Virginia Casino Employees In Bristol To See Jump In Pay

Written By Russ Mitchell on September 14, 2022
Virginia casino employees at Hard Rock get raise

Bristol Casino — Future Home of Hard Rock has only been open about two months, but Virginia casino employees there are already in line for a raise. The company behind Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol pledged $100 million toward pay increases at Hard Rock Cafés, Casinos and Hotels.

The pay bumps apply to 95 job classifications around the US, according to Hard Rock International and Seminole Gaming including:

  • Cooks
  • Housekeepers
  • Security
  • Public space staff members
  • Call center employees and more.

The company made the announcement Monday from Hollywood, FL. In some cases, Hard Rock brought employees into a conference room to break the good news.

“My career has encompassed over four decades and I have never been involved in such a historic event,” Hard Rock Chairman Jim Allen said.

He described the improved standard of living as a “dream come true.”

“We have changed people’s lives and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

The pay raises apply to Hard Rock employees around the country. The company will fill about 1,600 positions at the higher starting wage.

What does the Hard Rock raise mean for Virginia casino employees?

New starting wages range from $18 to $21 an hour for non-tipped employees. Since the state minimum wage is $11 per hour, the hourly rate increase for Virginia casino employees adds up to about $14,560 per year, according to the Bristol Herald Courier.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Bristol has 42 job titles that carry a salary of at least $37,400 now.

In Monday’s announcement, the company called the $100 investment “part of an ongoing effort to honor and appreciate its workforce.” They think the pay increases put Hard Rock “at the forefront of the gaming and hospitality industries” for pay.

Frontline employees earned bonuses and other expanded benefits during the pandemic as well.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Bristol will have about 5,200 employees once it fully converts the Bristol Mall into a gaming and resort complex.

Right now, about 600 employees operate games and services at a temporary casino in the mall’s former Belk department store location.

The $400 million permanent Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol will feature:

  • 700 rooms in its hotel
  • 20,000-seat, outdoor live-music venue
  • 3,200-seat amphitheater
  • retail shops
  • spa
  • pool

Bristol Casino — Future Home of Hard Rock sits just off Interstate 81 (Exit 1 in Virginia, just past the Tennessee state line) and stays open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Developers hope the full resort and casino will be ready by July 2024.

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Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell covered news and sports in Iowa since 1997, including 11 years as managing editor for one of the most decorated community newspapers in the state. He joined PlayIA as a lead writer and managing editor in 2021. He anxious to explore the growing Virginia gaming industry.

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