Hard Rock International in Virginia has reportedly been unveiled as the proposed operator for the $150 million resort casino a local developer is planning to bring to the site of a former shopping mall in the western city of Bristol.
According to a Saturday report from local radio broadcaster WTOP-FM citing an earlier story from the Bristol Herald Courier newspaper, the American casino firm is partnering with developer The United Company in hopes of opening its Hard Rock Casino Bristol in the community located along Virginia’s southwestern border with Tennessee.
The broadcaster reported that Hard Rock International, which is an enterprise of the federally-recognized Seminole Tribe of Florida, is already responsible for twelve casinos spread across the United States including the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City and the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Las Vegas. The operator is now purportedly hoping that local voters will give it permission via a referendum to bring its newest venue to a parcel of land that was home to the Bristol Mall for 41 years from 1976.
Should the small city’s electorate approve the plan, WTOP-FM reported that Hard Rock International would like its Virginia resort casino to feature a 90,000 sq ft gaming floor alongside an equally large area dedicated to children’s activities. The operator’s plans also purportedly call for its Hard Rock Casino Bristol to come complete with a hotel offering up to 1,000 rooms as well as a 25,000 sq ft sportsbook and as many as 50 retail and food outlets.
The online source reported that Hard Rock’s plan for the Bristol site was unveiled on Friday by Jim McGlothlin (pictured), Chief Executive Officer for The United Company, and that the developer will now seek the approval of the Virginia Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission before putting its plans to voters.
“We are excited to collaborate with Hard Rock International, a well-respected and legendary entertainment brand with legions of devoted customers across the country and around the world. Hard Rock International understands the significant economic development impact the Hard Rock Casino Bristol will have on the city and the entire surrounding region in terms of new jobs and additional tax revenues.”
Should local voters eventually approve of the plan to bring a resort casino to ‘The Birthplace of Country Music,’ GamblingNews.com reported that the first phase of the Hard Rock Casino Bristol could open by as early as 2021 before possibly being followed some three years later by a subsequent development featuring more hotel rooms and a convention center. It detailed that such a venue could employ up to 5,200 people by the end of the next decade and add approximately $1 billion to the local economy.