Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck arrive separately to The Greenbrier Casino Club gala opening held this weekend in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
After all, this is Charleston native Jen’s big night — even though the pair, who are staying at a cottage on property, are enjoying a kid-free night out.
“I feel like I’m going to bust with pride that my home state has something this beautiful to offer, and this elegant and classy and glamorous,” the Alberta Ferretti-clad beauty says of the award-winning luxury resort. “It is a reminder that we are one of the top tourist destinations in the country, and so many people don’t know. I mean, have you ever been anywhere more beautiful in your whole life? Isn’t it gorgeous? Just flying in, it’s so beautiful. And it’s tucked away, nobody knows about it, we’re fighting for tourism dollars, and it breaks my heart that everyone in this country doesn’t consider this their top destination.”
What is beautiful to her?
“Green mountains,” she says, serving as a quick reminder that they dot the skyline outside.
She reveals Ben’s specialty is playing poker.
“I hope this place can stay alive after my husband hits the poker table tonight. That’s how good he is. I’m sure I’ll have to tear him away at the end of the night.”
For the Fourth of July, she mentions that the family is gearing up for a barbecue.
When asked if they would like to have more children, Jennifer, who recently faced pregnancy rumors, bristles.
“Oh please!” she sighs to me. “That’s gutsy of you.”
Although Jen and Ben’s Violet, 4, and Seraphina, 18 months, don’t make the trip, Brooke Shields brings hubby Chris Henchy and daughters Rowan, 7, and Grier, 4, to the elegant estate, which is a National Historic Landmark. The family will stay through the Fourth of July, and has already tried “everything.”
“What’s not to love about this place?” she says. “Falconry, the archery, horseback riding, bowling – my kids are bowling right now. It’s such a pleasant experience. We’ve only been here since last night. [laughs] That’s what I mean. We had a very full day.”
Will she gamble tonight?
“No,” she says. “I gamble with my emotions. [laughs] I like to sort of stand behind and be like the gun moll. I’m not that great. My husband’s a good gambler. I get in, win a little and get out. I don’t sit at the table for a long time. But I appreciate him for more than one reason.”
Here comes Mr. Affleck, who doesn’t stop for questions, but politely tells reporters, “Nice to see you guys. Thank you very much.”
Founded in 1778, The Greenbrier has something for everyone including the Casino Club, Cold War bunker tour, Greenbrier Spa, whitewater rafting, Tree Top Canopy Tour, horseback riding, falconry, golf, art colony, meditation trail; fine-dining restaurants such as Prime 44 West and The Main Dining Room, casual eateries such as Slammin’ Sammy’s and Draper’s Cafe; tennis, infinity pool, bowling alley, afternoon tea and an array of shops. The Greenbrier: It’s James Bond glitz, Monte Carlo-style gambling and Gone With The Wind-style history and décor, all topped with unmatched Southern hospitality. Bonus: The resort is easily accessible by plane from New York, Cleveland and Atlanta.