Officials have laid out a timeline for the opening of Caesars Virginia in the southern Virginia city of Danville.
Danville residents recently voted overwhelmingly in support of the $400 million hotel and resort.
City of Danville and Caesars Entertainment officials said the property could revitalize the region’s struggling economy. The riverfront resort will be situated at the Dan River Mills industrial complex in the Schoolfield neighborhood.
But when will Caesars Casino Resort Danville actually open?
During a Danville City Council meeting this week, a Caesars representative laid out the path to a late 2023 opening.
900 temporary construction jobs to build Caesars property
Up first for Caesars is the selection of an architect for the Caesars Virginia project. Then they will choose a property manager early next year, and then they’ll choose a contractor by mid-2021.
Steven Gould, an attorney with Byrnes Gould Law in Danville, represents Caesars as a campaign director. He said the current schedule calls for a groundbreaking in the fourth quarter of 2021. Construction will conclude by mid-to-late 2023, with a formal opening toward the end of 2023.
As Gould said of the project:
“This is a project our entire community will be able to be proud of. … We want to open as soon as we can.”
The Caesars Virginia project could generate 1,300 full-time jobs, as well as 900 temporary construction jobs. Most full-time jobs would include salaries between $35,000 and $47,000 and full benefits, according to Caesars. Much of the hiring could be completed by 2022.
According to Gould, Caesars Virginia officials will begin to work with educational partners next year to create workforce training programs. They’ve already hosted virtual employment seminars in conjunction with nearby Averett University and Danville Community College.
Danville Council taps brakes on $15 million upfront payment
As part of its deal with Caesars, Danville will receive a $15 million upfront payment. The city council will formally approve it during its Dec. 15 meeting.
Overall, Caesars is expected to pay Danville approximately $35 million in upfront payments before construction begins.
Previously, the council approved $5.9 million of the initial $15 million payment to go toward a new Danville police station. The facility will cost approximately $17 million overall.
However, council member Lee Vogler encouraged his colleagues to tap the brakes and take a deliberate approach to spending the rest of the money. Ultimately, he and other council members said they want Danville citizens to have a large say in the decision-making.
The council now expects to determine future spending on a case-by-case basis.