CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The owner of The Greenbrier Resort is staying positive. On Friday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” Jim Justice said he sees nothing but good things coming out of plans for the New Orleans Saints to spend part of the NFL team’s training camp time at The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs.
“I really hate for anyone to dwell on any level of negativism because this is such a positive thing,” said Justice to his critics. “It’s promoting hope in West Virginia.”
As part of his deal with the Saints, which runs through 2016, Justice has agreed to spend $20 million building three football practice fields and a 55,000 square foot multi-use building at The Greenbrier. During the July training camp, Justice said the Saints players and staff members will stay at the resort.
To help with construction, Justice sought a tax credit from the Legislature.
Lawmakers approved a ten year, possible $25 million total tax credit, specifically for three projects at The Greenbrier, in an amendment to the West Virginia Tourism Development Act. It was approved on the final night of the 2014 Regular Legislative Session and sent to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin for his signature.
For the NFL training camp infrastructure alone, The Greenbrier would be eligible for a $5 million credit over ten years.
Justice said he thinks the credit is appropriate. “We need to promote tourism all over our state,” he said. “We’ve got such an incredible state and people who come to our state, when they come, they want to come for lots of things.”
Additionally, The Greenbrier will seek the tax credit against the corporate net income tax for a planned $90 million medical facility, next door to the resort, that was first announced in 2011. The third project reportedly involves the addition of ski hills at The Greenbrier.
Altogether, Justice estimated the total investment for all three projects would total $400 million. “We’re headed down the right path here,” said Justice. “There’s no one that’s going to put a negative thought in my mind. I mean, this is all positive, this is great stuff for our state.”