Greenbrier Sporting Club Featured in Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

Greenbrier Sporting Club Featured in Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

Jeffrey Cohen, the Editor-in-Chief of Sophisticated Living Indianapolis, recently visited The Greenbrier and Sporting Club. Below is his (along with his family’s) personal recount of the many amenities and activities he enjoyed during his stay.

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From the Editor-in-Chief (Page 30)

As regular readers of this page know by now, my wife, Jen, and I enjoy availing ourselves of new experiences, whether they be culinary, travel-related or, in the case of a recent endeavor, doing things outside our comfort zone. I have long harbored a sometimes irrational fear of heights, especially when I’m close to the edge of a high place with no windows or rails to protect me. It’s as if the edge is a magnet, both repelling me and drawing me at the same time to an ignominious doom below.

Towards the end of this past summer, Jen and I were fortunate to find ourselves with our kids at The Greenbrier, the jewel of the Alleghenies, in search of rest, relaxation and, yes, new experiences. We had decided that Jen would be in charge of scheduling activities, something that had to be taken care of well in advance because, as we found out to our disappointment, falconry sells out pretty fast down there.

On the first full day, after hacking our way ‘round The Snead and a spot of light lunch at the nineteenth hole, I was informed that our activity for the afternoon would involve off-road driving on the mountain directly behind the resort, a tree-shrouded peak of some 3,000 feet that soared into the wispy clouds of the Appalachian summer. I had visions of churning along muddy paths around the hill’s perimeter in some sort of ATV, merrily bouncing over logs and dodging squirrels. When I laid eyes on our vehicle—a fully tricked-out red Jeep Rubicon with tires as tall as my son—I knew this was going to be outside my normal comfort zone. Before we set out, our guide, a relaxed dude by the name of Pepper, showed me the controls of the aptly named monster and explained a phenomenon known as “loss of horizon.” This occurs when you are going up a grade that’s so steep you cannot see the road in front of you. “All you have to do is keep your wheels straight and you’ll be just fine,” Pepper said in his deep, even tone.

I took the wheel, with Pepper in the sidekick seat and Jen and the kids buckled in behind us. Once on the mountain, I realized we were ascending at a fair clip. And not just going up some bucolic palisade road through stands of ancient ash trees. No, we were climbing a narrow track carved into the very edge of the mountain, looping around the perimeter like a whirly bird. As the drop immediately to my left began to stretch out from dozens to hundreds of feet, I began to wonder if maybe we should have attempted the free rock-climbing experience instead. At least I would have had something more substantial to cling onto than the steering wheel of a four-ton Jeep that, in spite of my best efforts to control it, seemed hell-bent on hurling itself off the edge at any given moment. Or so I believed, as my fear of heights began to manifest itself.

After a few hundred yards, the road began to steepen at an impossible angle, and our pace slowed. Rounding a curve and ascending a sharp rise, I realized that I couldn’t see the path ahead. I didn’t panic, but I began to feel a familiar clenching in my spine and sweat on my brow. This was the loss of horizon that Pepper had mentioned. “Just straighten your wheels,” he said, in a matter-of-fact tone. I realized the only way to see the wheels would be to lean out the window and take a look. If you recall the bit in “Vertigo” where James Stewart is on the ladder and the camera does that reverse zoom thing, that’s exactly what I experienced when I saw the almost vertical drop of 600 feet just inches from my left front wheel. I gulped and straightened the wheels.

“So,” I ventured, “has anyone ever gone off the edge?” Pepper glanced in my direction and snorted a stifled chuckle. “Those trees are much stronger than they look. Now, are your wheels straight? We’ve still got a ways to go.”

The following day, Jen, the kids and I made a similar ascent of the mountain, this time on horseback. It was only marginally less terrifying, but at least my horse didn’t have suicidal tendencies.

I’d say I’m relieved all of it is behind me, but in a few weeks, Jen and I are visiting Paris for our 15th anniversary.

And guess what’s there? A huge, rusting iron tower with a restaurant on top. The prospect of ascending the Eiffel Tower frankly terrifies me. I know I faced some of my deepest fears at The Greenbrier, but have I overcome them?

I think I’m going to find out the hard way.

