The Rose Gaming Resort in Virginia Begins Construction, as 37-Year Landfill Closes

Posted on: January 29, 2022, 11:57h. 

Last updated on: January 29, 2022, 04:46h.

The Rose Gaming Resort, a nearly $400 million undertaking in Prince William County, Va., southwest of the nation’s capital, is officially under construction.

The Rose Gaming Resort Virginia casino HHR
The Potomac Landfill in Prince William County, Va., is pictured in 2021. The landfill is where a $389 million casino called The Rose Gaming Resort is being built. (Image: Potomac Local News)

Colonial Downs Group is behind the $389 million gaming resort in Dumfries that will replace a landfill that’s been operational for the past 37 years. The Potomac Landfill, located along I-95, accepted its final truckload January 28.

The Potomac Landfill has served the region as a construction waste dump. Over the years, the pile has grown into a hill some 230 feet high.

It’s bittersweet,” Phil Peet, president of the Potomac Landfill, told WUSA9. “People worked every day and raised their families on the income that they earned by taking someone else’s waste and putting it in the ground.”

Those days for Peet and the 15-person staff at the landfill are finished. The longtime eyesore ever-rising above Dumfries will soon become home to The Rose Gaming Resort.

History Fuels Future

The Rose Gaming Resort blueprint places a new hotel and casino complex on the landfill. The property is to include 305 guestrooms, eight restaurants, conference and meeting facilities, and approximately 50,000 square feet of gaming space.

The resort will be situated at the base of the former landfill. The remaining land will be turned into a recreational park measuring some 79 acres.

Colonial Downs Group, which owns and operates Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums in New Kent, Vinton, Richmond, Hampton, Collinsville, and Dumfries, is betting big on Virginia’s emerging gaming industry. Colonial Downs, an entity controlled by casino and hospitality firm Peninsula Pacific Entertainment (P2E) in California, is using historical horse racing machines to its advantage.

P2E in 2018 agreed to purchase the shuttered Colonial Downs Racetrack for $20 million. But a stipulation of the acquisition was that Virginia would allow P2E and its newly formed Colonial Downs Group to operate historical horse racing (HHR) machines at the track, as well as at satellite locations.

HHR terminals mimic traditional casino slot machines, but are actually electronic pari-mutuel wagering networks. The result of each play is not random, like a slot machine, but instead dependent on the outcome of a previously run horse race and the odds experienced on that race day.

DC Market

Peninsula Pacific was recently dealt two major election blows.

Voters in Richmond, Va., last November rejected a casino pitch P2E was part of by a slim majority. P2E was partnered with Urban One on a $565 million project called ONE Casino + Resort. But Richmond voters said no to the proposition.

Last month, voters in Louisiana’s St. Tammany Parish rejected a proposed $325 million development from P2E called Camellia Bay Resort. P2E was seeking to relocate its Louisiana gaming license from Bossier City to the north of New Orleans in Slidell.

With Richmond and Slidell a no-go, of the three projects P2E hoped to develop in 2022, only The Rose in Dumfries is moving forward. But with the DC metro less than 30 miles away, P2E is excited to capitalize off of the affluent region.

Officials in Dumfries and surrounding towns hope The Rose will keep some of the estimated $350 million in annual gaming revenue from Northern Virginia that is currently flowing across the Potomac River to MGM National Harbor in Maryland.

Four commercial casinos with traditional slot machines and table games, as well as sports betting, are in development in Virginia. But the northernmost casino project is currently in Norfolk. Richmond continues to debate its next steps regarding its unissued casino license.