The Commonwealth of Virginia recently announced that it will allow several cities to open up their own casinos. Now the process of applying to become one of those casinos has begun. And it looks like the Hard Rock Cafe will probably win the right to open a casino in the state.
The five cities that will get to have their own casinos include Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Richmond. Several of those cities already had tentative plans in place and were talking to casino operators before the state made the decision.
Bristol on the other hand did not expect to make the list and therefore hadn't started talking to anyone yet. Hard Rock Cafe to the rescue! They submitted an application with the city and officials are now talking about it in public and with residents.
Plans for the Hard Rock Bristol Casino were recently unveiled, and the plan would transform the Bristol Mall, which is currently vacant. The Bristol City Council opened up the discussion for public opinion, and most of the public was in favor of this new project.
Bristol had already fallen on hard times before the coronavirus happened. Now things are even worse, and the city is very excited about the prospects of a new casino bringing much-needed money and jobs into the city. The Hard Rock Cafe would be part of a $400 million complex that would be built at the mall site.
It is estimated that the Hard Rock would bring up to $20 million a year in tax revenue into the city. The city could then use that money to upgrade housing and other services needed by its residents.
The Hard Rock Cafe hotel would have 750 rooms. The number of jobs that it would support has not been released but is expected to be in the hundreds.
The Bristol City Council set a May 8 application deadline for companies wanting to build a casino, and Hard Rock was the only company to beat the deadline. Hard Rock plans to modernize the 46-acre Bristol Mall into a resort and tourist destination that will bring people from all over the customers
It was unclear when construction would begin and when the Hard Rock Cafe Hotel Casino would be able to open.