Jeffrey Cohen
jeff@slmag.net

 

Allegheny Pastoral: Exploring America’s Resort, Written by Jeffrey Cohen (Page 88-93)

There is home-away-from-home, and then there is The Greenbrier. Located amid the breathtaking mountains of West Virginia in White Sulphur Springs, this unique institution is a National Historic Landmark and world-class resort that has been welcoming patrons from around the world since 1778. The natural mineral springs that attracted the first guests over 240 years ago continue to draw visitors to the luxury resort today. With a registry that has included 27 of our country’s 45 presidents, America’s Resort™ has long been a favorite destination of royalty, celebrities and business leaders.

Late this past summer, my wife, Jen, our two children and I packed up the car and headed south for one final vacation before the start of school. By good fortune, we had the opportunity to stay for a few days at the Colonnade, a delightful cottage on the grounds of The Greenbrier, dating back to 1838. We have no idea who might have rested their heads there before us, but I can only imagine if walls could talk.…

Famous for its restoration and remodeling by Dorothy Draper in 1948, as well as its world-class golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus and Charles Blair Macdonald, The Greenbrier is unique among holiday destinations. Considered a luxury retreat from its inception, this grandest of grand hotels began to further bolster its already sterling reputation as a sporting haven when it was purchased from the CSX Corporation by entrepreneur (and future Governor of West Virginia) Jim Justice in 2009.

Wandering through the hotel’s lobby one afternoon, I was impressed by a scale model of the resort and its environs, including the 14 residential neighborhoods currently under development in what must be the most luxurious home-away-from-home community imaginable. Intrigued, I arranged to meet for tea with John Klemish, broker-in-charge at The Greenbrier since 2000, the year plans were drawn up by CSX to parlay a small part of the estate’s massive 11,000 acres into luxury residences for a highly discerning clientele.

“We planned to create 500 home sites, release them in phases and to create private amenities that only homeowners and members could use,” he explained. “There was a lottery for the first 10 neighborhoods; the first phase was 35 units and they were way oversubscribed.”

Those who purchase property at The Greenbrier are not required to build on their homesites, but upon going under contract they are obliged to join The Sporting Club, whose services are available to members only, as distinct from the main resort, which is open to the public. Drawn by the property’s history and sheer exclusivity, many individuals have purchased lots purely to become members of The Sporting Club. Offering an exceptionally high standard of facilities, The Greenbrier is without rival in the United States: very few, if any, second-home communities can boast the PGA, the NFL and the USTA on campus. Recently, Justice built a 2,400-seat tennis amphitheater, where Serena and Venus Williams played this year in mid-September at a sold-out exhibition tournament.

During our all-too-brief sojourn at The Greenbrier, we did our very best to try our hand at as many activities as we could squeeze in, and being a family-friendly place, there was plenty for the kids to do, too. While Jen and I took shots at clay pigeons and fired bows and arrows, Izzy took personal fishing lessons from the resident pro, and Gracie worked on her backhand. All told, guests of The Greenbrier can avail themselves of 22 restaurants, the only private casino in the United States, and more than 55 distinct activities that include golf, four swimming pools, a bowling alley, a movie theater and much, much more. In addition to these activities, members of The Sporting Club enjoy exclusive facilities, including the private, award-winning course, The Snead. It was here that I happened to consume arguably the best PB&J—made with pistachio butter—I have ever encountered, as well as hack around probably the toughest golf course I have ever played. Later on, Jen, the kids and I decided to throw our fates to the wind with off-road motoring and horseback riding. Readers can learn more of these personal experiences in this issue’s letter from the editor.

Dining at The Greenbrier offers a myriad of options, all of them delectable. Exclusive to members, perched 3,300 feet above the valley floor, The Summit lodge offers a lofty retreat for those who value their privacy. With a world-class restaurant commanding spectacular views, the traditional décor brings to mind the plaids and burnished wood paneling found in Scottish hunting lodges; the highly accomplished cuisine reflects the sophisticated rustic setting. Another notable culinary highlight was dinner at Jerry West’s Prime 44 West, where we enjoyed 35-day aged prime rib and Dover sole, surrounded by NBA-themed décor that reflects the basketball legend’s storied career.

