WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (WSAZ) — A gamble seems to be paying off at the historic Greenbrier resort. The new underground casino is set to open July 2 with a star-studded guest list. Officials at The Greenbrier are calling the casino a “re-birth” for the resort.
Just more than a year ago, the former owners of the resort had filed for bankruptcy, the hotel was struggling to fill rooms and hundreds of workers were laid off. But Jim Justice, a West Virginia native, bought the resort and vowed to bring it back to its glory.
Now with a PGA golf tournament and a multi-million dollar casino, the resort has gone from bust to boom.
Stars like Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck, Jessica Simpson, Brooke Shields, Lionel Richie and Shaquille O’Neal are expected to be at the casino grand opening.
The underground casino has doubled in size to 100,000 square feet and ballooned to a price tag of $80 million. The budget for the project was initially set at $20 million.
“It will change the face of the resort forever and will be the most unique, charismatic and luxurious resort and casino in the world,” says Vice President and Managing Director Jeff Kmiec of The Greenbrier. “The casino is important beyond all belief because it represents the rebirth for the resort.”
Justice bought the casino out of bankruptcy a little more than a year ago and vowed to get The Greenbrier back to a five-star rated resort. That hasn’t happened yet.
“From the day Jim purchased the resort his mission was clear,” Kmiec says. “To re-establish The Greenbrier as the leading luxury resort in the world, it meant putting people back to work, it meant giving hope back to the community, it was for us to showcase The Greenbrier as the premier resort not just for West Virginia but for the nation.”
The casino was built in less than a year. There are still a few tickets left for the grand opening celebration.
For a two-person room and two tickets, it costs $2,500. For a single ticket to the event, without a room, it costs $850.
Lionel Richie will perform during the grand opening, and WSAZ.com is told there will be several other surprises.
Once its opened, the casino is only available to those staying at the resort.
At the PGA tournament The Greenbrier Classic, acts like Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood are set to perform.
WOW it’s almost around the corner that date. Hope we get to see a lot of jess candids!! Looking forward.