Texans start training camp at secluded resort in West Virginia

By Keith Garvin - Anchor/Reporter

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. - The 2017 training camp has kicked off for the Texans for the first time outside the city of Houston.

But even 1,200 miles away, the team has plenty of fans wanting to see their favorite players practice in person.

"To get here from my house was three hours," says fan Brandon Fritts. "So it's a hike. We're staying here for most of the week so we can hopefully see some Texans players."

The site the Texans will call home for the next three weeks is The Greenbrier.

It's one of the most exclusive resorts in the country. Tucked away in the mountains of southeastern West Virginia, it's also one of the most secluded.

"You don't have to leave the property. To eat, to play, to swim. Whatever you want," Cam Huffman, the director of sport public relations for The Greenbrier, said. "We have more than 55 indoor and outdoor activities. Everything from bowling, to falconry, to golf, to tennis, swimming. So a little bit of something for everybody."

That seclusion is one of the reasons Coach Bill O'Brien chose this quiet, quaint location for training camp.

He hopes the atmosphere -- along with the weather -- will provide his team with better focus.

WATCH: The Greenbrier's secret bunker and its place in history

"They were saying at practice today, it's just nice to not have to think about it," Huffman said. "You're not worrying about your players overheating or how many water breaks they take. So you can really just get to your work and not worry about the weather."

The Texans will have 15 training camp practice sessions open to the media and public at The Greenbrier.

The Greenbrier is known for its elegance, but it also has quite a bit of interesting history to it.

Known for the prestige of its golf courses and the luxury of its hotel -- it's hard to believe The Greenbrier was once the location of a highly-classified, top-secret bunker during the depths of the Cold War.

If the nation's capital had ever come under nuclear attack, all congress members, and much of their staff, would've been shuttled here to what was known as the Emergency Relocation Center.

"If the phone call came that they're fearing here's an imminent attack on Washington, D.C., they figured they had three or four hours," Dr. Robert Conte, the historian for The Greenbrier, said. "So you'd go in there and you'd turn the switches and it'd be ready to 'receive the client,' as they used to say."

The bunker was in place for 30 years until its location was leaked to the Washington Post in 1992.

The once-secret fallout shelter is now open to the public as a museum -- but many visitors are still taken aback by this ironic relationship in our nation's history.

"A lot of people have heard about the bunker and it's at this place called The Greenbrier and they get here and their eyes are like this, 'Oh my gosh, look at this Greenbrier place,'" Conte said. "This is not a Holiday Inn. It's a pretty serious operation here."

There are other emergency relocation centers for the different branches of government, but each location remains highly classified.

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