Although purchasing a home at The Greenbrier might fulfill a lifetime’s ambition, enjoying everything this fabled resort has to offer for a few days makes for a close second. As much as Jen, the kids and I crammed into our five-day visit, we left a host of activities undone. To judge from its history and longevity, however, I suspect The Greenbrier will still be there next time we wish to pay a visit.

Volume 3 of Greenbrier Living Magazine

Volume 3 of Greenbrier Living Magazine

Greenbrier Living Magazine

We’re pleased to release the third volume of Greenbrier Living Magazine. It’s filled with seasonal articles, resident interviews, and much more. You can download the magazine for free or request a free printed version below.


Request a Printed Copy

If you'd like a printed version, please let us know your shipping address and we would be happy to send you a free copy.

Volume 2 of Greenbrier Living Magazine

Volume 2 of Greenbrier Living Magazine

Greenbrier Living Magazine

We’re pleased to release the second volume of Greenbrier Living Magazine. It’s filled with seasonal articles, resident interviews and much more. You can download the magazine for free or request a free printed version below.


Request a Printed Copy

If you'd like a printed version, please let us know your shipping address and we would be happy to send you a free copy.

Celebrate The Season at The Club!

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Happy Holidays from The Greenbrier Sporting Club!

Things are looking (and smelling) very festive around The Club. The halls have been decked, and Executive Pastry Chef Amy Mills and her talented team have been hard at work since the second week of November on this year’s gingerbread creation. For 2015, the team created “It’s a Small World ~ Holiday Traditions Around The World” as the theme…and it is nothing short of a masterpiece!
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A whopping 30 pounds of delicious gingerbread and 20 pounds of icing were used to create this amazing work of art that totals approximately 100 pounds!

Eight countries are represented on the panels of gingerbread globe, and include the countries of Germany, Philippines, United States, Mexico, Australia, Italy, Sweden, and France. Unified in peace, 18 “dolls” are circled around the large globe by holding hands.

Below is a small sample of images from this year’s preparation, but please click on image to view entire gallery!

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Plenty of events are happening in the coming weeks at The Club, and we would love to see you and your family. Starting us off on the 23rd, we will begin our complimentary Egg Nog service at the bar through January 1. Stop by The Club Concierge on Christmas Eve to pick up a cookie for Santa from 12 – 5pm, and special Sparkling Reindeer Food for his helpers! Then, join us for Christmas Eve Dinner at The Summit and on Christmas Day at The Lodge!

The festivities don’t end on Christmas, as the 26th there will be Kids’ Dinner & A Movie, Hot Chocolate & Tea Cookies, and Children’s Crafts! As we get nearer to the closing of 2015, we will be having a Dueling Chili Cooking Demo & Beer Tasting on the 29th at The Lodge, a special “Cheese Bits” Happy Hour and “Pick the Housewines” event on the 30th. Finally, ring in the New Year with us at our annual grand New Year’s Eve Gala Celebration.

We hope to see many of our members around The Club during this wonderful time of the year. To make reservations, please contact The Club Concierge at 304-647-6440.

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Labor Day at GSC… A Family Tradition!

Labor Day is right around the corner and what better way to relax in 2011 than a few days of food, music, golf and family fun. With a multitude of club activities scheduled, including our Annual Labor Day Picnic, The Greenbrier Sporting Club provides outdoor and leisure activities for the whole family. Whether it’s a round of golf on The Snead, a relaxing massage at Ananda in the Alleghenies, or the variety of children’s activities throughout the weekend, GSC looks forward to hosting this annual tradition for its members!

Thursday, September 1st
6:30-8:30pm Italian Buffet Dinner
Join us at the Lodge for a buffet of Italian cuisine.
Adult $35 Children $15
Reservations can be made by calling the Concierge at 304-647-6440.

Friday, September 2nd
10:00am Adult Tennis Clinic
Registration for tennis must be done by 9am on Thursday. Please contact Jane at 304-647-6109.
11:00am Junior Tennis Clinic
Registration for tennis must be done by 9am on Thursday. Please contact Jane at 304-647-6109.
4-6pm Happy Hour
Join us in the Lodge Lounge for complimentary hors d’oeuvres, beer & cocktail specials.
6:30-8:30pm Dinner Service
Join us at the Lodge or Summit for a la carte dinner service.
Reservations can be made by calling the Concierge at 304-647-6440.

