Officials in Norfolk did not like the Headwaters Resort & Casino’s plans to add a temporary casino in Harbor Park, so the operator decided to devise a new plan. Now, the temporary space is being suggested for the stadium’s parking lot, taking up around 300 spaces.
The one-story building would be placed in the same area where the permanent structure will go in the future. The temporary facility will offer gaming, a restaurant, a bar, and of course, gaming machines.
Approval Needed by the City
To get started with the temporary space, the Pamunkey Indian Tribe must be approved by the city for permits and the City Council. If the go-ahead is given, it is expected that the casino will take six months to complete after the groundbreaking begins.
If the project goes as planned, the temporary casino will exist for a few years and then be torn down once the permanent structure is up. The permanent casino is expected to be open for business by 2024. The gaming authority of the tribe filed plans for the temporary site on August 19, including landscaping and valet parking details.
The goal is to create a space that will be similar to the permanent casino. This way, players will already know what to expect and enjoy both options.
No Casino in Harbor Park
Officials in Norfolk did not like the original idea for the casino’s temporary space. Originally, the tribe wanted to add the venue inside Harbor Park. The idea was scrapped in July based on concerns that it would not meet the 2020 casino referendum specifications.
Apparently, the city changed the address of Harbor Park stadium to try and go around language in the casino referendum that was approved two years ago by voters in Norfolk. The referendum states that casino gaming can only take place on 200 Park Avenue. This is the address of the land next to Harbor Park.
For many years, Harbor Park’s address was 150 Park Avenue. The new 200 Park Avenue address began circulating not long ago on documents and was seen on the website of the city recently. When the address was changed, the major and his staff were asked about it and dodged the question, calling it a boundary adjustment.
For now, city officials must review the new plan and decide if it will be allowed. The Pamunkey Tribe must still submit permanent plans for the casino for approval. The project is expected to cost $500 million to complete. The city expects as much as $44 million in tax revenue annually.