Friday, July 9, 2010

Gambling at the Greenbrier?

In 2004 my mother, father, cCm, and I headed to White Sulfur Springs, WV to spend a long weekend at the Greenbrier Resort. This was 5 years prior to being bought by its newest owner: Jim Justice. We had one of the most memorable times while we stayed there. We went horseback riding, clay shooting, bowling, and swimming (indoors and out). Of course, everything was just fabulous. I was only 14 at the time and to this day can remember every single detail of the trip such as the fabulously designed interiors (my favorite was Draper's Cafe because of all of the pink!), high tea, the dress code (which I think every top notch resort should adhere to) and our gorgeous suite.
cCm and I goofing off after dinner one night. Yes, I am guilty. I took a BB picture of a picture. Six years ago, we were technologically deprived of digital cameras. Why not use a scanner you ask? Scanners and I have a bad history together.

My favorite memory was during dinner one night in the main dining room, in between one of our delicious courses, the waiter brought out a silver domed platter. My mother, cCm, and I were clueless as to what this "dish" could be. The waiter simply explained that it was special for the ladies. As soon as he took the dome off, there were 3 black jewelry boxes sitting there. My sister was only 10 and I was 14, so we thought that this was actually from the chef! We finally realized it was from my father, and we all opened our boxes. For me, diamond earrings. For cCm, ruby earrings. For my mother, the most gorgeous diamond and opal ring I have ever seen. It was such a wonderful surprise!At age 10, cCm thought that this end table in our suite would be the perfect "hideout" for her and her clan of stuffed animals.

Anyways, if you follow the news of the Greenbrier (I follow them on Twitter), you know that they have recently opened their casino (July 2). This was a red carpet event with celebrities such as Jessica Simpson and Brooke Shields. Many of these celebrities were actually paid an upwards of $100,000 to attend, writing it off as an "appearance fee" (see this article). Now, I don't really know who wouldn't want to attend one of the most fabulous resorts while getting paid to attend! However, I think that having all of the celebrities attend this grand opening and turning it into something along the lines of a "Hollywood" type event was a tacky move on the Greenbrier's part.
Of course you have to give Jim Justice some credit. I understand very well that he is trying to get the word out about the Greenbrier and get good advertising for the new casino, but having photographers all over the place and catering to celebrities that were paid to be in attendance does not impress me at all.
I cannot judge the casino, because I have yet to visit it and see all that it has to offer. And apparently it has a lot to offer. Plus Carleton Varney designed it so I don't have a doubt in my mind that it's anything but gorgeous. But when I think of a casino, I immediately think tacky. I picture Las Vegas, Atlantic City, bright lights, old women with fanny packs, young women with not enough clothing on. Tell me I'm stereotyping, and you are right, but that is just how it is for me. Maybe the casino will help the Greenbrier stay away from the bankruptcy state it was in just a short time ago, but it does nothing more than to detract me from the beautiful, southern, elegant, timeless, classic, resort that it has always been known for.
How do you feel about the casino opening at the Greenbrier? Are you a big gambler and excited to have something more to do while staying at the resort? Do you think that this aspect will deter the resorts reputation of timeless elegance? What do you think of the Greenbrier holding the red carpet event by paying celebrities a large sum to attend the event? I am so curious as to hear everyone's opinion on this matter! Have a fabulous day!

**also, I'm done blogging all of the requests I got from some bloggers, so if there is any post that you would like to see me do in the future, let me know by commenting or sending me an e-mail at! I love when I get requests, especially if they're something I would have never thought to do! I have kept in mind that a lot of you have asked for a hair tutorial so I'll have that up at some point this month.


Kate said...

hey there m'am....i'm not only your newest follower, but also a zta sister too! i can't wait to get to know you better as i follow your adorable blog. come visit me over at southern belle simple anytime! xoxo zlam, Kate S.

Jennifer said...

What a beautiful resort! And that gift you father gave you girls!!! What a sweet daddy you have!

JMW said...

It's so funny you should post about this, b/c Hubby and I were at the Greenbrier last October for our anniversary. Construction was in full-force for the new casino and they had just opened a miniature casino to test the waters. Hubby and I gambled briefly, quickly lost our money and returned upstairs to a more civilized venue. Honestly, I was disheartened to see that they were adding a casino (apparently more than 90,000 sq. feet!). The Greenbrier is such a genteel, Southern tradition, like you said. Dressing up for dinner, clay shooting, the spa, etc. A casino doesn't seem to fit with the brand and I hate to think what it may draw. Who knows. Only time will tell.

Beaufort Belle said...

Even though I haven't been there yet, we are planning to visit next year. Knowing the fascinating history of the Greenbrier, I just can't imagine a casino on sight. I guess I will have to wait and see.

(Thanks for the note on my blog)

CashmereLibrarian said...

What a "gem" is your dad! Lovely memories, thanks for sharing.

Julie (brown eyed belle) said...

Hi lady! I gave you an award today :)

Hope you've had a fabulous weekend!


M.R. said...

The casino isn't tacky, I promise. I was scared half to death it would be awful, but I actually really enjoy it. I'm not a gambler, but CV has done a fabulous job.
I attended opening weekend. I agree, the Hollywood part was a bit tacky, but the rest of the event was marvelous. I can honestly say that I am very, very happy with the changes. And for me to say that, it means a lot. I have grown up at the Greenbrier. My parents home is 9 miles away. My mother recently retired as a Greenbrier exec. She's really happy with the changes as well.




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