Saturday, September 3rd
10am Children’s GSC Produce 500
Join us at the Lodge to create & decorate race “cars” made of produce & wooden axles.
Advanced registration required. $15/Child
Register with the Concierge by calling 304-647-6440.
10am Culinary Demo
Join Chef Gustard in the Lodge White Rock Room for a culinary experience!
$25/Adult Register with the Concierge by calling 304-647-6440.
2pm Open Climb
Join us at The GSC Fitness Center to climb the 25ft indoor rock wall.
4pm Children’s Dodgeball
Join us at The Summit for a friendly game of dodgeball. Ages 4-12
4pm Drink Mixology
Join us at The Summit to learn Summit favorites & new drink recipes.
$25/Adult Register with the Concierge by calling 304-647-6440.
6:30-8:30pm Dinner Service
Join us at the Lodge or Summit for a la carte dinner service.
Reservations can be made by calling the Concierge at 304-647-6440.
Dusk Astronomy Lab at The Summit
View the night sky with local Astronomer Dave Buhrmann.

Sunday, September 4th
7:45am 5k
Begins at The GSC Lodge Portico & follows the golf course perimeter.
Advanced registration required.
Register w/Jane by calling 304-647-6109.
10-11am Family Activities at The Hunt Cabin
Join us at the Hunt Cabin for pond fishing, archery & games.
Register with the Concierge by calling 304-647-6440.
2pm Paint The Pony Party
Join us at the GSC Equestrian Center for pony painting and crafting.
$25/Child Register with the GSC Stables by calling 304-536-3348.

5 – 7:30pm ANNUAL LABOR DAY PICNIC
Adults $65 Children $35
Lodge Event Lawn
Live Music by Riverrock.
Entertainment provided by Ziggy.
Children’s activities in the fitness center with Max Hammer.
Reservations can be made by calling the Concierge at 304-647-6440.

Monday, September 5th
11:30am – 2pm Lunch Service
Stop by the Lodge to enjoy a Monday a la carte lunch menu.
The Lounge will be serving a full lunch menu until 5pm.

OTHER SPORTING CLUB ACTIVITIES

The Ananda Spa is offering services throughout the weekend by appointment. Unwind at the Ananda Spa with our “Relaxing Waters.” This three part service starts with a
sea salt soak in the Hydro Tub to work out all of your tension, followed by a signature full body massage and finishes with a fragrant lavender body wrap for total relaxation.
Please allow 80 minutes for this relaxing experience. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 304-647-6112.
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The GSC Stables are offering services throughout the weekend by appointment. We are now offering trail rides on Greenbrier Mountain at The Summit.
Please contact the GSC Stables at 304-536-3348 for appointments and details about activities.
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The Outdoor Pursuits Department offers many great services during late Summer. Whether it be guided nature hikes, fishing trips, fly tying lessons, or general information,
we are here to help make your trip to the Sporting Club a memorable experience. Contact Jacob Ott at 304-667-8337 for details on group and individual activities during your stay.

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GSC to Celebrate Mother’s Day and Kentucky Derby May 7 & 8

What do mothers and three-year-olds have in common? Both will be celebrated in style May 6-8 at The Greenbrier Sporting Club. Saturday delivers one of America’s finest traditions, with the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby, featuring the world’s greatest three-year-old racehorses in a field that continues to pull even as the race approaches. For the Derby on Saturday, May 7th, hors d’oeuvres begin at 4 p.m. at The Members’ Lodge, with a race post time of 6:24 p.m. Also on Saturday, the club is offering “The Art of Gaming” class in The Casino Club from 4-5p.m with Art Kusakull. A signature drink such as a Mimosa is offered to members while Art provides an overview of Blackjack and Roulette. Advanced registration required by Thursday, 5/05/11.

On Sunday, we shift gears and honor our mothers on their special day. Mother’s Day was actually initiated by the West Virginian Anna Jarvis, who passed out 500 white carnations at her mother’s church, St. Andrew’s Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia—one for each mother in the congregation. The Greenbrier Sporting Club’s celebration will include an a la carte brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Members can call now and secure gift certificates for Ananda Spa services, dining at either the Lodge or Summit, golf on The Snead, and a number of other activities.

For more information please contact the GSC Concierge desk at 304-647-6440 or email marsha_huffman@greenbrier.com.