DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - As Danville passed its referendum on casino gaming Tuesday, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Bristol passed their own.
Danville’s City Manager, Ken Larking, feels its request for proposals process secured the best deal for Danville.
“It forces them to put forth their best effort; I feel like the city of Danville really did well,” said Larking.
So what’s next for Caesars?
Their strategic advisor to the CEO, Tony Rodio, says they’re not going to waste any time.
“Almost immediately in terms of finalizing the design plans, working with local contractors, determining who is going to be the contractor and who is going to be the sub in developing this,” said Rodio.
Caesars plans to break ground at the Schoolfield site in fall 2021 and have its $400 million casino resort opened in the second half of 2023.
However, before that, plans are in place in Norfolk to open a casino in late 2022 or early 2023, and Bristol’s $400 million Hard Rock Casino plans to open in early 2023.
Rodio feels it’s not about who is first and that their plans will beat the competition.
“It’s a facility that will be a getaway for people within a couple hundred miles, so we think it will be much more than a casino, but a regional destination resort that people could come and never put a penny in a slot machine and have a great weekend,” said Rodio.
The VP of Development with Caesars Entertainment gave WDBJ7 this statement regarding their timeline:
"The development schedule for Caesars Virginia is a very realistic one for a project of this size and scope, which includes at least 300 hotel rooms, 35,000 square feet of meeting and conference space, a 2,500-seat live entertainment venue, casino gaming floor and other amenities. We will be breathing new life into this former industrial site, and this is a time-intensive process.
We look forward to welcoming guests, including the more than 1.1 million Caesars Rewards members who live within 150 miles of Danville, to Caesars Virginia in mid-to-late 2023."
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