Making Rapid Progress: Hard Rock Bristol Construction

Posted on: September 6, 2023, 08:47h. 

Last updated on: September 6, 2023, 08:47h.

When construction began on the permanent resort property of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol in early December 2022, the expectation was for the $400 million development to be completed in about 18 months. At the midway point of construction, that timeline remains unchanged.

Hard Rock Bristol casino country music
Work continues on the permanent Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol in Virginia. Construction is progressing on schedule, local officials say, and a grand opening remains on track for early summer 2024. (Image: Kingsport Times News)

In July 2022, Hard Rock Bristol opened a temporary gaming space inside the former Bristol Mall. Known as the “Bristol Casino – Future Home of Hard Rock,” the interim casino has exceeded revenue expectations and has expanded its gaming offerings to meet demand.

Owned and operated by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Hard Rock International is transforming the former mall into a Hard Rock casino. Additionally, a six-story, 303-room hotel with amenities such as an indoor and outdoor pool, a gym, and a convention facility is being built adjacent to the mall. A later phase of construction will include a second hotel tower with approximately 500 rooms and additional resort amenities.

Construction ‘Moving Fast’

The first phase of the resort, which includes the 303 hotel rooms, will have a total indoor square footage of approximately 662,000 square feet. The casino itself will span about 90,000 square feet and feature 2,700 slot machines, 100 live dealer table games, and a Hard Rock Bet Sportsbook.

Despite challenges in staffing, Hard Rock and its construction partners have managed to maintain their schedule.

“Construction at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Bristol is moving fast, with a shell of a large building visible from the road,” said Bristol Mayor Neal Osborne. “This is incredibly exciting for our city.”

Mayor Osborne added, “Over the past year or so, we’ve seen the tremendous positive impact Hard Rock has had on Bristol, from a spike in tourism to increased tax revenues for the entire region, to philanthropic contributions to area nonprofits.”

The temporary casino is currently generating nearly $14 million in monthly revenue. As the host city, Bristol receives 6% of the casino’s monthly gross gaming revenue (GGR), which amounts to about $840,000 per month.

Once the permanent casino opens next summer, the town’s share of revenue will significantly increase. The provisional gaming space currently offers 908 slots and 29 tables.

Music Components

In line with the Hard Rock brand, music will be a focal point at the Bristol venue. The resort will feature a Hard Rock Café stage that will host local musicians, an indoor 3,200-seat venue called Hard Rock Live, and an outdoor entertainment venue with a capacity for 20,000 people.

Bristol, a twin city with Bristol, TN, is known as the “Birthplace of Country Music.” This designation was granted by the US Congress in 1998, based on the recording of music in Bristol by record producer Ralph Peet in the 1920s, which he believed captured the traditional “folk” sound of the region.

Ralph Peet is credited with recording Fiddlin’ John Carson’s rendition of the song “Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane,” which is widely considered the first commercial recording of what would later be known as “country music.”

Hard Rock Bristol will also showcase a collection of country music memorabilia, including items from Hank Williams, Buck Owens, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, and Garth Brooks.

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