Grief at The Greenbrier

January 21, 2009 By:Dave Eisen

Grief at The Greenbrier

Dorothy Draper is rolling over in her grave. The inimitable interior decorator, synonymous with The Greenbrier in West Virginia, which for decades has oozed American luxury at its finest, is now oozing cash—to the tune of $90 million over the last six years by some estimates. Now there is news that the resort will lay off nearly half its 1,350 employees as it struggles to fill its 720 rooms. CSX Corp., owner of the venerable resort, is in such a quandary that its tapped Goldman, Sachs to aid in determining what to do with the resort, which, along with tour-quality golf courses, offers such anachronistic activities as falconry. To help inject cash flow into the resort, a referendum has been passed that would allow casino-style gambling at the resort. If that's not enough to rescue The Greenbrier, check out Garland Pollard's recommendations, which includes hooking up with another hotel chain, such as InterContinental. We'll see what happens, but we hope the resort's prospects pick up; this is not only a historical landmark-- remember, underneath it lies a Congressional bunker-- but a true beauty nestled in the Allegheny Mountains.

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