he Cordish Companies' Live! Casino & Hotel Richmond was selected Wednesday by the city of Richmond to advance as one of two finalists in a bid to bring a resort casino to the city. The addition of the project's world-class casino entertainment resort amenities in the city's Scott's Addition entertainment district will add to the critical mass of cultural, sports, dining and entertainment options in the area, draw new visitors from throughout the region and enhance the city's convention and tourism efforts.
The Chief Operating Officer of The Cordish Zed Smith, said: "We thank the city of Richmond for continuing to recognize the strength of our proposal and its overall benefits to the city, its residents and visitors. We are excited by the support we are receiving from residents, businesses and civic organizations throughout the city who believe it is a no brainer to focus the project in a district known for great dining and entertainment and easily accessible to the population base from both I-64 and I-95. No gaming or development company in the country has our proven track record of building and operating the highest quality destinations over many decades. Every commitment, program and goal contained in our proposal has been successfully achieved time and again by us in other cities in the country and we pledge to bring the same excellence, high-quality standards and community-focused approach to Richmond. We are confident Live! Richmond will be as successful as our other market leading projects throughout the U.S".
The Cordish proposal will generate 8,000 new jobs for local workers, 5,000 new construction jobs and 3,000 new permanent jobs with the highest proposed worker compensation package averaging $60,000 in wages and benefits. No hourly employee will earn less than $15 an hour. The project will generate in excess of $7.5 billion in overall economic impact benefits, $1.5 billion in tax revenue and over $200 million in incremental community benefit payments to the city over the first 15 years of the project. These payments will help fund critical community services such as infrastructure, education, healthcare, parks & recreation, workforce development and affordable housing. The proposed resort casino's central location in Scott's Addition is expected to bring millions of new visitors to the region, bolstering the City's existing attractions and businesses and supporting convention and tourism efforts.
Furthermore, Live! has committed to 50% ownership in the project by local and minority investors, including Pro Football Hall of Famers Bruce Smith, Emmitt Smith III, former NFL star and local resident Billy McMullen, and other prominent business owners and former professional athletes. Live!'s investment from Minority participants totals $180 million, more than two and a half times the total equity investment of the remaining competitor.
The $600 million casino proposed by Live! features a 300-room luxury hotel with a resort pool, spa and wellness center, a first-class casino with 2,000 state-of-the-art slots and electronic table games and 120 live action table games, a Sportsbook, an Event Center designed for entertainment, meetings, conventions and social gatherings, a festival lawn for community events and outdoor entertainment, and 18 dining and entertainment options.
Cordish operates casino entertainment resort destinations including Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, FL and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, FL. It has recently opened two flagship properties in Pennsylvania – Live! Casino Pittsburgh and Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia.