Front Desk

Greenbrier Sale Sweetener?

The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, WV is one of the all-time classic resorts in this country, but it's also one teetering on the brink of failure. A recent story in a West Viriginia newspaper quoted the governor saying the resort owners were looking to sell and a couple suitors had already expressed interest.

CSX Corporation, a railroad company, hired Goldman, Sachs & Co. as its financial advisor earlier this year to explore all strategic options (for more on that). The Greenbrier lost $35 million last year, in large part because of an ongoing labor dispute that led to lost meetings business, but also because of the ongoing financial fallout that has hurt the hotel industry, especially in the luxury segment.

Recent legislation was passed to allow casino gaming at the venerable resort, but CSX seems to be dragging its feet on the potentially lucrative option. The state is working on an added sweetener for CSX, or more likely, potential buyers-to-be, which would allow the resort to keep a higher percent of gaming revenues than previously allowed. That new legislation could be introduced this week.

The newspaper story quotes a couple sources who imply that is key, even for the survival of the resort, and say a national hotel chain could be the buyer.

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