Hard Rock International breaks ground on permanent casino in Bristol

Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 5:59 PM EST
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BRISTOL, Va. (WDBJ) - The company that opened the first full-service casino in Virginia last summer, says “it’s time to rock” on its permanent home.

Wednesday afternoon, Hard Rock International broke ground on a $500 million project that will bring a new hotel, casino and entertainment venue to the city.

The temporary casino that opened in July has exceeded expectations, bringing in 600,000 visitors, paying out $35 million in jackpots and contributing $12 million in state taxes. And Hard Rock executives say that’s just the beginning.

With a tent providing protection from the soggy weather, Hard Rock executives and a crowd of community leaders turned out for the ceremonial start of the hotel and casino project.

“We are just so excited to have Hard Rock here in Bristol. It’s so much fun,” said Bristol Mayor Anthony Farnum.

The new construction will include a hotel with 300 rooms, a casino with 1300 slot machines and 50 table games, a variety of restaurants and shops and a Hard Rock Live entertainment venue.

“We’ll be doubling our employee numbers with the permanent (casino), so right off the bat it will mean jobs,” said Hard Rock International Chief Operating Officer Jon Lucas.

And although more casinos are slated to open in Danville and other Virginia cities, Hard Rock executives said they aren’t afraid of competition.

“Am I confident we are going to have the best product, the best entertainment, the best food, the best gaming opportunity, yes absolutely that’s what we do great,” said Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol President Allie Evangelista.

It appears that site work is just beginning on the property, but Hard Rock executives said they’re confident the new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will be completed by the Spring of 2024.