Hard Rock and other potentially interested companies had until Friday, May 8 to submit the requested information.
It should be noted that Bristol announced last fall that it had partnered Hard Rock to operate a casino complex in the city, should casino gambling become legal in Virginia.
The state Legislature passed legislation authorizing casinos by referendum in five cash-strapped cities in March. The legislation was then handed to Virginia Governor Ralph Northam for his signature.
The state’s top official proposed several amendments, which both chambers of the Legislature approved last month.
As mentioned above, the recently approved legislation paves the way for the construction of casinos in five economically challenged cities around the state, with those being Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Richmond.
However, Las Vegas-style gambling venues can only be developed if residents of the above-mentioned cities approve this in citywide referendums.
Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, and Portsmouth can hold referendums on November 3. However, Richmond is likely to set a later date since, unlike the other four cities, it still has not announced a potential casino operator.
Hard Rock Moves a Step Closer to Virginia Expansion
Hard Rock was the only operator to submit information to Bristol, but city officials are still set to make an official announcement about the preferred casino developer.
In a Friday statement, City Manager Randy Eads said that an announcement will be made on May 26 after the Council has reviewed Hard Rock’s response to consider all the necessary factors and whether the Florida-based gaming and hospitality company fulfills them.
Hard Rock has already made available quite a few details about its planned Bristol casino resort. Once and if the company is granted a casino license, it will move to build a full-scale hotel and gaming complex at the vacant Bristol Mall.
The property will feature a casino with slot machines and table games, dining outlets, retail space, live performance venues, and a hotel with pools and spa.
The company said that its resort “can be an economic development engine, one which relies on private investment instead of public funds, to create jobs which otherwise wouldn’t exist.”
According to Hard Rock’s projections, its property would generate 2,000 new jobs during its first year of operation and more than 5,200 within the first seven years. The resort is projected to bring over 4 million visitors a year, the majority of whom from out of state.
Hard Rock has also said that it expects its property to create economic impact exceeding $1 billion and totaling more than $4.5 billion during its firs five years of operation to Bristol and Southwest Virginia.
Gov. Northam has said that the state’s portion of the tax revenue coming from casinos would be assigned to fund public school construction projects around the state.