Greenbrier Resort

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The Greenbrier is a five star resort in White Sulphur Springs in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. For most of its history it was owned by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway. It is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of CSX Corporation.



A spring of sulphur water is at the center of the resort property. It issues forth below the green dome of the white-columned Springhouse that has been the symbol of The Greenbrier for generations. Beginning in 1778, people came to "take the waters" to restore their health. For the first one hundred and twenty-five years the resort was known by the name White Sulphur Springs.

In 1858, a hotel was built on the property. In 1910, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway purchased the resort property, building additional amenities and the Greenbrier Hotel in 1913.

Secret Emergency Relocation Center

In the late 1950s the U.S. government approached The Greenbrier for assistance in the creation of an Emergency Relocation Center to house Congress in the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust. The classified, underground facility was built in conjunction with an above ground addition to the hotel, the West Virginia Wing, between 1959 and 1962. For thirty years the owners of The Greenbrier maintained an agreement with the federal government that, in the case of an international crisis, the entire resort property would be conveyed to government use, specifically as the emergency location of the legislative branch.The underground facilty contained a dormitory, kitchen, hospital and even a broadcast center for members of Congress. The broadcast center had backdrops to make it appear members of Congress were actually broadcasting from Washington DC by changing the backdrop for each season. The convention center which was actually used by the Greenbrier guest for business meetings was actually a disguised workstation area for members of Congress complete with hidden blast doors. The center was maintained by workers who were allegedly hotel audio visual employees. Many of these same workers are employed by the hotel today and until recently gave guided tours. The complex is still maintained today by the Greenbrier and the facility remains much like it was in 1992 when the secret was revealed.

The bunker's existence was not acknowledged until The Washington Post revealed it in a 1992 story; immediately after the Post story, the government decommissioned the bunker. The bunker is currently closed for public tours.


CSX has been lobbying the West Virginia Legislature for years to allow casino gambling at The Greenbrier, arguing that gaming would dramatically increase occupancy of the resort during the winter off-season. Under the plan, the bunker would be converted into a high-end casino, and only registered guests would be allowed to gamble there. The legislature has so far resisted CSX's lobbying.


The resort also has a significant place in golf history. Golf legend Sam Snead was the resort's official pro for many years. Also, in 1979, The Greenbrier was the site of the first Ryder Cup contested under the current format of United States against Europe. More recently, The Greenbrier hosted the 1994 Solheim Cup, the women's equivalent to the Ryder Cup.

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