The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.V., is the latest luxury property to get hit by the recession. After 231 years in operation, the 721-room resort filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on March 19. Marriott International, Inc., intends to buy the property, pending bankruptcy court approval and new labor agreements.
The sales plan calls for The Greenbrier’s owner, Jacksonville, Fla.–based railroad company CSX Corp. to lend Marriott $50 million to operate the hotel for two years. Marriott would repay the loan and pay CSX between $60 million and $130 million within seven years, depending on the hotel’s performance during that time, according to the Associated Press.
The deal is expected to close later this year, and Marriott will likely retain the Greenbrier name once the sale is complete. The resort will remain open for business while in bankruptcy.
The Greenbrier is on the National Register of Historic Places and has hosted past U.S. presidents and royalty. According to The New York Times, the resort struggled to attract a younger crowd even before the credit crisis, and its “ill-timed renovations and expansion in 2006 and 2007” contributed to the property’s loss of more than $90 million in the past five years. Earlier this year, the famed resort laid off 650 employees—about half its workforce.
The Greenbrier has three championship golf courses, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a 40,000-square-foot spa with 44 treatment rooms, 40 meeting rooms, and a conference center.