Caesars Virginia will open temporary casino in Danville next year

Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 6:30 PM EST
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Caesars Virginia is planning to open a temporary casino by July of 2023 that will be located right beside the permanent one, which is set to open in 2024.

Groundwork has already begun for the temporary casino on the former Dan River Schoolfield site on West Main Street.

“Having it located somewhat in the heart of Danville, but also on an area that would have been challenging to redevelop, does two things,” said Ken Larking, Danville city manager. “We’ll bring some visitors into our community. They’ll be able to see different parts of Danville. We’re hoping to also encourage them to go to the River District and experience other parts of Danville and the other counties in our area.”

The smaller casino will feature table games, electronic machines and restaurants, but it will not have hotel rooms.

“We’re hoping that the hotels that are here in our community can handle that influx of visitors. Thankfully, we’ve got some hotels that are either just newly constructed and are just now open over the past few months, plus some that are currently under construction that will be open soon, as well,” added Larking.

Larking said opening the temporary casino will create jobs sooner and allow employees to gain experience before working in the permanent one.

“It won’t be the full amount that’s necessary for the full casino, but they’ll be able to get a good group of them together. They’ll have them trained. They’ll get some experience. By the time the casino opens fully, they’ll have at least a good core group of employees who can either help train others or be the backbone of what is needed to be done,” explained Larking.

The city wants to use the casino revenue to jump start economic growth for the community.

“We want to be very intentional that the revenue generated from the casino will be used to increase people’s ability to build their own wealth, to provide new opportunities that increase economic development, and to lower our poverty and unemployment rate,” said Larking.

Larking said they plan to tear down the temporary casino once the permanent one is built and repurpose the space.