Bristol, VA

Bristol Casino Project Expanding as the Money Funnel Approaches the Twin Cities

John M. Dabbs

With the temporary Bristol Casino opening this July, Hard Rock Digital announced the expansion on Monday. A press release from the company said the mobile app is now live for Hard Rock Sportsbook and a trail sports book is scheduled to open with the Bristol Casino on July 8, 2022.

Sportsbook

“We can’t wait to welcome sports fans from across the region to our retail sportsbook location in Bristol. The Hard Rock Sportsbook mobile app will be an extension of our Bristol property, allowing sports fans to continue their legendary entertainment experience throughout Virginia.” - Allie Evangelista, president of Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Bristol

Hard Rock Sportsbook will have its first retail location in the Virginia when the Bristol Casino opens. The retail location will allow on-site use. The mobile app allows users 21 and over to have access to online betting across major sporting events.

The Hard Rock Sportsbook mobile app is available for download through the App Store (for iOS users) or the Google PlayStore (for Android users) and can be utilized by users physically located within Arizona and Virginia.

Temp

The temporary facility, to be known as the Bristol Casino, will include approximately 30,000 square feet of casino space, 870 gaming slots, 21 tables and a sportsbook. Mr. Lucky’s full-service restaurant will also be featured at the temporary facility. The temporary casino site will bring 600 jobs to the area with plenty room for more as the evolution continues.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Resort

As the former mall site is fully transformed into a two-story casino of about 100,000 square feet, the final project is expected to cost more than $300 million (not allowing for inflation). The site will include two hotel towers, a 3,200 seat live venue and another outdoor entertainment venue seating 20,000. The facility is expected to house multiple bars, shops, restaurants, and space for conventions.

With 2,000 permanent jobs at the facility and several thousand indirected jobs, it will be an economic boon to the area. The construction alone should generate 1,000 construction jobs for the project, before the scheduled completion in 2023-2024.

Money funnel

Local economists and study officials expect the full casino resort to bring a paradigm shift to the region's economy when the casino resort is operational. A study issued to the Virginia Gaming Commission expects three-fourths of the patrons to the facility to be from out-of-state, meaning a net increase of funds coming in to the area instead of just moving the money from one part of the state to another.

While the Bristol Motor Speedway brings thousands of tourist into the Tri-Cities at least twice annually, it will be more akin to a new Dollywood open year-round with thousands coming in daily to visit the new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The economic shift should be beneficial not only to Bristol, Virginia and Southwest Virginia, but also to Bristol, Tennessee and the Tri-Cities region as a whole.

As the central focus of tourist will be the casino for a majority of visitors, it should also bring an influx of people venturing out to see our local festivals, shops, and attractions while in the Bristol area. While the average pay for casino employees is not expected to be above the median income for the region, with most positions being non-skilled labor, it is expected to bring more skilled labor jobs in need. The rising tide could lift all boats - as they say.

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An outdoor enthusiast with a passion for travel and adventure. John is a professional consultant and photojournalist.

Bristol, TN
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