Danville schools and businesses begin preparing for opening of temporary casino

Published: May. 9, 2023 at 4:18 PM EDT
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Caesars is preparing for the opening of its temporary casino by paving parking lots and adding crosswalks. The surrounding community is also getting ready by making some changes of its own.

Some restaurants in the area like Crema & Vine are upping their staffing next week to prepare for a potential increase in customers.

“We don’t know what to expect,” said Steve Delgiorno, owner of Crema & Vine. “People from the casino have said ‘get ready.’ So we’re staffed up and we’re cautiously optimistic. We hope to see some people venture into Danville and see everything, not just our restaurant, but everything else that downtown has to offer.”

Schoolfield Elementary School is just two miles from the casino. They have around 150 car riders per day. As a result, they will be shuttling car riders to and from school next week to lessen congestion on the roads.

“This is a monumental event for Danville,” said Dr. Wayne Lyle, Danville Public Schools Chief Operations Officer. “We’ve never had something like this come to the city before. So, as a way of the school division being proactive, we just wanted to make sure we had a plan in place.”

They are asking parents who normally drive their students to school to drop them off and pick them up at River Oak Church. They hope this will prevent students from being late to school and allow parents to get to work on time.

“We just want to give everybody the assurance that we’re doing everything we can. We want to keep the operations of the school running as regular as possible. So, this was one way to make sure that we didn’t have buses and car rider traffic stuck out here on West Main Street, delaying them getting to school on time,” added Dr. Lyle.

If they continue to see an increase in casino traffic, they will extend the shuttle bus service, but if not, they may end it early.

Caesars is planning to open the temporary casino in Danville May 15.