Few places in the country conjure up images of historical American elegance quite like The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
Now, eight years into its reinvention as a resort and casino, The Greenbrier describes its venue as “Monte Carlo meets Gone with the Wind.”
|Address:||101 Main Street West, White Sulphur Springs, WV 24986|
|Ownership:||The Greenbrier Hotel Corp.|
|Founding:||1778 (current hotel built in 1913)|
|Horse race betting:||Yes|
In 2010, at the Casino Club’s star-studded opening night, actress and West Virginia native Jennifer Garner said, “I feel like I’m going to bust with pride that my home state has something this beautiful to offer.”
The resort’s offerings include 103,000 feet of elegant gaming space and 37 table games featuring blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat, mini-baccarat, and three-card poker.
There are also 320 slot machines, a poker room playing Texas hold ‘em, a high-limit gambling room, and all-day horse and dog racing simulcasting at The Twelve Oaks lounge.
Resort wear is permitted before 7 p.m., but because this is The Greenbrier, after 7 p.m., jackets for gentleman are required. Hats are not permitted, with no exceptions.
Note that access to the casino is restricted to registered overnight guests or attendees of events or conventions. The casino is also available to members of The Greenbrier Golf & Tennis Club and The Greenbrier Sporting Club.
Other resort amenities
In addition to the gaming space (which features five self-contained restaurants and lounges), there are 11,000 acres of wooded mountains to play in, including a golf course, tennis courts, hiking trails, horseback riding, off-road driving, a gun club, indoor and outdoor pools, and the 240-year-old, 40,000-square-foot mineral spa.
The resort has six full-time restaurants, three more open on a seasonal basis, five bars, and a full calendar of wine and cocktail tasting events, as well as themed mixology classes for guests who want to improve their own bartending skills.
Room service is also available 24 hours a day to the 710 rooms at the resort, which includes 33 suites and 96 estate homes.
The hotel also features a complete conference center facility and more than 40 meeting rooms, with some large enough to hold up to 2,000 attendees.
Promotions and rewards
The resort offers two different rewards programs: The Greenbrier Loyalty Program, which functions through the resort and allows members to earn one point for every dollar charged to their room, and The Players Club, which is for the casino and gives members a point for every dollar spent on gaming.
Points from each club are separate, but both can be used for hotel accommodations, food and drink, and spa treatments. Both memberships are free.
Promotions at the resort include dining offers, golf packages, spa weekend packages, and for high tier members of The Greenbrier Loyalty Program, guaranteed room upgrades.
All promotions for the casino are tied directly to the Players Club membership.
The resort’s past and future
Since 1778, visitors have come to White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia for its natural mineral springs. From there sprung the hotel, which evolved quickly into one of the premiere resorts in the world.
The Greenbrier has often been called “America’s Resort” and is a National Historic Landmark visited by 27 of America’s 45 presidents.
During the Cold War, it was the location of a secret underground bunker known as “Project Greek Island” equipped with a hospital and a communications center and stocked with 30 years of provisions to house members of Congress in the event of a nuclear holocaust. The bunker was decommissioned in 1992 after a Washington Post story revealed its existence.
More recently, the hotel fell on hard times and filed for bankruptcy in 2009. New ownership led by current West Virginia Governor Jim Justice bought the hotel and guided it through bankruptcy.
With new legislation in place permitting the hotel to operate gambling, the Casino Club was born, and the resort was revitalized once again as a premiere destination.
The Justice family has promised the casino will remain tasteful, so any expansion that may be in the works will keep that promise. That does not preclude, however, the addition of a sportsbook now that those are legal in West Virginia.
Because of the resort’s National Historic Landmark status, expansion and construction does require additional permits. (Although considering the owner of the hotel is also the governor, getting approval shouldn’t prove too challenging.)
Online gaming is expanding throughout the region, and as competition for those dollars heats up, it stands to reason the resort’s owners will explore adding an online sister casino to complement its physical location.
For more than 200 years, The Greenbrier has been a leader in the American resort industry, and the aggressive ownership of the Justice family leads one to believe it will remain that way.