Letter: Exciting changes happening at Antlers at Vail
When people learn how long we’ve lived in the Vail Valley, they often say, “You must have seen a lot of changes during that time.”
The changes that we envisioned a year ago at Antlers at Vail are happening, and happening fast. During our last big renovation in 2001, we built a new lobby which seemed like such an enormous improvement over the previous pillbox. Well, that reception area has now been completely demolished — and the replacement is going to be awesome.
Much less visible is the extensive foundation work that has taken place in preparation for the new elevator. That, after all, was the impetus for this whole project. The renovated front desk area, offices and one brand new condominium were all afterthoughts to the main motivation of improving the weakest link in our guests’ experience … the 1972 elevator.
The past two months have seen an awful lot of noise and dust, but most of the worst of that are behind us now. The concrete saw cutting is almost done, as is the jack-hammering of the stone pillars. Throughout it all, our staff and our guests have survived and even often said, “It wasn’t as bad as I expected.”
There have been a lot of parallels between this $5 million project and the Antlers 2000 project 20 years ago. One of them has been the number of owners and guests in residence who are actually entertained by watching the construction! Although the courtyard is off-limits, most of the walkways have a birdseye view of the whole operation and it tends to bring out the wide-eyed little kid in all of us.
Another similarity between the two projects has been the participation of an “owner’s rep” — In the construction world, that’s the expert you hire to keep an objective eye on the contractor and architect. Dave Collins fills that role and has an extensive background in large-scale construction projects, plus a pleasant demeanor. The best part is that Dave has been on the Antlers staff for five years now, acting as our construction coordinator for dozens of condominium remodels.
Despite Dave’s generally easy-going attitude, don’t let that fool you. He can quickly “get in your face” when he sees something that isn’t right, or that could be done better. Our general contractor, Hyder Construction, has been a delight to work with. Nevertheless, not a day goes by that the Antlers board and management don’t thank their lucky stars for the presence of Dave Collins.
Although the construction impacts have been and will continue to be manageable, we don’t want to risk any of our guests having a bad experience. In a twist on the old customer service adage, we are trying to over-promise and under-deliver on the negative impacts of the construction. So far, so good.
And we sure look forward to showing off the finished product this coming ski season!
Rob LeVine, Antlers at Vail consultant and real estate agent