RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Scott’s Addition could be getting a new, large money-making addition: A 1.9 million square ft. Live! Casino and Hotel on North Arthur Ashe and West Leigh Street, the site of Movieland.
The casino is one of three contenders that the city is reviewing proposals on.
“Over the course of the 15 year period, it’s seven and a half-billion dollars of economic output,” said Travis Lamb, CFO of Cordish Gaming. “Our outlook for this Richmond property is that it will generate roughly 3,000 jobs.”
Lamb says if history is any indication, financial boost gained from the casino and hotel would trickle down to neighboring businesses as it did in Maryland by one of their other locations.
“People are coming into the casino 24 hours a day and when they’re done, they want to get a bite to eat, and it’s not always in one of our restaurants at the casino; it’s in the surrounding area. So in Arundel Mills, you’ve seen more restaurants open up, and the restaurants continue thriving up there even outside of the casino.”
Apart from the jobs created in the space itself, it could also drum up more business for small-time local vendors, like Russell James of Mechanicville.
He’s been in the cleaning industry for 25 years as owner of White Glove Cleaning Service and could see huge growth in his company, should he secure a contract with the casino.
“Everybody loves to grow [their business], and to have and work with something this big, it would just be tremendous for us,” James said.
But businesses just down the street from the proposed location have some concerns.
“It’s not a really big piece of property, and there are already at times of day with a little bit of traffic tie-ups in that area,” said Buz Grossberg, owner of Buz and Ned’s Real Barbecue - just one block away from the casino along Arthur Ashe Boulevard.
Grossberg says he would fully back the casino, as long as it doesn’t end up hurting existing businesses. He adds that he’s skeptical of the economic boost it’s expected to bring to places like his based on anecdotes with other large venues.
“There was a little uptick, but not as much as everybody expected. Most of the people stay within the casino. Eat there, gamble there,” Grossberg said.
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