West Virginia Department of Commerce Robert Mickey

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Robert Mickey

West Virginia The Place to Be

Robert Mickey
The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs

Robert MickeyRobert Mickey returned to The Greenbrier in 2010 to become director of housekeeping and transportation, managing about 200 of the resort’s staff. Previously, Mickey worked for The Greenbrier for six years, but moved to work for a Georgia resort for 6 years. He says of his return, “In seven months, I’ve had the opportunity to do things that many people don’t get to do in their entire careers.”

My Job: I have a serious love affair with The Greenbrier and I’m proud to work for the housekeeping and transportation teams I serve. I tell them, being a servant is something to be proud of -- every day we can make someone happy and give them the service that is world class and five-star.

As the keepers and custodians of The Greenbrier, housekeeping is a 24-hour operation. Our night shift works hard while everyone sleeps. Meanwhile, the transportation team handles all airport transfers, on-grounds transportation and trucking responsibilities. We even drive a truck to pick up fresh produce from The Greenbrier Farm and we run our own garbage service.

I was away from The Greenbrier for six years – and coming back I have bumped into longtime guests who remembered me. They talk about how proud they are, how the new casino blends in perfectly, how having it underground pays wonderful respect the nature of The Greenbrier. The Dorothy Draper Company and Curator Carleton Varney have done a great job in taking the new venue and weaving it with the traditional aspects of The Greenbrier.

New Opportunities: What an amazing summer! The grand opening of the casino and the PGA TOUR both happened in July. I was so proud of how the staff of The Greenbrier pulled together – the front-line staff, the leadership and everyone pulled off these two huge events.

My favorite story is about the Raquels. During the grand opening, we decided to bring the celebrities to the casino in classic vintage cars. We needed to find 20 special vehicles for the red-carpet event and we found one car owner whose Maroon 1959 Cadillac Coupe Deville was named Raquel. He told us, “I have three loves in my life: My wife, my car, Raquel, and Raquel Welch.”

Well, as it happened, Raquel Welch was attending the grand opening; so Raquel got to ride in Raquel that night!

My West Virginia Connection: My wife, Peri, was born and raised in Greenbrier County. Both sides of her family go back seven or eight generations to the 1700s and the settlement of the county. So, her entire extended family is here.

When we were in Georgia and were considering returning home, we told our four boys, ages 11 to 18. In unison, all four jumped into the air, whooped and hollered. They were so excited to get back to West Virginia. Our boys are into bow hunting. They love to hike in the woods in the fall and go fishing.

We also love to go to Snowshoe to ski, snowboard or tube. In other places, you don’t have the variety of recreation that we have here. Plus, the boys liked the schools better here, too. They feel like part of the community and they like the feeling of belonging.

My Favorite Places: Certain people are hard wired for the mountains or the shore… I’m hard wired for the mountains. We overlook the ridge and the woods. The view is so pretty – we’d rather watch the sunset than watch TV sometimes!

Some of my favorite places are the little hidden away places that people don’t know – like a bend in the creek with a swimming hole. We put our tubes in the water and float around. It’s just a great time!

We love Snowshoe in both winter and summer. The Blue Bend Recreation Area in the Monongahela National Forest is wonderful. We’ve been going there since the boys were old enough to walk. Organ Cave is only 10 miles from my front door, and it’s the second-largest cave system on the East Coast!

I like the New River Gorge, especially rafting in the fall. Gauley Season really gets your blood pumping -- the experience of a lifetime. When they’re old enough, I can’t wait to get all four of my boys to do the rivers together with me.

West Virginia’s Best Kept Secret: West Virginia is not all mountains and coal mines. It’s the best of both worlds: you have nature and culture all in the same melting pot.