Hard Rock International has announced that Allie Evangelista has become President of the group’s under construction Bristol casino resort, reporting directly to Jon Lucas, the group’s Chief Operating Officer.

After joining the industry during 2006, Evangelista has subsequently moved on to occupy an array of positions in land-based gaming establishments across Iowa, Ohio, and Maryland.

“I look forward to embracing the community in Bristol and working with the many partners who have been instrumental in supporting the project,” explained Evangelista.  “As the ‘Birthplace of Country Music,’ Bristol is rich in history and culture.  

“As someone with a passion for exploring new and diverse opportunities, I am excited to experience the region’s natural beauty and its many wonderful music, entertainment and recreational offerings.  

“As a destination-resort, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol will be a perfect complement to the world-class events and attractions that draw millions of visitors to the Tri-Cities, including ones across Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.”

The decision to permit casino gaming in the region was made after gaining the approval of voters in a series of November 2020 referendums, with the nod also given in Portsmouth Norfolk and Danville. Operating partners on those developments are Rush Street Interactive, Pamunkey Indian Tribe and Caesars Entertainment, respectively. 

A proposal for a fifth proposed project had collapsed after residents in the Virginian capital of Richmond rejected the development of the $565m One Casino + Resort, however, hopes now exist that the project can be revived.

“Allie’s life and career has embodied the American success story,” said Jon Lucas, Chief Operating Officer of Hard Rock International. 

“Allie has worked in every aspect of the gaming and hospitality industries and will bring this impressive experience to her role as President of the new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol.  

“Allie already has hit the ground running and is busy assembling a talented team to operate the resort.” 

The ‘Bristol Casino – Future Home of Hard Rock’ temporary casino is slated to open before the end of the second quarter of 2022, and will boast approximately 30,000 square feet of casino space, featuring approximately 900 gaming slots, 20 tables and a sportsbook for a variety of gaming options. The space will include a main casino floor as well as non-smoking and high limit gaming areas.