionalism (and everything that entails), Magda constantly inspires me and everyone else around her, to be more professional as well.

Magda & Cristina

It was quite fitting that upon receiving her award, she offered a brief “acceptance speech” which was both gracious and thoughtful.  Almost as many people (probably a hundred) congratulated her on her “award winning” public comments, as on the actual award itself.  It was great!

Shame on us for one thing … we didn’t think to get a good picture of Magda in her time of grandeur.  I took this one of her and her sister Cristina (on the left) with my phone.  It will have to do for now, but that’s a shame because there is also a great story behind her beautiful dress.

At the party afterward when Jill Lammers, the Vice-President of the Partnership, complimented Magda on that dress, I had to jump in and point out that Magda told me she had designed it herself, back when she lived in Ecuador.  Jill’s reaction was immediate, humorous and perfect … “Shut UP!” she exclaimed, “You win this award AND you designed your own dress!  You’re killing me.”

All in all, thanks to Magdalena, the whole evening made all of us at the Antlers feel super proud.


Vail Family-Friendly Winter Activities

Vail family-friendly winter activities

The Antlers at Vail hotel is the perfect home base for families coming to ski Vail or coming to enjoy all of the other exciting mountain activities in Vail.

The Antlers at Vail hotel is the perfect home base for families coming to ski Vail or coming to enjoy all of the other exciting mountain activities in Vail.

The Antlers at Vail hotel loves families! Our spacious studio to four-bedroom condominiums are perfect for families of all ages and sizes. And, we even have pet-friendly lodging for those who don’t want to leave that important member of the family at home. Our location is perfect for those looking for something to do instead of – or in addition to – skiing Vail. Here are our family-friendly top five ways to have winter fun outdoors – including stepping out in the snowshoes that we provide free for guests.

Make like Bigfoot: Those who’ve never tried snowshoes might worry about learning curve, but the sport really is as easy as strapping them on and walking outside and the Antlers recently added snowshoes to the many complimentary amenities the hotel provides for guests. We love catering to families, and snowshoes are an easy family-friendly activity – and a great spontaneous way to enjoy Vail’s snow and scenery. Vail golf course has good beginner trails – and snowshoe rentals for those not lucky enough to be staying at Antlers – or just stroll along the Gore Creek path right outside our door.

"Arches" by local artist Paul Wertin on display now at the Vail Triumph Winterfest

“Arches” by local artist Paul Wertin on display now at the Vail Triumph Winterfest

Frozen Arches: Travel through undulating walls sculpted from 36,000 pounds of ice by Vail artist Paul Wertin along the Gore Creek Promenade in Vail Village. Inspired by the work of Christo, Wertin’s “Arches” is illuminated by programmed LED lights, and is the second Art in Public Places ice sculpture installation of this year’s Triumph Winterfest – on display until the ice melts.

The New Home Movies: Capture winter outdoor adventures as they happen with a GoPro camera. Playing in the snow is just that much more fun with a video record to share with friends and family. To help guests remember Vail’s epic snow, the Antlers at Vail provides complimentary GoPro loaner cameras at the front desk – and might just post your first-person video debut on its Facebook page.

Tube Time: Nothing says hair-raising fun in the snow like flying down a mountain on an oversized inner tube. Adventure Ridge on Vail Mountain offers a multi-lane tubing hill with an easy-access surface lift for a quick ride back to the top. And the perfect for families tubing hill is only one of the winter activities at Adventure Ridge, which also include ski biking, kids’ snowmobiling, and a new winter zipline.

Fun tubing on Vail Mountain. Photo courtesy Vail Resorts, Bob Winslett

Fun tubing on Vail Mountain. Photo courtesy Vail Resorts, Bob Winslett

Holiday on Ice: Vail Valley has several facilities for ice skating – both indoors and out – with perhaps the most picturesque experience to be had at the outdoor oval Alderhof Rink in the heart of Lionshead’s Vail Square, just steps from the Antlers. Ice skate rentals are available at the rink, which is open daily from 1:00 – 8:30 p.m.

With a policy of “The answer is ‘yes,’ now what was the question?” the Antlers offers a famously personalized guest experience. Want a cappuccino machine in your suite awaiting your arrival? Need a babysitter for a parents’ night out without the kids? Want groceries delivered before your arrival or during your stay? Just ask.

Families of all ages appreciate the Antlers at Vail’s comfortable condominium suites. Full-service kitchens allow families to serve homemade meals – with additional amenities including gas-fired barbeque grills and a “lending library” of upscale appliances from that cappuccino machine to a breadmaker. Large families can reserve a spacious multi-room suite, while smaller families may want to take advantage of the Antlers’ cozy one-bedroom condominiums – with a separate bunkroom included at no additional charge.

Check out special rates on an Antlers’ stay – including the opportunity to book a spring night April 7 – June 15, 2014, for $99 with any night’s stay during ski season.