Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas at the CVI: Lights, Action, Food and a Last Minute Gift Idea!

CVI's Annual Transformation to the Christmas Spirit!
Ah, the visual beauty of the Christmas spirit at the Carson Valley Inn! Over 500 man-hours spread over 3-4 intense weeks go into creating the Inn's Christmas look and feel each year . . . here's  just a little piece of the story.
The activity starts right after Halloween - let's say the Monday after the Nevada Day weekend. Our Engineering Department staff makes multiple trips to our off property warehouse to retrieve all of the indoor and outdoor decorations, props, lights and other materials that were stored the previous January.
Eileen Knox - CVI's Decorating Mastermind
The indoor decorating project is then taken over by our Executive Office Manager, Eileen Knox.  Everything is unpacked, cleaned, fluffed, checked for damage, and refurbished and/or discarded if necessary. Eileen buys or orders replacement products where needed and, each year, creates new decorations or a new theme for an existing decoration base. All this takes room, so just about every nook and cranny of office space, storage rooms, and holding areas are used. With the assistance of Lance Draucker, one of our groundskeeping staff, Eileen then starts the indoor decorating process which, over a period of three weeks, has her averaging over 15,000 steps a day on her Fitbit, making dozens of trips up and down stairs and ladders each day, and doing a whole lot of stretching and reaching as the decorations go up, the ornaments go on and the lights bring them all to life.
Lance Draucker - Our Chief Decorating Elf
When not helping Eileen with the inside decorating, Lance is installing all of the outside lights along with his sidekick Robin Edwards. When you add up the lighting on our building, all of the trees along Candy Cane Lane, and the lights on the trees and other base structures along Highway 395, there are well over 10,000 bulbs of various shapes and sizes. Actually, we’d love to have someone volunteer to go out and count them! No matter what the number, that’s a lot of light strip stringing, plenty of ladder moving and climbing and considerable time 15 to 35 feet above the ground on our ManLift . . . With some spectacular views on warmer clear days and some tense moments on cold and breezy days!
Meanwhile, three of our engineering staff (Randy Ross, Larry Stewart and whoever else is handy each day) are unloading, testing, repairing and refurbishing the two large pallets of static and moving pieces and parts that make up Candy Cane Lane. The installation process then starts and, whatever it takes, is always completed so we can “flip the switch” to light up Candy Cane Lane the day after Thanksgiving and keep it running nightly through Christmas. Sometimes the process goes smoothly in balmy fall weather. Often parts need to be ordered and snow needs to be moved out of the way (sometimes more than once).
We asked Eileen why she keeps volunteering for such a wear-and-tear-on-your-body job each year (she’s been doing it for 19 or 20 years). “For starters, I’m very juvenile - that’s why you see so much Disney influence - and I love the flexibility I have to expand and create each year.  More importantly, it is so gratifying to have so many children and senior citizens look at our decorations with broad smiles.  A crowning moment was having a senior couple, sitting on one of the couches in the hotel lobby, tell me they can’t physically do the work necessary to decorate like this in their own home anymore and they so much appreciate what we do to decorate for Christmas at the Carson Valley Inn.
We also asked Eileen if she had any trouble getting approval to spend more money each year on new and replacement decorations. Her answer was simple, “not at all, I really think our owner is a kid at heart!”
What happens when Christmas passes? It all has to be taken down, packed and returned to storage . . . another 300+ hours of hard work! So, soak it all in, take as many pictures as you like, and Merry Christmas!

Gift Cards Are A Versatile Last Minute Gift: Whether you wrap them yourselves or present them in the envelope and "carrier" we provide, CVI Gift Cards are an excellent Christmas gift . . .  or a "thank you" to someone who’s helped you out! We make it easy for you to purchase CVI gift cards and their versatility plays out in that they can be used at the Carson Valley Inn, Bodines Casino and Sharkey’s Casino. We have all the details on one page as to how to buy cards in person or by phone, all their different uses, and how to check the balance on existing gift cards. And here’s a point to ponder: A $50 gift card could easily let someone have breakfast at Sharkey’s, lunch at Bodines, and dinner at the Carson Valley Inn – all in the same day!

