It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

This year I procrastinated a little too long on the Christmas decorations, I think. Usually, we have a very intricate Christmas village set up in our lobby but lots of the pieces got broken last year and I just plain waited too long to put it up this year and now I feel that it wouldn’t be “worth it” to put it up just for two weeks. I was starting to get a little stressed about it until an idea came to me in a dream. I dreamed that we had a tree in the lobby covered in nothing but candy canes, and then I made it happen! I put up this little sign to let people our candy is for sharing: So far, people seem disappointed with the absence of lights (but there were none in my dream!) so I may have to add some. What do you think?12/23/7 Update: The tree has been a big success; I had to go to the store today to buy a second round of candy canes because they all got eaten!

Insider’s Tips to Affordable Vail Vacations from the Antlers at Vail

Vail, Colorado – December 13, 2007 – Vail’s rep may be for glitter and glam, but smart skiers prefer champagne powder without champagne prices—and with plenty of après-ski fun to boot.  The Antlers at Vail hotel’s staff of savvy insiders offers 10 ideas for enjoying the snow scene without the sacrifice: 

1)     Kitchen Little: A condo with cook-in kitchen provides restaurant savings—and room to spread out.  Antlers at Vail’s January 5 – 31, 2008, promotion offers a 20 percent-off five-night deal with package rates starting from $701 per person for two adults and two kids—including four-day lift tickets. (800) 843-8245,

2)     Nature’s Way: Hear naturalists under the stars at free Nature at Night program at Vail’s mountaintop adventure center, Adventure Ridge.  Or try free family movie night, $10 bungee trampoline, or free moonlight snowshoe tours.  (970) 476-9090,

3)     Ice Capades: Lace up your blades at Vail’s favorite NHL training stop, Dobson Arena.  Public skating, $3-6; skate rentals, $3.  (970) 479-2271,  Or try the free outdoor ice at Lionshead’s new Arrabelle development, slated to open January 2008.

4)     Night Light: The Back Bowl offers retro bowling in a high-tech facility, including Neon Nights’ glow-in-the-dark balls.  All-you-can-bowl weeknights, $10.95.  (970) 328-BOWL,

5)     Culture Club: Vail Symposium’s thought-provoking offerings include a free Madeline Allbright talk via satellite, January 19, and documentary films, $11.  (970) 476-0954,

6)     Get Squirrelly: Free Bud Light Street Beat Concert Series includes Squirrel Nut Zippers performing January 16, Vail Village.

7)     Cheap Eats: Savor a Coleman beef Lark burger with organic fixins plus a beer for under $20 at Larkspur at the base of Chair 6; bite into a Big Cheesy Calzone, $6.95, at Bagali’s funky Lava Lounge, West Vail; or order a slice and a beer at ski patrol hangout Vendetta’s on Bridge Street, Vail.

8)     Board Story: View primitive gear and ski-world legends at the free Colorado Ski & Snow Museum at the Vail Transportation Center. (970) 476-1876,

9)     Water World: Make a splash at Avon Rec Center’s aquatic facility with giant slide and aqua climbing wall. Day pass, $10-14; $7 Twilight Pass, 7-9 p.m. (970) 748-4060,

10)  Breaking News: Vail Daily’s events calendar tracks area doings from January beer fest to free ballroom dancing,

Media Contacts: Rob LeVine, General Manager, The Antlers at Vail, (970) 476-2471, [email protected] or Darla Worden, WordenGroup Strategic Public Relations, (307) 734-5335, [email protected]


The Christmas Party

Last night was the Antlers Christmas party at Vista Restaurant in Arrowhead. They just opened in the Arrowhead location and their new space is very impressive. They have dark leather chairs that are the most comfortable restaurant chairs in which I have ever sat.The turnout was great with about sixty people attending this year, including all of our families.Our very own Santa (aka Hap) made his annual visit and handed out gifts for everyone. The children were posing on Santa’s lap while their parents snapped pictures and it must have looked like a lot of fun because the next time I looked up, the adults were posing on Santa’s lap for their Christmas shots too! As usual, everyone had a great time and good conversation, and lots of fun opening their presents. I’m already looking forward to the next gathering!There was a type-o on the menu which had salmon spelled s-a-m-o-n. Here is Rob coming up with the “very funny” joke of dubbing it the “Christmas Salmon-because it’s got no L”:

Timber Hearth Grille

Tuesday night was the annual concierge function at the Timber Hearth Grille at Cordillera. Crissy, Darci and I went and a good time was had by all. When we arrived we decided to go outside first since we were all still bundled up. On the terrace outside the dining room, there were benches surrounding a wood burning outdoor fire pit to warm us while we waited for the sleigh to come back around to give us a ride. We took a horse drawn tour of the golf course which they use as their Nordic Center in the winter, pulled by Charlie and Jacob of Bearcat Stables. Afterward, we posed for a picture with them and then went inside for dinner. There were three stations set up throughout the dining room. One with penne, prosciutto and black truffle carbonara and pulled rabbit meat. The second was a lamb carving station which was delicious, and the third was dessert with pecan tarts, carrot cake petit fours and coffee. As we sat and ate, waiters continually came by with trays of passed hors d’oeuvres and by the end of the evening the three of us were very full. A big Thank You to Timber Hearth Grille and Bearcat Stables!

