Hundreds of people waited in a long line leading up to the official opening of Caesars Virginia’s temporary facility in Danville, Virginia at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, May 15.
Located under a huge white tent, the 40,000-square-foot venue offers 740 slots, 25 table games, 28 electronic table games and sports betting kiosks. General Manager Chris Albrecht said, “The biggest comment I’ve heard is that it looks a lot different on the inside than on the outside. We put a lot of detail into making this experience very strong,” even though it’s a temporary operation.
Next door, the permanent $650 million casino and resort is under construction and set to open in 2024 with 1,300 slots, 85 table games, 24 electronic tables and a World Series of Poker room. The facility also will offer a Caesars Sportsbook, 18-story, 500-room hotel, 2,500-seat live theater, meeting and convention space, restaurants and bars and retail. It’s expected to attract more than 2 million visitors annually.
The venues are located in the area known as Schoolfield, on a site formerly owned by textile manufacturer Dan River. The plant’s three original will be incorporated into the new resort’s design.
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Caesars Entertainment Regional President Barron Fuller said, “Thank you to everybody in the crowd that voted in favor of having gambling in Danville itself,” referring to the 2020 voter referendum allowing the casino. “You made the right choice by choosing Caesars Entertainment and we will not let you down,” Fuller added.
According to city data, the temporary site is expected to generate $12.1 million in tax revenue; the permanent casino is forecast to bring in more than $39 million.
Albrecht said, “We decided it was a great opportunity to look forward to getting this operation going, starting to generate some revenue and getting team members trained,” adding the temporary casino employs 400 people. “A lot of our team members are from Danville,” but others come from throughout the region as well as North Carolina.
Danville City Councilman Lee Vogler noted business owners and residents have expressed concerns over traffic and crime related to the new casino. He said, “We listen to feedback of all of our citizens, and certainly don’t dismiss any of that. The city has thoroughly thought out and vetted this thing. I think for us, as we went through this whole process, the pros outweigh any of the cons. We have no desire to be Atlantic City.”