With almost 16,000 room nights a year and an average length of stay of about four and a half nights, you can see that the Antlers enjoys around 3,500 arrivals annually. Some of those are couples and some are extended families of eight people or more. The average party is about four, so we had roughly 14,000 people stay with us in 2014 … and every year. More than a third of those are repeat guests. Naturally, it would be hard to say that there’s a favorite. That is, unless you knew Vlasta Giese.
Vlasta’s from the Czech Republic. She grew up in Prague and still goes back to visit occasionally. To say that she’s both outspoken and entertaining is like saying that Michael Jordan could play some hoops … an understatement of grand proportions. She’s a self-proclaimed, world class schmoozer and I don’t know anyone who would argue.
Vlasta started coming to the Antlers in 1994. She was 72 years old, going on about 25. Today she’s 92 … and still skiing! Granted, her legs are no longer going on 25, but her heart and soul … you betcha. She usually stays for about two weeks and when she first came to visit us, it was from DeKalb, IL where her husband Willis was still teaching at the University. Once Willis passed away she moved to Portland to be closer to her daughter Alenka.
Vlasta was always on a budget and thanks to her age and her engaging personality, we would try to make her the best deal we could. As the years went on money kept getting tighter, but nothing could dissuade her love of skiing, so she’d find a way to keep coming … always in January and always for ten days or more. Every year she’d ask reluctantly how much we were going to charge her. Finally, in 2002 (when she was 81) I said to her, “Vlasta, ten years ago you paid $150 a night. Today we’re charging you $125, and although our average rate for this time of year is now about four times that much, we will keep the rate at $125 for as long as you keep coming.” Little did I know that would be twelve more years … and counting!
And nothing could make us happier.
Here’s to you, Vlasta!