Monday, January 16, 2012

Greenbrier Resort (West Virginia) to Lay Off 100

For those who may not be familiar with it, West Virginia's Greenbrier Resort is a premier vacation destination in The Mountain State. But according to MSN Money, the swanky recreation spot is now experiencing financial hard times:
Faced with a $13 million deficit, the Greenbrier has laid off more than 100 of the resort's 1,800 workers.

The layoffs include hourly workers as well as top managerial positions, owner Jim Justice said. Workers were informed Friday, he said.

"You hate it like crazy," Justice said of the layoffs, the Charleston Gazette reported Saturday. "You wish to goodness you didn't have to lay anybody off, that's for sure."
Okay, that's a refreshingly candid attitude for a managerial type to have in one of these situations. But is he actually a part of the problem?
The former coal executive has been sinking his own personal fortune into renovating and revitalizing the National Historic Landmark since he bought the property from CSX Transportation for $20.1 million in 2009.

He's ordered extensive renovations, created new partnerships and launched new ventures, opening an $80 million casino and hosting a PGA golf tournament.

Last summer, he announced he was teaming up with several prominent physicians and a health care developer to build the $250 million Greenbrier Medical Institute, featuring a sports medicine and rehabilitation center, a cosmetic surgery center with a "lifestyle enhancement academy."

And this summer, he plans to offer luxury train service from Union Station in Washington, D.C., at a price of $650 round-trip.

A $15 million investment, The Greenbrier Presidential Express is aimed at bringing back the glamour of train travel. Its 15 cars will include a VIP suite car with private rooms, parlor cars, dining cars and an open-air car with safety railings.
Well, the dude is a visionary, I'll give him that. Too bad he is setting himself up for a MASSIVE failure. Mr. Justice may not have gotten the word, but budget austerity is all the rage in the Imperial Capital these days. That means that even in this area of relative economic prosperity, there are soon going to be fewer people who can afford to blow $650 for a train ride and then $450 a night (a typical room rate, according to the Greenbrier website) to stay at his resort. Demonstrating yet again that just because you're rich, it doesn't mean you have any clue about what's coming.

Bonus: Maybe Jim Justice would be better off just hiring a caretaker


  1. OK, you live in the area, but I suspect there are a lot of influence peddlers who'd be happy to front the costs of a long weekend for a lot of folks who make decisions regarding the trillion in spending that's discretionary in some degree regarding who gets it ... enough to keep this guy's investment going for a while. The quality time one would get with a client on the train alone would make this a thrifty bribe! :)

  2. It took a minute for the video to appear - I was sure it would be a clip from The Shining but of course it wasn't. So then I thought I'd post one but even better, there's a remake of the trailer, this time it's a romantic comedy!


  3. @Gail - I was originally going to go with the "Here's Johnny" clip, but that Simpsons' send up always cracks me up.

    And that trailer spoof you linked is diabolical! :)

  4. Well, the dude is a visionary, I'll give him that. Too bad he is setting himself up for a MASSIVE failure.

    Getting the timing right is tough. You never know if QE3 or a massive interruption in the supply of oil is the next thing around the corner.

  5. I work in a small town outside of it in a restaurant and I am scared.... Is it going to be continuously busy? And am I going to be dealing with a lot of snobby people?

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