This Is Latest Timeline For Bristol Casino Construction And Opening

Written By Dann Stupp on November 30, 2021
Bristol casino construction

Officials have submitted plans to commence the Bristol casino construction at the former Bristol Mall site.

Ultimately, crews will soon begin work on Hard Rock Casino and Resort Bristol.

But when will the $400 million Virginia casino actually open?

As it turns out, there are two answers to that question.

Plans for Bristol casino construction

Before the Bristol casino construction begins, crews must clear the way for the sprawling casino-resort.

Officials will build the casino, sportsbook, hotel, conference center and live-music venue on the site now occupied by the vacant Bristol Mall. It was once a thriving retail center for the Virginia-Tennessee border city. However, it’s remained empty since the last retailer left in 2017.

Now, though, officials tell the Johnson City Press that they’ve submitted plans to transform the 500,000-square-foot facility and surrounding land. As the statement read:

“We have submitted a demolition plan to the city. This plan relates to preliminary site evaluation work at the Mall that we need to complete before finalizing our design for the temporary casino.

“We continue to work closely with the Virginia Lottery on next steps for construction of the temporary gaming facility, and planning for the permanent one. We appreciate the ongoing cooperation and assistance from local and state officials for all necessary permitting and licensing requirements.

As we previously reported, Hard Rock International and its local partners, noted local businessmen Jim McGlothlin and Clyde Stacey, plan to open Hard Rock Casino and Resort Bristol in waves.

So, when’s the initial opening? Pretty soon, actually.

Q1 targeted for temporary Bristol casino opening

If Virginia regulators and construction schedules oblige, Hard Rock Bristol could initially open its doors by the end of the first quarter of 2022. In other words, the Bristol casino construction would commence posthaste, with a temporary casino opening in a matter of months.

The full resort, with its completed hotel and other amenities, would then open in late 2023 or early 2024.

However, getting to market before similar projects in Danville, Norfolk and Portsmouth could give the Bristol casino a huge leg up on the competition.

It could also get tax revenue, as well as 1,000 temporary construction jobs and 2,000 permanent full-time positions, rolling into Bristol much sooner.

And considering the overwhelming support for the project (71.1% of voters were in favor), that Bristol casino construction and opening can’t come soon enough.

Photo by Courtesy of Hard Rock International
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Dann Stupp

Dann Stupp is a longtime sports journalist who’s written and edited for The Athletic, USA Today, ESPN, and other outlets. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.

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