Caesars Entertainment showed off its official renderings for the Caesars Virginia casino on Thursday and expects to break ground by the end of the year in Danville.
Casinos are part of expanded gambling in Virginia.
In January, Virginia sports betting launched.
Caesars has been developing plans for the casino after voter approval last November. The resort will offer hotel rooms, a Caesars Sportsbook, a World Series of Poker room, restaurants and a live entertainment theater that can accommodate up to 2,500 guests, according to a news release. But the new design comes at a price.
The resort now has a price tag of $500 million, $100 million more than initially anticipated in the development agreement. The new design also includes 500 hotel rooms inspired by local scenery — 200 more rooms than the original concept. The resort will also offer a spa, pool and fitness center, 1,400 slot machines and table games and 40,000 square feet of meeting and convention space.
"Caesars Virginia will be an economic driver for the region, both as a tourist and entertainment draw and through the more than a thousand good-paying jobs the resort will create," Anthony Carano, president and chief operating officer of Caesars Entertainment, said in a news release. In preparation for the new casino, major changes are coming to the local area.
Changes in Danville
Caesars presented a $15 million upfront payment to the City of Danville in December after voter approval set the project in motion.
Danville City Council members voted unanimously in July to rezone 1100 W. Main St. in Schoolfield as a casino entertainment district. Caesars Virginia senior director of design and construction, Mark Schlang, told council members they had received bids for the first phase, which is demolition of the existing structures on the property.
“Everywhere we go, people are wondering when construction and everything is going to start,” Danville Mayor Alonzo Jones said during the July meeting. “There is a lot of excitement in our community.”
“From an outsider following the casino, many hope that you would be able to add a temporary casino until the final is built,” one observer said during a city council meeting.
Schlang told council members in July Caesars is looking at traffic, roads, highways and overall infrastructure in the city. “We've done one traffic study already,” he said. Caesars plans to build the casino at the former Dan River Inc. site in Schoolfield at the West Main Street location.
The city is also preparing for an increase in visitors to the area. Last month, Transportation Services Director Marc Adelman told WSLS 10 News that Danville Regional Airport is undergoing a $8 million renovation project in preparation for the new casino.
The casino-entertainment company will break ground for the resort in December with an anticipated opening in late 2023. The resort will bring 900 construction jobs during the building period, 1,300 new jobs to the area, Caesars said in the release.
Casinos were approved by Virginia voters in 2020 for Danville, Norfolk, Bristol and Portsmouth.
Richmond has chosen a casino operator and will seek voter approval in November.