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The Permanent Hard Rock Casino in Bristol Virginia is delaying its opening

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Hard Rock Bristol pic

The Seminole Tribe of Florida owns Hark Rock International. Last week, they confirmed the plan is to open the $550 million integrated resort and casino in Bristol, Virginia at a later date. They were planning to have the resort open up in phases, starting this July. Instead, they will now open up in the fall or the winter. Giving them ample time to make sure the resort and casino are full-functioning. 

Hard Rock in Bristol has been operating as a temporary casino. They are located inside a former Belk department store, adjacent to where the permanent location is being built. In this temporary location, they have around 900 slots and 30 table games, Last year, they generated $160 million in gross gaming revenue. Along with the physical casino location, Hark Rock Bristol also operates through the Hark Rock Bet app.

What setbacks have led to Hard Rock Bristol having to delay their opening?

In 2020, legislation passed by the Virginia Assembly authorized the local government of five cities to build a commercial casino. Bristol was one of those five cities and the Bristol City Council selected Hard Rock International. Together, they helped pitch for a casino resort at the former Bristol Mall grounds. This was during the 2020 election. At the time, more than 71% of voters supported Hard Rock developing this commercial casino. Additionally, the expected cost to make this all happen was around $300 million. 

Construction finally began in 2022 and Hard Rock said the budget had ballooned to $400 million In February, Hard Rock elevated the budget to $550 million, 83% higher than they originally expected.

Hard Rock was not in favor of opening the resort in phases

The industry operator knows that setting a first impression with customers is key. That’s why opening the casino in phases was not the right move for Hard Rock. Waiting for the resort to be fully functioning and then opening its doors is what they want to happen. Hard Rock Bristol President Allie Evangelista had this to say. 

The response to our temporary casino has been overwhelmingly positive, demonstrating the excitement for Hard Rock’s permanent presence in Bristol,” said Allie Evangelista. “While we are eager to unveil the new resort, this extension allows us time to ensure the finished product exceeds the expectations of our guests and the community.”