Industry stakeholders in Virginia celebrated last week as the Hard Rock International Bristol Casino officially opened its doors to bettors.
Hard Rock executives and partners alongside state officials, local community members and business leaders gathered to celebrate the opening of the temporary casino space, labeling it as an ‘economic driver’ in Bristol.
The Grand Opening celebration included a traditional ribbon-cutting, with signature Hard Rock guitar smashing set to occur when the permanent casino space opens.
The ceremony also saw a $100,000 donation to the United Way of Bristol TN/VA, from gaming proceeds at its July 5 and July 7 events.
“We are so thankful to reach this significant project milestone, in opening the temporary casino,” said Jim McGlothlin, Chairman, The United Company, and Clyde Stacy, President, Par Ventures. “Bristol Casino – Future Home of Hard Rock’ is something of which Bristolians can be very proud.
“We are glad that the project is having an immediate impact in boosting Bristol’s economy, by bringing at least 600 new, good-paying jobs to the city. This is only a start, as the project will generate even more jobs when the permanent casino opens.
“These benefits extend across Southwest Virginia as communities receive additional tax revenue from the project. Local businesses in the Tri-Cities will see an economic development boost from increased tourism visitation and spending.
“All of this would not have been possible without the strong support from local residents and leaders, for which we remain incredibly grateful.”
The temporary casino boasts 30,000 square feet of casino space and features 870 slots, 21 tables and a sportsbook and will remain open 24/7.
Furthermore, the casino facility features a number of refreshment outlets where patrons can purchase food and drink. Such establishments include Mr Lucky’s, a new restaurant, Brick’d, a pizzeria, and Bristol Bar, a sports bar with live entertainment.
“We are excited to open the temporary casino in Bristol,” said Jon Lucas, COO of Hard Rock International. “Hard Rock’s rich and storied music legacy is a perfect fit for Bristol, the ‘Birthplace of Country Music’.
“The casino’s gaming and dining amenities will make it a major entertainment destination for residents from across the region. We appreciate the ongoing collaboration from the Virginia Lottery. Their team has been great to work with.
“Finally, we look forward to opening the permanent casino within two years and bringing the full legendary Hard Rock experience to Bristol.”
The casino is situated at the site of the former Bristol Mall and acts as a warm-up to a permanent Hard Rock Hotel and Casino that is set to open in the city within the next 24 months. The temporary casino is expected to create 600 jobs and generate significant tax revenues for the government whilst contributing to the local economy.
“Wow, what an amazing day for Bristol,” remarked Allie Evangelista, President of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol. “Lots of hard work and preparation has gone into getting ready for the Grand Opening of Bristol Casino – Future Home of Hard Rock.
“I could not be prouder of our amazing team in the energy and enthusiasm they have shown to help us open the doors to guests today.”
Evangelista concluded: “The casino will join the region’s other fun entertainment and recreational tourism assets to help attract even more visitors to Bristol, the Tri-Cities and Southwest Virginia. Come check out the casino – to game and dine – you’ll love it.”