The PR Bigtime

Well, we’ve hit the bigtime … from a Public Relations standpoint, that is! Last Sunday we were featured in the New York Times Travel Section (you can see the article in our on-line press room). Needless to say, it was a PR homerun … or so says Monica McCafferty who handles that role for the Vail Valley Partnership. The only twist was that they goofed and put in the price as per person, per night … when it was really just per person (for all five nights). Oh well … we’ve still had some calls and are able to clarify everything on the phone. More importantly, the exposure from just being in the NYT is HUGE.November was a heckuva month from a PR perspective … the NYT feature, a couple quotes in Travel and Leisure magazine, some more in the Vail Daily and an interview on CBS Channel 4 in Denver. Man oh man, our queens of Public Relations (and most favorite consultants) Darla and Eliza have really been kicking butt. The Times article was the biggest coup for the WordenGroup since they got us on the front page of USA Today’s business section a couple years ago. I love it when they tell me that Regis & Kelly is next … but then I’m easily amused.

Office Massage

In addition to being one of our most favorite owners, Janina Greene has been a physical therapist for many years. Chris managed to coerce her (which in Janina’s case means simply asking) into giving some ten minute neck massages to our hard working (no, that doesn’t mean “hardly” working) staff. Greg (from maintenance) was the first happy recipient, and no sooner did he start to loosen up, but our director of conference services, Kati (also an experienced massage therapist) decided Janina deserved a little neck work as well. Our controller, Randi (who has no official theraputic expertise whatsoever) just couldn’t help but join the fun. It may look like the bunny hop, but trust me … it was much, much better.

Rocky Mountain Vacations Travel Agent

Each year Julie from Rocky Mountain Vacations spends Thanksgiving out in the Utah desert with her relatives. Apparently they have some sort of golf tournament. Hmmmm…. were they drinking?…………

Hi Chris,

As promised…the third annual Vail Antlers Ladies Wilderness Golf Tournament held Thanksgiving day on the San Rafael swell. I had everyone show off the logo this year! Thanks for the good times with the Antlers. And remember…don’t feed the wildlife.

Julie StepniewskiROCKY MOUNTAIN VACATIONSDivision of Travel Organizers/American Express

Want to Avoid the Lift Lines like a Local?

1. Get out before 9:30am and you’ll likely stay out of lines the whole day. You’ll be out in front of the crowds, into the Vail Bowl areas and a couple of lifts ahead of the ski schools, crowds and commuters from Denver. If you are going to sleep in, just have a late breakfast and wait until 11:00am or so and you’ll zip right up.2. Stay away from the gondola. Only ride that thing if there is NO line. You can get up quicker and further up the mountain by taking Chairs 8 and 2 and actually get a bit of a warm up on the cat-walk at the same time.3. Look before you leap. It sounds too simple but look for a moment at each side of the lift to see which maze has less of a line. And then look closely to see which lane has less people. I can’t believe the number of times a well meaning friend will just dive right in to the closest line, when with just 5 seconds of thought there is a better option available.4. Single lines can be deceiving. Be careful splitting up. Sometimes the regular lines go QUICKER than the single lines. When a maze is completely full (single lines and regular lines are out the maze), many times the regular lines go quicker (particularly on the High-speed quads). Exception is Chair 55. If at top of Chair 7, look down to the base of the lift first before diving in.Chair 7 (Game Creek) can be a mess between 10am and 11:30am as the goofs riding the gondola take the cat-walk down to Gamecreek. But you can see down in from the top of 7. If it is mess, dive down the back to Chair 5 or back to the front for Chairs 3 or 4.6. Don’t do Chair 11 between 2:45 and 4:00pm. If you are coming back from Blue Sky or China Bowl and your legs can handle it, ski down Yonder to get to Chair 5. There won’t be anyone there at this time of day and it brings you back to the top.7. Thumbs up for: North side of 7, East side of 2, East side of China lift, East side of Northwoods, East side of Chair 3 anytime, East side of Chair 4 before 10:30 but then West side of same Chair after lunch.8. Loser moves: Going down to Chair 5 after 10:38 on a powder day (You might as well start walking back up the hill). Skiing runs around Chair 2 from 9:45-11:30 (don’t choose those 50 acres to ski on when there is 5000+ out there waiting for you). And the ultimate loser move? Sticking with a friend on a powder day.

New Stone Work

Slowly but surely, the Antlers’ building facade is being updated. The original building, which was constructed n 1972, had a different type of stone treatment on the outside than the new Antlers which was completed in 2001. From many vantage points, the discrepancy was glaringly obvious. We are proud to say that it is now almost non existent. This is our clock tower as seen from the sixth floor hallway in our courtyard: It is the last major thing left to be covered in the beautiful new stone.Here is a section where the two come together: The new stuff is much nicer, don’t you think?

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