Christmas Day at the CVI:
  • Katie’s Christmas Dinner Specials (Traditional Roasted Turkey Dinner or Apple Wood Smoked Molasses and Five Peppercorn Crusted Pork Loin) are served from 11:00 a.m. to 10 p.m. all regular menu items will also be available. Katie’s will not be serving the usual Friday night Captain’s Platter and Charbroiled Salmon specials. However, Katie’s $5.99 Chicken Fried Steak & Eggs will definitely be available!
  • CV Steak opens at 4:30 PM as usual.  Christmas Dinner Specials (Garlic-Studded Slow-Roasted Prime Rib of Beef or Fillet of Sole Stuffed with Crab, Shrimp and Scallops) will be served along with the regular menu. We will not be serving the usual Game special on Christmas night.
  • If you ordered one of our Christmas Turkey Dinners To Go for Up to 10 People, be sure to come by between 10 AM and 1 PM to pick it up. Please pull into the valet entrance as the turkeys will be distributed right inside the hotel entrance doors.
  • We will have our December Friday night Giveaway Promotion Drawings as usual at 5, 7 and 9 PM.
  • The poker room will open at 4 PM on Christmas day.
  • As for the casino: We’re open 24/7 with 4X Points all day on Christmas! 

Race and Sports Book:
  • This week you can watch and bet NFL and College Football, Horseracing, NBA and College Basketball, and NHL Hockey.
  • College Bowl Games: 8 down, 16 over the next 7 days concluding with Nevada vs. Colorado State in the Arizona Bowl on Tuesday. Then, 16 more crammed into 4 days starting next Wednesday. Click for the full schedule and remember you can bet ‘em here and watch ‘em here!
  • The PRO PK’EM jackpot is $4,4668 on this week’s progressive parlay card.
  • On the NFL front, the CVI crew is watching a few games with interest:  Thursday’s Chargers-Raiders game could be the last game in Oakland for the rumored-to-be-moving Raiders; Saturday night’s Redskins-Eagles game could decide the NFL East winner; Sunday morning’s Patriots-Jets game has impact on whether New York will have a playoff team this year; and Monday night’s Bengals-Broncos game has big playoff implications for both teams as they battle in the last Monday Night Football game of the season! Bet ‘em here, watch ‘em here! 

Cabaret Lounge Entertainment – No Cover, No Minimum – Free! George Pickard performs tonight, The Nighthawks entertain Thursday through Saturday nights, NFL Football is on Sunday and Monday Nights and Dale Poune returns next Tuesday and Wednesday.  The Nighthawks are a local (Gardnerville/Wellington) country and rock band specializing in popular dance tunes from the 60's and 70's. The group performs a wide variety of styles covering artists from Alan Jackson to ZZ Top, including great classic country tunes and expert performances of classic rock songs.

As Always, Interesting, Helpful and Even Useful Tidbits and News
  • Tonight is Ladies’ Nights and the first 150 ladies to sign up receive a Free Bag of Peppermint Bark. Also on tap: ladies-only drink specials and Chocolate Shoppe Christmas Baskets as hot seat prizes.
  • Days Are Getting Longer: Winter solstice was earlier this week so the days are getting longer . . . that’s a good enough reason for us to cover some early-season 2016 golf events either next week or the week after.
  • Prime Rib Saturday, King Crab Sunday in CV Steak:  Our Saturday night special in CV Steak is Garlic Studded Prime Rib for $26 and Sunday's special is one pound of King Crab Legs for $32. Both specials are served with fresh vegetable, choice of rice or potato (au gratin, baked, or a one-pound, twice-baked), tableside tossed salad and warm demi-loaf of bread.
  • Because We Feel Like Mentioning It:
    • Today is Festivus Day. If you are a Seinfeld fan, this is a big deal. If you were never into Seinfeld, or are too young to remember Seinfeld, we suggest you move along – there’s probably nothing here for you.
    • Thursday is Eggnog Day which we bring up only because the link has an incredible recipe which you may find helpful if you are called on to make eggnog at the last minute on Christmas Eve.
    • Monday is Card Playing Day. Blackjack or poker anyone? Not that motivated?? How about Video Poker?
Comments? Have questions or comments about the CVI? Use the comments section below, shoot us an email or just pick up the phone and call us @ 775-782-9711. Hit “0” when the automated voice comes on and you'll go right to the hotel operator who can get you to the correct person or department.  We have a lot more coming up at the Carson Valley Inn so check our Blog posting every Wednesday morning!

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