Representatives from Hard Rock International as well as the local business leaders behind the project unveiled Thursday a three-dimensional model of the proposed Hard Rock Bristol Hotel and Casino at the former Bristol Mall in Virginia, where the resort and casino would go if it is approved by voters in a referendum on the ballot Nov. 3.
The model will be viewable by the public at the Bristol Mall from noon to 3 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday. It shows the exterior of the casino complex as well as a 350-room hotel with a pool and outdoor entertainment area, as reported by Bristol Herald Courier.
Inside the two-level casino complex there are plans for seven restaurants, four bars, a 3,200-seat indoor venue, a 20,000-person outdoor entertainment venue, a Hard Rock Cafe with a stage for local and musicians, shops, spa, fitness center as well as a convention and meeting space.
Sean Caffery, senior vice president of business and casino development for Hard Rock, said they are also planning to offer interactive sports experiences for racing and golf. With sports betting recently becoming legal in Virginia, Caffery said they are considering filing an application to allow them to offer sports betting at the casino complex.
The project is being spearheaded by local business leaders Jim McGlothlin, CEO of The United Co. and Clyde Stacy, president of Par Ventures and owner of the nearly 46-acre mall property. Florida-based Hard Rock would be the facility’s management partner.
The casino and resort project is forecast to create 2,000 new jobs with an average annual wage of $45,000 per person. It is also expected to generate more than $15 million annually in tax revenues for Bristol, Virginia and millions more in new gaming tax revenues for the city and other localities in Southwest Virginia.
Bristol, Virginia voters will be asked to vote yes or no in a referendum on the casino. Through Virginia’s new “no excuse absentee voting” law, city voters can begin voting on the issue starting Friday. The presidential election on Nov. 3 will be the last date to vote on the issue.
If the referendum is approved, there would be a three- to six-month licensing period, during which the Virginia Lottery would walk them through the process. After that, those involved would have to wait 90-100 days before opening a temporary facility where live entertainment, food and beverage would be offered. But Caffery said it would take two or more years to complete construction on the hotel and casino.