WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. – A video of New Year’s Eve celebrations at The Greenbrier, which showed some guests not wearing masks and not socially distancing, went viral online and was shown on national TV newscasts.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, who owns The Greenbrier, addressed the situation during his COVID-19 briefing on January 4.
Justice again addressed it on January 6: “There’s no way I’m going to do anything in this capacity(the governor) to benefit me.” You can hear the governor’s full comments in the player above.
The governor talked about being criticized for running his own businesses(including The Greenbrier), while in office and then being criticized for not knowing what was going on at The Greenbrier.
The governor said he has instructed the people at The Greenbrier to continue investigating what happened on New Year’s Eve. “If supervisors were derelict in their duties, they will be disciplined and disciplined big time,” Justice said. “If they genuinely screwed this up, there will be you know what to pay,” Justice continued. He went on to say that the only reason he’s involved now is that public pressure has pushed him to be involved.
Also on Jan. 6, The Greenbrier issued a statement on the New Year’s Eve events:
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic, The Greenbrier has always been in strict compliance with all health guidelines. We continue to be in constant contact with the Greenbrier County Health Department regarding the guidelines, contact tracing, social distancing and mask mandates.
During the evening, all guidelines were strictly complied with, including socially distanced dining, no live entertainment or dance floors, and face coverings were required at all times when not actively eating or drinking.
In all dining venues the chairs were spaced six feet apart. Our Casino followed all West Virginia Lottery regulations, including no more than two patrons per table, patrons were not allowed to touch playing cards, and every other slot machine was disabled.
All these protocols were expanded across all restaurants and bars across our facility.
Upon review of the published video from the New Year’s Eve gathering in the Upper Lobby, some of the guests in attendance were not wearing face coverings. Those guests appeared to be actively drinking without a face covering, which is allowed per guidelines.
One of the event managers said that people started gathering in the Upper Lobby around 11:45pm and by 12:03am they had dispersed.
The Greenbrier has always taken the COVID-19 pandemic and takes its impact on our guests and staff very seriously. We continue to screen all team members, guests, vendors and contractors before they are allowed to enter Resort property.News release from The Greenbrier