Rivers Portsmouth Casino Resort Gets New Renderings, Potential Open Date

Posted on February 17, 2021

The Rivers Portsmouth Casino Resort project continues to move along, and organizers have some new renderings for the recently greenlighted casino-resort.

In November Portsmouth voters formally approved the $300 million project by an overwhelming 2-1 margin. The city teamed with Rush Street Gaming on the venture.

Builders will situate the resort between Victory Boulevard and Cavalier Boulevard. That area is just a stone’s throw from I-264.

But what will Rivers Portsmouth Casino Resort actually look like? And when will the Portsmouth casino actually open?

We now have some answers.

A look at Rivers Portsmouth Casino Resort

On Tuesday, officials hosted a virtual vendor fair. The online event gave approximately 850 viewers from local businesses and other potential vendors an opportunity to learn about the project and partnership opportunities.

During the session, officials also released the latest renderings of Rivers Portsmouth Casino Resort.

Unlike similarly approved Virginia casinos in Bristol and Danville, the one in Portsmouth will face some competition. Like their neighbors, voters in Norfolk also approved a sprawling gaming and entertainment complex: the Pamunkey Casino Resort Norfolk.

The two casinos will be located just eight miles apart, so each property needs some wow factor. And based on the renderings, Rivers Portsmouth Casino Resort looks as though it will deliver:

As you can see in some of the renderings, the resort features include:

  • Full-service hotel
  • Casino and sportsbook
  • Live event center
  • Conference and meeting space
  • Restaurants and bars

Potential groundbreaking and opening date for Rivers Portsmouth

So, when will Rivers Portsmouth Casino Resort open for business?

According to the presentation materials, the groundbreaking is slated for the fall of this year. The resort is then expected to open in the winter of 2022/2023.

Rush Street Gaming recently chose S.B. Ballard-Yates as the general contractor for the project. S.B. Ballard-Yates is a joint venture between Virginia Beach-based S.B. Ballard Construction and national contractor Yates Construction, which is headquartered in Philadelphia.

During Tuesday’s vendor fair, potential subcontractors learned about the bidding process and how even very small businesses will have opportunities with Rivers Portsmouth Casino Resort.

The project will create 1,300 permanent, full-time jobs, as well as 1,400 temporary construction jobs.

Rush Street officials expect the resort to create $16 million annually in new tax revenue for the city. They also said the casino could pump nearly $200 million per year into the region.

Photo by Outline205 | Dreamstime.com
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Dann Stupp

Dann Stupp is a longtime sports journalist who’s written and edited for The Athletic, USA Today, ESPN and other outlets. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.

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