Hard Rock Bristol Casino Spurs Nearby Apartment Complex in Virginia

Posted on: December 27, 2021, 10:47h. 

Last updated on: January 21, 2022, 10:48h.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol, being built on the former grounds of the Bristol Mallm is already fueling nearby economic development.

Hard Rock Bristol casino Virginia
A model of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol is pictured. A developer wants city authorization to build an apartment complex with as many as 400 units on vacant land adjacent to where the casino resort is being constructed in Virginia. (Image: Hard Rock International)

It will be at least another year until the $300 million Hard Rock Bristol casino and resort is completed. But a regional real estate developer is ready to bet big on the Virginia-Tennessee border town.

On January 11, the Bristol City Council will hear a proposal for a new apartment complex located along Island Road, just west of the future casino property. The initial plan calls for as many as 400 residential units.

The council hearing invites members of the public to attend and express their opinions on the residential pitch. Bristol Mayor Anthony Farnum wasted no time in expressing his own support for the project.

It’s exciting,” Farnum told WCYB NBC5. “I think developers are taking note that the casino will be coming soon and the overall positive economic benefits that it will bring to this area.”

Hard Rock Bristol is one of four casinos being developed in Virginia. Casinos are also being built in Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Danville.

Regional Economic Activity

Virginia ended its prohibition on commercial casino gambling in 2020. They did so with a bill that allowed struggling cities to ask their constituents if they believe authorizing a casino would help revive their regions. Five cities met the bill’s qualifying criteria, Richmond voters being the only group to reject a gambling undertaking.

The casinos are to be used as economic catalysts for the distressed towns. Though construction is only beginning in Bristol, the forthcoming casino is quickly spurring such investment.

The proposed apartment development must receive rezoning authorization from the Bristol council to allow higher density housing on the property adjacent to the casino.

Hard Rock Bristol, a venture led by Bristol businessmen Clyde Stacey and Jim McGlothlin in conjunction with Hard Rock International, plans to open a temporary casino space in the second quarter of 2022. The 30,000-square-foot casino will feature 900 slot machines and 20 table games. It’s expected to cost $400,000 to open.

The permanent casino will house 2,700 slots, 100 tables, and a sportsbook. The resort’s hotel towers, which are being built from the ground up, will come with 750 guestrooms, a concert hall with 3,200 seats, a convention center, a spa, and an array of restaurant options.

Bristol Music

Bristol is designated by Congress as the birthplace of country music because it is the site of the 1927 Bristol Sessions recordings produced by Ralph Peer for the Victor Talking Machine Company. 

The 1927 Bristol Sessions contained the first recordings of the Carter Family, the “First Family of Country Music,” and Jimmie Rodgers, the “Father of Country Music.” The 1927 Bristol Sessions were so commercially successful that they ushered country music to the mainstream. They are also significant due to the sound technology used to record them.  

Hard Rock Bristol will pay homage to the town’s deep music roots with a “country music memorabilia experience.” The exhibit is set to include pieces from such icons as Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams, Buck Owens, Garth Brooks, Taylor Swift, and Carrie Underwood.

The resort will additionally feature an outdoor entertainment venue capable of hosting 20,000 people.