The Seminole Tribe of Florida owns this casino and hotel that will be developed by Hard Rock International. Hard Rock was selected to be in charge of building and operating the casino resort in Bristol, Virginia.
In a meeting on December 3, the Bristol City Council met briefly and unanimously agreed on Hard Rock to be its gaming partner. Hard Rock has recently formed ties with two companies in the state. One is the United Company, which is owned by businessman Jim McGlothlin, while the other is known as Par Ventures and is owned by Clyde Stacey.
The city council and staff recommended Hard Rock International as the preferred gaming operator in the city after it responded to a request put out by the city. According to Bristol City Manager Randall, “The city issued a Request for Information on April 17, 2020. The city received one response from the Request for Information. The response was from Hard Rock International. The shuttered Bristol Mall is what will now be the location of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol. A total of about $400 million is what Hard Rock plans to spend for the transformation process.
Four Virginia cities backed a casino referendum last month, and Bristol was one of them. Whether a casino should be allowed or not was put to a vote on November 3 in Bristol city. The purpose of this vote was to determine if the residents will allow a casino in Bristol.
After the votes were cast and counted, 71 percent of the voters showed their support. The three other cities that will also be moving forward with commercial gaming venues are Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Danville. Both businessmen aforementioned McGlothlin and Stacey played a very crucial role in the efforts towards ending the prohibition of casino gambling in the state. They spearheaded the march and have come out successful as progress is being made.
Bristol’s Long Time Struggles
Economically, the city has endured decades of difficulty. The criteria to qualify for a casino under the legislation, assigned by Virginia Governor, Ralph Northam is somewhat strange. This legislation was signed earlier this year, and the following criteria have to be met:
The city must have reported an unemployment rate of at least five percent in 2018
The city must have reported a poverty rate of at least 20 percent in 2017
The city must have experienced a population decline of at least 20 percent between 1990 and 2016
It was revealed that 20.5 percent of Bristol city residents were living in poverty last year, according to the latest “QuickFacts” report for Bristol by the US Census Bureau. The median household income in Bristol was almost half of the median average in the US. The nationwide average stands at $68,703, while the city’s average was only $37,904. It goes without saying that large-scale investment is direly needed in the city; one that Hard Rock promises to bring.
There are myriad benefits that will come with the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol. Predictions show that about two thousand new jobs will be created after the completion of the project, with an annual per-person average wage of $45,000. In 2018, the US Census Bureau reported that the average was $22,900.
The resort will feature a 350-room hotel, an outdoor entertainment venue that can accommodate 20,000 people, seven restaurants, four bars, etc.