Dumfries Town Council members heard public comment from local residents and voted 6-1 to move one step closer to building a $389 million gaming resort called “The Rose” in the town.
The facility will be developed by Colonial Downs Group, Inc., which owns and operates several Rosie's Gaming Emporiums throughout Virginia. A Rosie's Gaming Emporium opened in Dumfries in January. “The Rose” will be a much larger gaming resort complete with a hotel.
The Town Council first heard the proposed Colonial Downs Group gaming resort at its February meeting.
The objective during Tuesday night's meeting was to vote on a request by Colonial Downs to rezone 93.5 acres at the Potomac Landfill from residential and neighborhood business to planned mixed-use development and obtain a conditional-use permit. This will clear the way for Colonial Downs to build “The Rose” on the former Potomac Landfill.
“Tonight's vote is historic because this is the single largest investment made in this 1.5-square-mile town in its history,” Mayor Derrick Wood said during the meeting.
The Rose resort would include a 50,000-square-foot gaming space, a 250-seat sports bar, eight other bars and restaurants, 7,000 square feet of event space and a 1,500-seat theater. The company is also seeking a waiver to the 60-foot maximum building height to allow a 200-room hotel.
There has been an expansion of Virginia gambling since the state passed a law in 2020 to add casinos and sports betting.
Historical Horse Racing Machines
The existing Rosie's site in Dumfries that opened in January has 150 Historical Horse Racing (HHR) machines that resemble slot machines. The new resort will have 1,800 HHR machines available to Virginia gamblers.
Community members and local government officials in support of the new gaming resort say the facility would create 1,490 new jobs, provide annual tax revenue of $10.9 million to the town and $6.7 million to Prince William County.
“The resort will provide gaming entertainment options for Northern Virginia patrons with high quality amenities and entertainment,” Terry Clower, George Mason University, said in an independent economic impact study on the resort. “This will allow Virginia to recapture a sizable share of the entertainment spending that currently goes to Maryland gaming venues.” One of Maryland's gaming venues, MGM National Harbor, is just 30 minutes from Dumfries.
Pros & Cons of New Facility
Before voting Tuesday night, council members digested the pros and cons from local residents, some raising support for the facility and others concerned about increased traffic, crime, noise and pollution to the area.
“I live right off of Route 1 on Duke Street. I'm always in traffic,” Council Member Tyrone Brown said. “It is not about The Rose. Traffic is not going away. We got traffic. That's what it is.”
Rosie's Gaming Emporiums currently operate in Richmond, Hampton, Vinton, New Kent and Dumfries. There is also a small game room in Collinsville. The company plans to open additional gambling sites in Emporia, Amherst County and possibly Christiansburg depending on local public voting approval. In April, Rosie’s celebrated its two-year anniversary in Virginia.
The flurry of Rosie's expansion comes shortly after the commonwealth approved the construction of several casinos in the state, part of expanded Virginia gambling in the new law. Casinos are now planned in Danville, Portsmouth, Norfolk, Richmond and Bristol.