More Drama for Greenbrier?

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The news that a West Virginian businessman bought the Greenbrier Thursday was apparently a surprise to Marriott, which thought it had an agreement to purchase the troubled resort.

A press release from the resort Thursday stated Jim Justice and his company, the Justice Family Group, purchased the resort and The Greenbrier Sporting Club (a private residential development) and the new ownership intended to seek a dismissal of the resort's bankruptcy filing. A Reuters story today reported Justice sold privately held WV-based coal company, Bluestone Industries, last month for $436 million. A Wall Street Journal story today reported the deal with CSX Corp. was for $20 million. The same story also quotes a Marriott spokesman who was surprised at the sale and said Marriott has a contract to acquire the resort and intended to fulfill those obligations. An AP story had this quote, from Marriott spokesman Thomas Marder: "We remain committed to our goal of managing the Greenbrier within the Marriott system."

So now that the Greenbrier finally solved its labor strife, the resort may be on the cusp of an ownership battle. Justice, who's not a hotelier, will probably need a management company. Perhaps there's a happy ending for all three parties.

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