Bristol Hard Rock 2024 Opening Schedule On Track

  • Hard Rock has announced some tweaks to their original construction plans for the permanent Bristol Casino.
  • Despite the change, the project is still expected to open in 2024.
  • Hard Rock Bristol currently operates via a temporary casino at the former Belk Store site at the Bristol Mall.

Construction of the permanent Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Bristol is ongoing after the project broke ground earlier this month. However, as early as now, Hard Rock says that there are tweaks to the original plan. Despite those, the project is still on track to open in 2024.

Per Hard Rock International chief operating officer Jon Lucas:

“We are confident, and I think part of the delay in getting going here was to work through those issues and get confident on a date — but we have a commitment to Virginia Lottery, and we will live up to that for sure.”

Changes to Original Plan and Layout

According to Lucas, supply chain issues and the escalating construction costs forced them to take another look at how to go about with the construction. They then found out that tearing down the Sears building would be cheaper than trying to retrofit it, as per the original blueprint.

Another tweak in Hard Rock’s plan is to retain the current 30,000-square-foot temporary gambling facility. Lucas says that the interim casino has “turned up nicely” and they figured that it would be best if they “spruce it up” and make it a part of the permanent building.

Lucas added that the number of slot machines in the permanent casino could be reduced a little bit but the number of games and tables will not. The casino management also said that the full facility will still create the estimated 1,200 part-time and full-time jobs, many of which will be filled locally.

First Full Service Casino to Open in Virginia

Bristol was one of five cities in Virginia that were given the opportunity to put up a casino through a public vote and one of four to approve the measure in a 2020 referendum. The city also registered the highest percentage of “YES” votes with 70% of Bristol residents approving their casino measure.

Danville had the second highest percentage of approval with 69% while Portsmouth had a 67% approval rate. Meanwhile, 65% of Norfolk voters affirmed their city’s casino plans while Richmond was the only city to reject their casino proposal with 51% saying no to the Urban One casino project lobbied by the city.

Among the four cities to move forward with their casino projects, Bristol was the first to open a casino, doing so last July via a temporary gaming facility called “Bristol Casino – Future Future Home of Hard Rock”, at the site of the former Belk Store at the Bristol Mall.

Bristol Casino – Future Home of Hard Rock

The temporary Bristol casino is a 30,000-square-foot gaming facility with 870 slot machines, 21 table games, and a retail sportsbook. The casino also features a non-smoking area, a high-limit area, a sports bar, a smoking lounge, an entertainment lounge, a restaurant, and a grab-and-go outlet. The interim casino is open 24/7.

Since its opening, the Bristol casino has produced good results as far as revenues are concerned. It has made at least $12.5 million in monthly revenues during its first five months of operations, including three consecutive $14+ million from August to November.

For the 5th consecutive month, the temporary Hard Rock Bristol Casino has generated at least $ 2 million in monthly tax revenues, including $2.2 million last month. Overall, it has paid more than $10 million in tax revenues, which is computed at 18% of the casino’s total bets taken less the amount paid to bettors or AGR.

About the Author
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Shane Acedera
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Shane turned a childhood love of the NBA into a successful writing career as he’s been covering basketball and other sports online since high school. Acedera branched out into sports betting over a decade ago and has been a reliable contributor to TheSportsGeek for the last five years. Shane loves to talk sports whether it’s with other enthusiasts or with his wife and three dogs.

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