Front Desk

Cleaning Out the Greenbrier's Attic

A bankruptcy filing is a bonanza for nosy people like me. The details of last week's bankruptcy of The Greenbrier Resort, as reported by the Charleston Daily Mail, reveals some unusual assets the hotel owns:

• $3.9 million in books, pictures, antiques and other art objects;

• $21.4 million in machinery and fixtures—everything from a bowling alley to $252,514 worth of golf carts;

• $16,191 in firearms;

• $287,181 worth of vehicles, ranging from a 1954 fire truck to a fleet of pickup trucks and vans, two garbage trucks and a street sweeper;

• $648,508 of linens and $490,649 worth of uniforms; and

• 22 horses of unknown value.

In the filing, the resort claimed $141.7 million in assets and $107.4 million in liabilities. I'm no bankruptcy expert, but by my reckoning those numbers makes the hotel solvent and not a candidate for liquidation. But, again, I'm no expert.

Simultaneous with the bankruptcy filing, the property's owner, CSX Corp., signed an agreement to sell the hotel to Marriott International in what struck me as a very cushy deal. In terms reported in the press, CSX will give Marriott as much as $50 million to operate the hotel for two years. Marriott will then pay between $60 million and $110 million over the next seven years to finalize the deal. Is my arithmetic faulty, or may Marriott end up buying a four-star, 720-room iconic resort sitting on 6,500 acres of land for as little as $10 million? Now that's a sweet deal.

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