Antlers Staff Lend a Helping Hand to Restore Gore Creek

Newly planted willow cuttings along Gore Creek. These will establish roots throughout the summer, and if they survive through the winter, will continue to grow for years to come.

Gore Creek is a special part of Vail. Residents and tourists alike appreciate the natural beauty it brings to our town. One of the features our guests and homeowners enjoy most about the Antlers at Vail is our creek-side location. But due to urbanization, Gore Creek is in trouble. In 2012, after numerous assessments of the health of the macro-invertebrate community, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) listed Gore Creek on the Clean Water Act’s Section 303(d) List of Impaired Waters. Since then, the Town of Vail and other stakeholders have put programs in place to restore Gore Creek. We know that our town’s local businesses affect Gore Creek, so at the Antlers at Vail, we make environmentally-conscious decisions everyday. This past weekend, our team went a little further and partnered with Love Vail, a Town of Vail program committed to keeping our footprint small, our resources plentiful, and our contribution to sustainability top of mind.

Peter Wadden shows the Antlers staff what to look for and how to collect willow cuttings.

If you have stayed at the Antlers at Vail in the past few years, you have probably met Gabe Kossman who was previously one of our all-star front desk agents. Gabe is now our Conference Services Coordinator, and recently completed a Bachelor of Science in Sustainability at Colorado Mountain College. In addition to conference services, Gabe is also now leading our sustainability efforts. Gabe organized a volunteer session for our team with Peter Wadden at Love Vail to harvest and replant willows along sections of Gore Creek that are lacking in natural flora.

Gabe Kossman collects willow cuttings.

Our team had a great time learning about the importance of Gore Creek and doing our part to revitalize the area. By removing willow cuttings from surrounding areas where willows are well established and replanting willows along areas of the creek where they are lacking, we helped reestablish a vital part of the local ecosystem. Willows provide shade to streams and critical habitats for a large number of terrestrial and aquatic species. They slow water flow and allow the ground to absorb water and nutrients, stabilize stream banks, and provide food and construction material for beavers and their dams.

Previous General Manager, Rob LeVine, and General Manager, Magda King, plant willow cuttings along the banks of Gore Creek.

For more information about Love Vail, the Gore Creek program, and to find out how you can preserve and restore Gore Creek, please visit their website at

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.

More CML Conference

The Antlers (and mostly Katie) were busy when the Colorado Municipal League invaded Vail.  We were host to United Power, Comcast, X-cell Energy and dozens of City Officials from all over Colorado.

Here are a few photo’s of some of the activities that took place an the Antlers during the week.

This way to unit 519 for make-up

This way to unit 519 for make-up











Janece does the finishing touches before filming.









The Mayor of Glenwood Springs is interview for broadcast on local public television stations.








The Millie Barela Board Room served as the media and film center.

The Millie Barela Board Room served as the media and film center.















This way to unit 518 for some hospitality.

This way to unit 518 for some hospitality.

Lunch and evening cocktails were donated by United Power of Colorado

Lunch and evening cocktails were donated by United Power of Colorado










The gentleman on the right wanted to thank Catherine (owner of 518) for her hospitality.

The gentleman on the right wanted to thank Catherine (owner of 518) for her hospitality.

The Antlers, the Town of Vail and the weather were totally accommodating during the 4 day conference.

This group has moved on and we look forward to the Bravo Music Festival and the arrival of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra moving in.








We Never Miss Out On the Fun

The Town of Vail was overwhelmed last week with the arrival of The Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Institute (  Hundreds of members of this organization chose Vail for their 100th anniversary conference.  They arrived from all over the United States and Canada to participate in training and educational seminars.

Of course the Antlers, a hotel and conference center that is always afraid of missing out on the fun, volunteered to host “emergency disaster training” for 2 days. This involved real life, re-enactments of rescue operations involving different scenarios around our property and common areas.

The pictures really don’t illustrate how life-like these situations were.  Some guests actually thought there were live rescues occurring as they passed through the staging areas.  What made it believable were the “victims” that were not afraid to scream as though they were in pain and the rescue teams shouting out instructions as they assured the “victims” that help was on its way.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

As the second day of mock rescues were winding down, I was approached by a guest who had these comments.  “My kids really were fascinated by all of this and I had no idea  what went on behind the scenes.  These people really are professionals.”  His young son looked up at me and said “Mister, do you have a coal mine here?”

“No we don’t, but there are some not too far away in the mountains” was my reply.

He looked back at his dad and said ” too bad because I sure would feel safe if something happened in your mine.”



“As the Antlers Turn”……16

I’m Baaaack and oh what a summer it has been.  Here’s a few things that haven’t been reported in the past couple of months (partly because I’ve been busy and mostly because I wasn’t sure I should admit it.).

Every time you think you’ve seen it all……….

– A guest finds animal teeth in a dresser drawer.  Upon further review, it turns out it is a human tooth broken in two pieces, from a small child, hidden away by the parents, who forgot to put the quarter under the pillow.

-The employees throw a going away party for Sara and the building manager gets a call for a noise disturbance.  He doesn’t answer the phone because he just fell into the pool after celebrating a victory in a beer pong match.

-Rob travels to Australia with a group representing the Town of Vail to “sell” our resort and never had a chance to play golf.

-While the rest of the country is suffering in record setting heat and humidity, Vail is 71 degrees with puffy white clouds.

-For whatever reason the New York Stock Exchange is boiling over, freezing and boiling over again but our winter bookings are ahead of last year.  Go figure.

-We have purchased and placed new lobby furniture which includes amongst other items, leather couches (smells good).  We also have new carpet in the lobby and elsewhere (that smells good too).

-My son got married in Vail and the Antlers served as host for all of our guests.  As an outsider looking in for once, this is a great place to have a Vail wedding.   (I’m coming back and I’m staying at the Antlers.)

-A squatter moves into the Antlers and goes unnoticed for 3 days.  He is seen only at night between the hours of 10 and 12 PM rummaging through the garbage cans.  Finally we set a trap and catch the little rascal.  The raccoon is relocated to another property.

-Isabelle, Magda and Tony’s daughter, has turned one year old and she is already familiar with RDP (our reservation software).  We plan on having her cover some vacation slots when she is needed.

-Darci adopted a dog for her daughter Mariah.  He is 3 inches long and weighs 7 ounces and is still growing.  He was “misplaced” a while back but Joel found him later in Mariah’s school lunch bag between 2 oreoes.

-Mark is back for the winter season.  He returneth from the bed and breakfast in Sicily, Italy and can still brew some of the best lobby coffee in Vail.  I walk up there every day for another cup of “Markbucks”.

-Amy has been doing mountain bike races every weekend this summer.  She has been very careful and avoids crashes because the doctor told her one more mis-hap and they will need to do a body transplant.

It’s nearing the end of August and as it goes “what happened to the summer?”  Labor Day weekend is closing in and the Fall Season will surely bring new stories and adventures to the Antlers.  Personally, I look forward to the additional compliment of owners that arrive for that particular weekend.

Let the pen write and the story be told.