What Groundbreaking On $400M The Rose Gaming Resort Means For VA

Written By Dann Stupp on February 14, 2022
The Rose Gaming Resort

Officials have broken ground on The Rose Gaming Resort, a non-casino that will certainly appeal to the casino-going type.

The Rose, with a price tag of nearly half-a-billion dollars, will be located alongside I-95 in Dumfries, Virginia.

It will also compete for gamblers’ dollars and attention as it faces competition for four upcoming Virginia casinos.

But The Rose is no casino. Not officially, anyway. But with its special brand of slot machine-like gambling, it could be a wild card as the nascent VA casino market takes shape over the next few years.

The Rose Gaming Resort and historical horse racing

The Rose Gaming Resort, which is slated for a late-2023 opening in Prince William County, will offer historical horse racing. “HHR,” as its known, is legal in Virginia as of 2018.

In this context, the term historical horse racing might be confusing. The HHR gaming terminals don’t actually involve horse racing. Not modern-day horse racing, anyway.

HHR machines might look like traditional slot machines. However, rather than relying on a random number generator, they rely on past horse-race results. That little bit of legal maneuvering ushered in HHR gaming while also saving Colonial Downs racetrack in Virginia.

Confusing? Sure.

But actually pretty simple to understand in practice? Also yes.

The Rose will be a mega-sized addition of the Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums located throughout Virginia. Colonial Downs Group Inc. operates the HHR parlors, and the company will replace the current one in Dumfries with The Rose. Other Rosie’s locations are in Hampton, New Kent, Richmond and Vinton.

The Rose, though, will go beyond Rosie’s usual gaming floor and racebook. The upcoming resort will feature:

  • 50,000 square feet of gaming space with up to 1,800 machines
  • 305-room luxury hotel (155 rooms in the first phase)
  • Eight bars and restaurants
  • Cultural center
  • Meeting and events space
  • 80 acres of green space with hiking and fitness trails, athletic fields and playgrounds

The Rose

The Rose Gaming Resort will be built upon the Potomac Landfill. The resort will allow officials to close the much-maligned landfill a full decade ahead of schedule.

After capping the landfill over the next few months, developers will begin work on The Rose. The resort will use about 80 acres of the 93-acre site as it transforms an eyesore into a tourism and outdoors space.

Just as importantly, it should keep tax dollars in Virginia. Located just south of Washington, DC, The Rose could become a go-to spot for northern Virginians who currently travel to Maryland’s six casinos.

Additionally, with an announced budget of $400 million, The Rose will be on the same level of in-development VA casinos:

  • Bristol: Hard Rock Casino and Resort Bristol, $400 million
  • Danville: Caesars Casino Resort Danville, $500 million
  • Norfolk: HeadWaters Resort & Casino in Norfolk, $500 million
  • Portsmouth: Rivers Portsmouth Casino Resort, $300 million

Richmond voters nixed a proposed casino during a 2021 vote, but the matter could be on the ballot again this year. If it passes, the Richmond casino would be the closest one in Virginia to The Rose. But without a Richmond casino, The Rose could become the region’s No. 1 gaming spot.

Officials expect The Rose to generate $10.9 million in annual tax revenue for Dumfries and $6.7 million for Prince William County.

Photo by Colonial Downs Group
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Dann Stupp

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

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