If the drive from Denver through the awe-inspiring mountain range wasn’t breathtaking enough, wait until you get to the mountainside town of Vail. Have I just stepped into a beautiful Switzerland village? That’s the first thought I had driving into the center of town and arriving at Antlers at Vail hotel and condominiums set on beautiful Gore Creek, in the Lionshead area facing Vail Mountain.
Winter…summer…or really any time of year; this is the resort to be at for the ultimate in convenience. Ranging from studio suites to four bedroom lodging options, all condo rentals include a full kitchen, private balcony, free high-speed internet access and plenty of room to spread out. If you’re spending a week on the mountain, having your own “home away from home” is a luxury. Warm up with a crackling fire in your living room fireplace and take in the stunning vistas from your private balcony. After a long day of skiing, instead of worrying about where to go for dinner, enjoy the convenience of a fully furnished kitchen. If you happen to come in the summer, you’ll love the picturesque pool area carefully placed to maximize exposure to Colorado’s famous sunshine, which includes a heated outdoor pool, two spacious hot-tubs, comfortable heated walk-ways and heated changing rooms supplied with pool towels.
The Antlers at Vail Condominiums were first built in 1972, at the same time that most of Lionshead was developed. It didn’t take long however, before the Antlers distinguished itself from the myriad of other condominium properties. It’s always been an important part of their culture that owners and employees alike feel like the Antlers is their family. A number of the Vail condominiums here have been handed down from parents to children, and about a third of the families who owned units in 1980 still call the Antlers home.
What’s really amazing is that their ecofriendly initiatives are virtually endless. “Our whole team enjoys brainstorming additional ways to save energy and reduce our impact on the planet, and we continue to implement ideas as they’re suggested,” says General Manager Rob LeVine. I was happy to see custom, refillable, shower and soap containers in the bathroom! As a result, the Antlers has eliminated the 20,000 or so two-ounce containers that were either thrown away or recycled every year. Half used bar soaps is also a thing of the past.
They also recently bought fourteen solar panels which are installed in a two acre array down by the Rifle airport. The power they generate is fed into the grid of their electric utility and they see the credit on the monthly electric bill, without ever having to handle the installation or maintenance of the panels. The ozone generator allows the hotel laundry to use cooler water temperatures saving considerable energy. Phosphate-free detergent and other biodegradable products are used in that laundry, thus generating far less pollution than other similar operations.
The list goes on and on including:
EV Plug – The Antlers at Vail has a level 1 electric car charging outlet in their garage, and also offers access to two level 2 (240v) EV Plugs (J1772).
Bus Passes – As a way to encourage employees to use ECO transit rather than drive, the Antlers pays the entire cost of the bus pass for every employee who will use it.
Beverage Bar – Complimentary ceramic mugs are provided at the coffee bar in the lobby, encouraging guests to use those rather than disposable paper cups. The same area dispenses filtered water, with a sign encouraging guests to refill their water bottles there, rather than buy more plastic bottles.
Automatic Light Switches – The lights in most of the common areas (restrooms, business center, etc) are on motion detectors that turn them off automatically after ten minutes of inactivity.
L.E.D. Lighting – They have replaced and will continue to replace standard light bulbs with more expensive and efficient L.E.D. fixtures.
On Site Housing – They provide on-site housing for nine employees (almost 25% of the staff) significantly reducing vehicle trips to and from the property.
Smart Landscape Sprinkler Clock – The system automatically knows not only when to water, but how MUCH to water. Sure, it senses the amount of moisture in the ground like some other systems, but is also electronically “hip” to the forecast. Even if the ground is dry, if there’s a 70% chance of rain LATER in the day, the sprinklers don’t kick on.
As a result of all these efforts and more, the Antlers, is now one of the first businesses in Vail to earn the “Actively Green 2015” certification, as designated by Sustainable Travel International (STI). And, they are also one of the first lodging properties in Vail to receive the Trip Advisor Green Leaders certification.
Situated in an envious position on the banks of Gore Creek, Antlers is just steps from restaurants, galleries, shops, a free Vail town shuttle and the Lionshead Gondola. In the summer, when we visited, you can take the Eagle Bahn gondola up to the top of the mountain and participate in all of the Adventure Ridge activities ranging from zip-lining to hiking to ropes courses – or just enjoy the view! For more information, call 1-800-843-8245 or visit www.antlersvail.com.
Dr. Diane Hindman is the owner and publisher of Natural Nutmeg Magazine and founder of Dr. Diane Speaks. She is a speaker, writer and workshop facilitator. For 20 years, her work has focused on inspiring individuals to learn about the power of thought and emotion and how it shapes their lives. She holds a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Connecticut, a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology from the University of Maryland and is a Certified Empowerment Life Coach. Her passion centers on helping people bridge the gap in understanding and using spiritual, sustainable and natural living tools to achieve their personal and professional goals. You can learn more about her online at www.naturalnutmeg.com, http://essentiallivingmaine.com, or www.drdianespeaks.com.