As announced by a Caesars executive during a Danville City Council Meeting on Tuesday, the opening of a new casino at the former Schoolfield Mill in Danville, which was originally set for December 2023, will be delayed until 2024.
Robert Livingston, Senior VP for Development for Caesars Entertainment, described the opening date set for 2023 as an “unrealistic goal” for this half-billion dollar project, due to supply chain issues and labor shortages, reports 10 News.
In addition to the economic problems, Livingston pointed out that there are some challenges when it comes to turning the old mill complex into a state-of-the-art resort and casino. “Apparently back in the day, if there was something that needed to be capped off, let’s just pour some concrete down the hole and cap it off, so we’re digging up a lot of concrete on the site”, he stated, according to Chatham Star Tribune.
“We’ve seen supply chain issues and other market forces that continue to wreak havoc on pricing. But none of this has altered our commitment to Danville, which remains as strong as ever”, he expressed, and assured the company will share a revised target opening when they can confidently make a prediction, and added the company is planning a groundbreaking ceremony for the project later in May or June.
In the meantime, Livingston confirmed crews will spend the rest of the summer taking down the old finishing plant while getting ready to lay the foundation for the resort. “Demolition at the finishing plant, which began in March, will continue through the summer. The good news is that Whiting-Turner (the general contractor) will be able to prep for new construction while the demolition continues," he commented, according to Star Tribune.
The city will begin receiving subsidy payments from Caesars before the resort opens, and the company will begin making quarterly contributions of $5 million in September 2023.
Councilman Sherman Saunders expressed his sympathy for the challenging situation the company is facing and pointed out that Caesars ran into unexpected issues, and stated City leaders feel the business' commitment to the area.
“The name itself, and the fact that the voters said yes, we want you here, and the attention we’re getting because of the name and the investment, I think is very justifiable what they’re doing. And with regards to the cost, they’re prepared to meet that cost”, Sherman said.
Caesars gave the city a $20 million upfront payment shortly after Danville voters approved the casino referendum in November 2020.
Isle Casino Hotel, to be rebranded to Horseshoe
In spite of the situation in Danville, the company continues to expand its brands across the country. This week, Emagine Entertainment announced its Emagine Sports Lounge at Michigan’s Emagine Royal Oak movie theater will be rebranded Caesars Sportsbook Lounge Powered by Emagine after both companies entered into a new partnership.
Caesars has also recently confirmed another rebranding process in Detroit’s Greektown Casino Hotel, to be renamed Hollywood Casino at Greektown; as well as Colorado’s Isle Casino Hotel Black Hawk’s transformation into a Horseshoe brand property under a new name, Horseshoe Black Hawk.
The company is also expanding in New York where, in tandem with the Mets, the brand will turn its sportsbook into the team’s official sports betting partner, with plans to open a new lounge at Citi Field at the Metro Grille.