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West Virginia businesses look forward to Greenbrier Classic crowds

Published On: Jul 05 2013 09:49:52 PM EDT   Updated On: Jul 05 2013 10:13:31 PM EDT
White Sulphur Springs

Drive down Main Street in White Sulphur Springs, and you might think little has changed in the last three years.

Some businesses have come and gone since the tournament started, while others have prospered.

Brandon Kidd is the kitchen manager at 50 East, a restaurant that opened here just days before the first Greenbrier Classic. The restaurant has built a loyal following, and Kidd believes the climate is improving for other businesses as well.

" It's been a tough place for businesses to thrive," Kidd told us, "but I feel like that's changing."

Downtown still has too many empty storefronts, but vacant properties are now for sale, a development that local leaders hope will encourage new activity here.

Lloyd Haynes is the city's new mayor. "And what I want to do is get as many people as we can to realize the potential that is right here in White Sulphur Springs," Haynes said in an interview.  "And with that, hopefully we'll attract some businesses and attract some people and grow our little city."

The renewal of the Greenbrier hasn't transformed White Sulphur Springs yet, but with the golf tournament showcasing Greenbrier County to a national television audience, and a national economy on the mend, there is optimism here that better times are still ahead.

"I always say that the Greenbrier is kind of like our Ford plant," said Kara Dense, Executive Director of the Greenbrier County Visitors Bureau. "It really is the economic driver of our area so when the Greenbrier does well, Greenbrier County does well."