Thursday, July 28, 2011

Take a minute and soak it up!

In our neck of the woods things are a bit different.  It seems like bad news occurs far more often than good news: a lumber mill is closing and 100 people will lose their jobs, the EPA is making coal mining more difficult so coal jobs are down, a local hospital is closing, some one's house was lost in a fire, yet another business is leaving town, the Mountaineer's are having a bad year....I could go on.  But, in all seriousness, there isn't a lot of job growth or new industry that decides to re-locate to the beautiful mountains of West Virginia so we hear our fair share of bad news.

A couple years ago it seemed like we were about to lose one of the things we have to be proud of in our little state.  The Greenbrier and it's fabled history was on the auction block.  After years of losing money the gorgeous resort was for sale, Marriott, an industry leader was in talks to come in and buy it.  But everyone knew what would happen if such a large company was involved....hundreds would lose their jobs and we would get another strike in the "lose" column.  But at the last minute, literally, a white knight rode in to save the day.  Jim Justice, a local guy who made his money from coal bought the resort and vowed to bring it back to it's glory days.
He started by bringing back hundreds of laid off workers, and hiring more.  Issues with the labor union were quickly resolved, renovations and updates were started.  He opened up the checkbook and has yet to stop!  There have been so many changes and additions: a steak house featuring the name of WV native and NBA star Jerry West, an over the top casino, an ice rink, more stores and then the biggest of all, a PGA Tour event.  The Greenbrier Classic.  The Classic is now in it's second year, last year was a phenomenal success, exceeding everyone's expectations. 

But, this year Jim Justice upped the ante.  After narrowly missing the award of the coveted 5th star last fall The Greenbrier was ready more than ever to show the world the better side of WV.  It is a week of nothing but good news!  On the golf course Phil Mickelson, Tom Watson, John Daly, Sergio Garcia and returning champ Stuart Appleby. Most brought their families to the friendly resort, singing it's praises for creating the best family atmosphere on the tour.  But, the fun won't stop when the sun goes down, Jim Justice upped the ante there too.  Performing as part of the classic will be country greats (we mountaineers like our country music) Tim McGraw and Keith Urban with rising stars Miranda Lambert and Luke Bryan.  Friday night the Allegheny Mountain will rock to the sound of The Black Eyed Peas, yes the same group who performed at the Super Bowl.  Like I said, it is a week of good news in our little state. 

So, you may be wondering why I am writing about this on a blog that is mostly about being frugal and saving money.  Well, simply, I'm proud.  I grew up in a one stop light town where people left their doors unlocked and wave a friendly hello. However, it is now long past it's glory days as a booming lumber town but still, neighbors care about neighbors, people wave and greet you with a "Hi ya'll."  This is a big deal for our little state, short of the WV Mountaineer's winning a National Championship (Lord, are you listening, I've been praying for that for a while now?) this is the most exciting thing to happen here.  I am a WV girl at heart and so proud of my little state that is on stage for the whole country to see this week. 

Tonight, I'm going to take a minute to soak it up while enjoying the sweet voice of Tim McGraw.  I remember first hearing his song "Don't Take the Girl" when I was 15 and being awestruck.  A few years later I danced to "It's Your Love" as a new bride.  When God blessed us with 2 little girls "My Little Girl" became a favorite at our house.  There are so many more too, his songs resonate with me.

So,  I'm taking a minute, I won't think about couponing, the next room I want to makeover, back to school sales or the bad news that will headline our news next week when 30 more jobs are lost somewhere in the great state of West Virginia.  Tonight, I'm just going to soak up the good and be proud of our state and thankful for men like Jim Justice who don't forget their roots and save a little piece of WV for us to be proud of. 

It seems like a lifetime ago, but here is my new husband and I swaying along to Tim McGraw at our wedding.

If you aren't one of my local readers or aren't familiar with The Greenbrier is truly the pinnacle of a luxury resort nestled in the mountains of WV.  The activities are endless.  I hope that everyone has the chance to visit one day, if you do my husband, Lance, is one of the 1500 proud Greenbrier employees ready to make your stay everything you've dreamed of. 

1 comment:

  1. Stacy,

    This is such a wonderfully written piece. It should be published somewhere besides on FB. Very touching and so true of the beauty that is WV.