The votes are in and the new $400-million project planned for the former Bristol Mall site on Gate City Highway has been accepted. According to Jim McGlothlin, casino backer and chairman of United Co.,
“The voters…really want a Hard Rock casino, so many thanks for the strong
support…“I am excited to get this project going. …It is a new day for Bristol…
With Hard Rock as our partner, we’re going to do some good things.”
The project was the dream of McGlothlin and Par Ventures President Clyde Stacy initiated back in the fall of 2018. Stacy explained that they wanted the public to have the final say in a referendum.
Hard Rock International had been pre-certified as the preferred operator, but now it must apply for and secure a state gaming license. In addition, the Virginia Lottery Board has to finalize its casino regulations.
Hard Rock CEO Jim Allen is ecstatic, having waited for some form of gaming in Virginia for well over ten years.
Our brand is entertainment and incredible good fortune came our way when I was introduced to McGlothlin and his amazing success and passion for that part of the state.
Allen was felt the right partnership was with him. Now it is locating to have the casino in place late next year with an opening in 2022.
City Manager Randy Eads, wearing a jacket with an orange Hard Rock Bristol lining, praised the voters’ decision of supporting the project in their city.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for the citizens of Bristol and Southwest Virginia… With this vote, the citizens have given us the opportunity to turn the tide and
make positive differences in people’s lives here in our community.”
This Bristol casino resort is forecast to generate as many as 2,000 jobs and between $15 million and $20 million in annual tax revenues. It is a welcome boost to the economy of the city.
Mayor Bill Harley expressed his pleasure and thanked the Hard Rock for investing in the community.
“Thanks to the citizens for voting for this opportunity for our community. There is still work to be done, but there is a lot of excitement around this…it will be very beneficial.”