Hard Rock Casino a possibility in Virginia
A Hard Rock Casino Could be Heading for Virginia after plans have been submitted to the city council.
Legal sports betting is a reality in Virginia. The state voted to legalize sports betting at a selection of commercial casinos. The law also allows more scope for new commercial casinos to be built in five different cities located in the Old Dominion State. Virginia set a list of specific criteria when selecting the five cities that were eligible to create a casino and apply for a sports betting license. The five cities that met the requirements were Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Richmond.
Some of these locations already had plans in place when they obtained licenses; however, Bristol had to look at external companies to come up with some proposals. Hard Rock Hotel and Casino were quick off the mark to submit plans to Bristol. City officials have been casting their eyes over these plans for the last few weeks.
The plans for the Hard Rock Bristol Casino have recently been revealed. They include transforming the Bristol Mall, which is currently vacant. The Bristol City Council put these plans to the local community for discussion, and they have gone down well with most in favor of this new development.
What is Included in the Plans?
The proposal submitted has a $400 million integrated resort concept and was discussed at a city council meeting on May 21. Two local businessmen are putting their backing behind this project. Clyde Stacy and Jim McGlothlin are a big reason why sports betting was legalized in the state of Virginia. Their “Betting on Bristol” campaign persuaded lawmakers to legalize the industry. This led to lawmakers selecting five cities, including Bristol, who have particularly struggled during the current economic crisis.
The Bristol City Council set a deadline for applications on May 8, and Hard Rock was the only company to submit plans before the deadline. Hard Rock hopes to utilize the 46-acre Bristol Mall and transform it into a tourist destination that will bring people from all over the United States and boost the local economy.
Included in the plans is a hotel that features over 750 rooms. As well as this, there is also a spa, concert and entertainment venues and restaurants proposed. This would be a significant boost for the local economy and jobs market, which have suffered due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Local Resident Views
The Bristol City Council was keen for residents to submit feedback via letters and emails. The council has since announced that most of the feedback was positive. The project will be a massive boost to the jobs market and bring in extra revenue to the state from tourists.
Some residents did have some slight reservations and reminded the council to do due diligence before approving a project of this size. The Bristol City Council will talk to experts in the casino and sports betting industry before giving the project the green light.
Allen and McGlothin aim to use the potential tax revenue to get this project approved. They claim that the city will raise between $15 and $20 million per year in tax revenue. The idea is this money can then be used to fund several big projects.
The Bristol City Council expected two bids for new casino projects, but these were not submitted in time.
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