Hard Rock’s temporary venue becomes Virginia’s first casino

Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Bristol

Hard Rock has won the race the introduce Virginia’s first casino after debuting a temporary gaming establishment in the city of Bristol.

An official opening to the public followed a ribbon cutting ceremony, attended by company executives and partners, state and local officials, local community members and business and civic leaders, on Friday 8 July.

Bristol Casino – Future Home of Hard Rock , which was one of four establishments vying to debut first within the state, boasts 30,000 square feet of casino space, featuring 870 slots, 21 tables, a sportsbook. 

The space includes a main casino floor as well as non-smoking and high limit gaming areas, in addition to food and beverage outlets, and sports bar and lounge with live entertainment.

“We are excited to open the temporary casino in Bristol,” commented Jon Lucas, COO of Hard Rock International. “Hard Rock’s rich and storied music legacy is a perfect fit for Bristol, the ‘Birthplace of Country Music.’  

“The casino’s gaming and dining amenities will make it a major entertainment destination for residents from across the region. We appreciate the ongoing collaboration from the Virginia Lottery. Their team has been great to work with.  

“Finally, we look forward to opening the permanent casino within two years and bringing the full legendary Hard Rock experience to Bristol.” 

As part of the ceremony, Bristol Casino presented a $100,000 donation to the United Way of Bristol TN/VA, from gaming proceeds generated at July 5 and 7 casino events.  

The temporary casino is expected to create at least 600 new jobs in Bristol, Virginia and generate significant additional tax revenue for the city, the region and the Commonwealth. The permanent Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Bristol is expected to be completed within 24 months.

“Wow, what an amazing day for Bristol!” noted Allie Evangelista, President of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol.  

“Lots of hard work and preparation has gone into getting ready for the grand opening of ‘Bristol Casino – Future Home of Hard Rock.’  

“I could not be prouder of our amazing team in the energy and enthusiasm they have shown to help us open the doors to guests today.  

“The casino will join the region’s other fun entertainment and recreational tourism assets to help attract even more visitors to Bristol, the Tri-Cities and Southwest Virginia.  Come check out the casino – to game and dine – you’ll love it!”

Currently there are three other land-based casino developments proceeding in Virginia, those being across Norfolk, Portsmouth and Danville, the operating partners of which are Pamunkey Indian Tribe, Rush Street Gaming, and Caesars, respectively. 

Earlier this year, a Circuit Court judge in the Virginian capital of Richmond gave the city’s revived casino proposal a huge shot in the arm, after granting permission for a second referendum to be held.