Caesar’s Virginia Casino & Resort, Danville is expected to tower over Danville but it also will tower over some of the competition.
At 18 stories, it will be far taller than the next tallest building in Danville — the 122 foot Danville Masonic Lodge, which is equal to about 10 hotel floors. The only thing taller will be the three 220-foot tall smokestacks left over from the old Dan River Mill — “the Three Sisters,” as they’re known locally.
Of perspective the next closest competition will be Liberty University’s 213 foot tall Freedom Tower.
In an email, Danville City Councilman Lee Vogler said site demolition began the week of Sept. 22 with the removal of an old water tower and demolition will continue in the coming weeks.
Caesar’s Virginia Casino & Resort, Danville is slated to have more than 1,400 slot machines and tables and a 25-table World Series of Poker poker room. Plans include a 40,000 square feet of meeting and convention space, 500 hotels rooms, a spa, pool, fitness center, restaurants — some bearing the name of Gordon Ramsey — bars, and a 2,500 seat live entertainment venue.
“Caesars Virginia will be an economic driver for the region, both as a tourist and entertainment draw and through the more than a thousand good-paying jobs the resort will create,” Anthony Carano, President and Chief Operating Officer of Caesars Entertainment said in a September news release from the company. “The people of Danville have entrusted us to build a world-class resort, and we look forward to proving that trust was well-founded with an incredible resort worthy of the iconic Caesars brand.”
The $500 million Caesar’s Virginia Casino & Resort will certainly be big for Danville. But how big is it in the context of the gaming industry?
Here are some comparisons:
Caesar’s Virginia Casino & Resort, Danville’s hotel is going to be big, with about 200 more rooms than the nearby MGM National Harbor casino in Oxon Hill, Maryland, Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino and Hotel in Murphy North Carolina and LIVE! Hotel Casino in Hanover Maryland. It dwarfs hotels at West Virginia’s Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in Charles Town (18 rooms) and Mardi Gras Casino & Resort in Nitro/Cross Lanes and The Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort in New Cumberland which only have 150 rooms.
Caesar’s Virginia Casino & Resort, Danville will instantly become one of the region’s largest employers matching SOVAH Health’s 1,300 employees. The only larger area employers are Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company with 2,300 employees and Pittsylvania County School System with 1,465. It will become larger than Danville Public Schools with 1,289 employees and the city of Danville’s 1,116 employees.
The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, Gaming in the Commonwealth, 2019 report foresees the Danville casino becoming the second highest-grossing new casino in Virginia. Estimates show revenue coming in right behind the proposed Richmond casino, which voters will vote on in November. Danville is expected to generate $190 million in revenue, ahead of proposed casinos in Norfolk ($185 million), Portsmouth ($167 million) and Bristol ($130 million).
The latest proposal calls for 1,400 slot machines and tables and a 25-table World Series of Poker poker room. While that will be fewer slots than Maryland’s LIVE! Hotel Casino in Hanover, Maryland (4,000 slots) and the MGM National Harbor (3,300 slots) it will be more than almost every casino in North Carolina and West Virginia as well as the Ocean Downs Casino and the Hollywood Casino Perryville, both in Maryland.
Almost every casino has poker, but only a few — Caesar’s Danville and Horseshoe Casino Baltimore in Maryland among them — have a World Series of Poker poker room.
Some of the competition’s offerings:
- The Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort in Kings Mountain, North Carolina is still in the building process but has already opened a temporary 500-slot gambling facility open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on the 17-acre site.
- At Harrah’s Cherokees Casino in Cherokee, North Carolina the 155,000 square foot gaming space includes live table games Blackjack, Craps, Roulette and Three-Card Poker.
- At Harrah’s Cherokee Valey River Casino and Hotel run by Caesar’s in Murphy North Carolina includes a 300-room full service hotel and more than 1,000 games including Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, 3-card poker and Mississippi Stud. The site has a food market, cafe and entertainment center with bowling, an archade and bar.
- From Danville, The Casino Club at Greenbrier is the closest competition. But unlike Caesar’s the 75,000 square foot casino in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia is only open to overnight guests, club members.
- At the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in Charles Town West Virginia there are more than 1,300 slot machines; 74 table games, including Blackjack, mini-bacc, Spanish 21, craps, rapid roulette, 3-card poker, 4-card poker, Pai Gow Poker, Let it ride, High card flush, Heads up hold ‘em poker; a 16-table poker room and live horse racing and 18 suites for overnight guests.
- Run by Delaware North the Mardi Gras Casino & Resort in Cross Lanes, West Virginia has 150 hotel rooms, 900 slots, more than 20 table games a sportsbook, restauants, pool and fitness facility.
- The Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort in New Cumberland West Virginia is run by Century Casinos, which has casinos in Missouri, Colorado and Canada. The 78,000 square foot gaming floor has a sportsbook, about 1,000 slots, and table games like Blackjack, Craps, Electronic Routlette, Roulete, Mississippi Stud, Spanish 21, Three-Card Poker, Four-Card Poker, and Texas Hold’em.
- In Wheeling West Virginia the Delaware North owned Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack has 150 hotel rooms, restaurants, more than 25 table games and 1,000 slots and a poker room
- At Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin Maryland there are more than 850 slots and table games including Blackjack, Craps Roulette, Three Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Mississippi Stud, High Card Flush, Heads Up Hold ‘Em, and Players Edge 21.
- At Maryland’s Hollywood Casino Perryville in Perryville the gaming floor has up to 800 slots, a poker room, Three-Card Poker, Four-Card Poker, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em and High Card Flush and Spanish 21.
- The Horseshoe Casino Baltimore in Maryland is a $442 million entertainment facility that opened in 2014.The 122,000 square foot casino features 2,500 video lottery terminals, more than 100 table games, and a 25-seat World Series of Poker poker room. The full-service casino will employ some 1,700 team members. Restaurants, including two by celebrity chefs and a 24-hour bar.
- In Hanover, Maryland at LIVE! Hotel Casino there is a 310-room hotel with a 4,800 seat entertainment venue and 40,000-square-feet meeting space restaurants and space. Gamblers can choose from about 4,000 slots, a 50-table poker room, and 181 table games, including Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Baccarat, Pai Gow, Big Six, Three Card Poker, Four Card Poker, Texas Hold ‘Em, Mississippi Stud and Let It Ride. A sports betting restaurant and a smoking patio complete with a stocked humidor.
- At Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Flinstone Maryland has a conference center, comedy club, restaurants, indoor and outdoor even spaces and the only Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course in the state. The casino has 665 slots, 17 table games and two bars. The hotel offers a spa, pool, fitness center, and pro shop.
- At MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland there are 3,300 slot machines, 124 table games, 39 poker tables, 10 craps, 12 roulette, 25 variations of carnival games, 58 blackjack tables, 25 baccarat tables. It has a 234-room hotel with 74 suites.
Amy Trent is a Lynchburg-based journalist. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters & Editors and the Association of Health Care Journalists.