Groundbreaking Set For Permanent Hard Rock Casino In Virginia

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on November 1, 2022
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Construction on the new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Bristol, Virginia will begin in the coming weeks. Project plans were approved by corporate executives and a formal groundbreaking is planned for later this month. 

Bristol Casino President Allie Evangelista said the company is planning for a 2024 opening and a groundbreaking ceremony soon. 

“We should be starting some additional demos, potentially as early as next week. We are ready to move forward and will be opening spring-summer of 2024.”

“Pretty much everything we communicated we were going to bring to Bristol — and some more — have been approved so we are ready to roll,” Evangelista said. 

Hard Rock Bristol casino by the numbers

Already the temporary Hard Rock casino is showing economic dividends by producing constant revenue. According to data from the Virginia Gaming Commission, the Bristol temporary casino generated $40.3 million in adjusted gross revenue through September. As a result, the state collected $7.3 million in taxes with $2.4 million split between local areas in Southwest Virginia.

Virginia casino revenue is taxed at 18%. Another 6% goes to commissions representing 12 Southwest Virginia counties and two cities.

“September is typically a slower month, just change of seasons, people going back to school, that type of thing,” Evangelista told the Bristol Herald Courier. 

“We saw a little bit of decline in visitation but very normal with other markets. It’s a question mark on what is going to happen in winter because it’s an area with a lot of options when the weather is nice. When winter comes, it limits the options of what is there to do in their free time. We expect to be busy.”

Evangelista said the casino is planning a few things for Christmas and New Year’s. 

“We are really excited about planning a really fun evening for New Year’s Eve. Lots of things are in the works so we’ll invite our guests to spend New Year’s Eve with us and ring in 2023.”

Other Virginia casinos on the horizon

The new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol is one of four casinos in Virginia under construction. However, the temporary location is the only one taking bets.

The casino locations include:

  • Rivers Portsmouth Casino Resort
  • Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol
  • HeadWaters Resort and Casino Norfolk
  • Caesars Virginia Casino
  • Potential casino in Petersburg or Richmond

Before legalizing casinos in the state, lawmakers estimated net gaming revenue of $130 million for the Bristol property. If the casino remains consistent leading up to its first-year anniversary, it should generate roughly $173 million in gross revenue. 

Photo by PlayUSA
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for PlayUSA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

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