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Antlers at Vail recently issued the following press release on its 50th anniversary:
A stalwart of Colorado’s Vail Valley community, leading the way on everything from environmental sustainability to promoting employee education and literacy, Antlersat Vail hotel is also a longtime leader in providing friendly, personalized service that treats guests like family. Constructed in 1972, just 10 years after 10th Mountain Division Sgt. Pete Seibert and rancher Earl Eaton founded Vail Ski Resort, the Antlers at Vail announces the celebration of its golden 50th anniversary, extending from March 2022 (original plans and drawings were completed to begin construction at this time in 1972) through April 2023 (marking 50 years from its first round of condominium sales). An “old Vail” favorite – with its enviable creek- and slope-side location in the family-friendly Lionshead neighborhood – the Antlers also shines as an up-to-the-minute destination lodging that is part home away from home and part grand escape. Antlers at Vail will be sharing contests, packages and more throughout the year on its dedicated 50th anniversary website at antlers50.com.
“From the beginning, our goal was to ensure that everyone, from guests to staff, owners to community partners, would always feel like they are an important member of our family, and that has never changed,” says Magda King, current general manager and one of only three GMs since Antlers opened. Originally from Guayaquil, Ecuador, King worked her way up the ranks after coming onboard in 2007, and during her time has implemented significant changes, including an award-winning GED program for housekeeping staff. “We’ve been so lucky to have so many owners and their children from the early days who still call the Antlers home – and even those who have sold come back to visit.”
Guests, owners and staff have shared photos of Antlers fun through the years for the hotel’s 50th anniversary website, antlers50.com, home to anniversary contests and packages.
An integral part of Vail from the time it opened, Antlers is conveniently tucked next to Gore Creek at the foot of Vail Mountain, just a two-minute walk from the Eagle Bahn Gondola in Lionshead Village, which was being developed at the same time as Antlers but now serves as the modern-day heart of the area. “Heart” is also a word used to describe the first general manager, Bud Benedict, who is credited with having inspired an atmosphere of caring and cooperation among the staff, homeowners and guests that continues to this day.
It is testament to the Antlers’ character and company culture that so many staff members have stayed on for decades, such as Millie Barela, who worked on the original cleanup crew in 1972 and then stayed on as executive housekeeper until she retired in 2009, getting an Antlers board room named in her honor. And then there’s Rob LeVine, who after starting as a clerk in the late 1970s rose to serve as general manager for 29 years (the Antlers Conference Center now bears his name). Even today there are staff members who have been at the Antlers for 10, 20 or even 30 years.
Condominium 705: then and now. Antlers’ interiors have seen remarkable changes through the years, achieving Vail Valley Platinum ranking in 2015 and completing a $5M lobby renovation in 2019.
In the early 1990s, LeVine was the first to convert all the hotel’s fireplaces from wood-burning to gas, sparking a Valley-wide effort to resolve air-quality issues and prompting other lodgings to follow, culminating in myriad green-hotel accolades through the years for the Antlers. Then from 2000-2002, LeVine spearheaded a $22 million complete makeover for the property, adding 24 new condominiums and underground parking while doing the seemingly impossible in getting 70 individual condominium owners to come together for the common cause. That expansion served as a catalyst for the development of Lionshead Village into the pedestrian-friendly dining and shopping mecca it is today – including “recommended destination” kudos from Mountain Living.
Antlers at Vail has long been a Vail Valley standout, garnering multiple awards, including being named Business of the Year at Vail Valley Partnership’s first-ever Excellence Awards banquet nearly 20 years ago and King being named Tourism Professional of the Year in 2017. Together, LeVine and King also initiated an 18-month project in collaboration with the Antlers’ homeowners, updating and upgrading the condominiums with their sights set on the Vail Valley’s coveted Platinum Lodging Quality Assurance rating, which the hotel achieved in 2015. And recently King oversaw a $5 million lobby and front desk expansion and renovation project that included creating new staff offices and installing a new high-speed elevator.
These days, Antlers guests find spacious, beautifully appointed home-away-from-home accommodation in individually decorated condominiums, as well as relaxation at the famous year-round “pool with a view.”
In addition to its community affinity, Antlers’ reputation for connecting with guests in a uniquely individual way – stories abound of marriages officiated, decades of family reunions held on the property, and staff kindnesses large and small – is grounded in the day-to-day, ultra-personalized customer service that is underscored by a staggering array of amenities, many of them complimentary. Guests have come to expect, among many others, such comforts and conveniences as loaner cappuccino machines, GoPro cameras to capture adventures for posterity, cruiser bicycles, loaner sleds and snowshoes, high chairs and cribs, shuttles to the grocery store, Wi-Fi, daily housekeeping, an electric car charger and staff assistance in arranging things like children’s activities and babysitting – all free of charge.
A private chef dinner prepared and served in an Antlers at Vail condominium is just one of the hotel’s special offerings for guests.
This roster would be impressive in any setting, but the locale in one of North America’s most popular destinations also comes with endless outdoors opportunities, top-notch restaurant options and a plethora of cultural options for all ages. On the other hand, there’s no reason to leave the Antlers if guests so choose, because they can enjoy home-cooked or takeout meals in the roomy condos – each equipped with full-size kitchens and dining areas, cozy living rooms with gas fireplaces, and private balconies with gas grills – or relax in the outdoor year-round heated swimming pool and hot tubs overlooking Vail Mountain.