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Keeneland forms partnership with West Virginia resort

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - The Greenbrier is forming a long-term
partnership with Keeneland, a Kentucky racetrack and thoroughbred
auction house, to offer cross-promotions that executives said
Wednesday should benefit both businesses and their well-heeled
Greenbrier owner Jim Justice called Keeneland's global
reputation "unparalleled" and said the partnership is part of his
ongoing efforts to attract more guests and make the White Sulphur
Springs resort "the ultimate destination."
"It's two fine institutions that share a value system -
appreciating the finer things - coming together for each other's
patrons' benefits," said Keeneland Chief Executive Nick Nicholson.
"... When you purchase a million-dollar horse or when you win our
top races, we're going to send you to The Greenbrier."
The properties will work to ensure guests of The Greenbrier have
easy ways to get to Lexington and take part in sporting activities
there, Nicholson said. For starters, the cross-promotions will
include premium seating and other perks for Greenbrier guests who
attend Keeneland's spring and fall races.
"There will be a lot of things we think of through the years,"
Nicholson said. "We look at this as a long-term alliance."
The announcement comes two weeks before the opening of the
Casino Club at The Greenbrier, an 89,000-square-foot underground
gambling parlor set to debut July 2 with a black-tie dinner and a
Lionel Ritchie concert. The casino offers roulette, blackjack,
baccarat, craps, three-card poker and Texas hold 'em, plus 320 slot
machines. The private Greenbrier Royale room is for high rollers.
Justice, who bought the resort out of bankruptcy last year for
$20.1 million, hopes the casino will help restore profitability and
the coveted five-star Mobil Travel Guide rating The Greenbrier lost
in 2000.
Keeneland has provided historic memorabilia for the casino's
equestrian-themed lounge, Twelve Oaks.
The Greenbrier is a National Historic Landmark that has hosted
presidents, kings and luxury travelers from around the world since
1778. It has 721 rooms, including 96 guest and estate houses, as
well as three championship golf courses and a 40,000-square-foot
Keeneland, a 75-year-old racetrack, is home to the world's
largest thoroughbred auction company. It regularly sells horses
worth tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, and its September
Yearling event is billed as the world's largest horse sale. The
921-acre complex also hosts meetings of horsemen from around the
world twice a year.
"The last few sales, we have sold horses to people from 50
different countries," Nicholson said. "When you fly here from
around the world and you've accomplished your business goals,
frequently you want to see other parts of the region. You want a
period of rest and relaxation after the intensity of the sale, and
I can't think of a better place for that than The Greenbrier."

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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