The owner of West Virginia's Greenbrier resort and and Marriott International have parted ways. Jim Justice, who bought the hotel out from Marriott back in May after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, must now pay Marriott a "break-up fee" of $7.5 million.
"Even though it's a monstrous amount of money, it's a sound decision, and it's the right decision," Justice told The Charleston Gazette. "They were good to work with, but you reach a point in time where you either fish or cut bait. Under the circumstances, it made more sense for me to write the check."
Justice and Marriott had initially agreed to work out a deal in which the hotel chain would market the Greenbrier in exchange for commissions. If the deal was not reached, Justice would pay the fee.
Justice said he felt that the marketing of the resort should remain as is so as not to cause confusion.
"This treasure, this icon, needs to be marketed solely as The Greenbrier," Justice said. "If you have a sales team from the Marriott and a sales team from The Greenbrier, then you develop the possibility of confusion with the customer base."
The Greenbrier is in the midst of adding a new gambling casino, set to open next spring. It also recently announced that it will host a PGA event for the next six years.