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The original item was published from 8/18/2020 8:50:00 PM to 9/23/2020 12:29:39 PM.

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Danville, VA Local Government News and Announcements

Posted on: August 18, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Casino negotiations nearing completion

City Manager Ken Larking told the City Council tonight that negotiations are nearing completion on a development agreement with Caesars Virginia as the city’s casino gaming operator.

The development agreement is a legally binding document that outlines what Caesars Virginia is promising to deliver to the City of Danville should the casino gaming referendum pass on Nov. 3.

“From the beginning, the City has taken seriously its responsibility to make sure that, should the citizens vote in favor of casino gaming, it would be implemented in the best possible way,” Larking said. “This development agreement is the culmination of months of work to make sure that this project will be of the highest quality, producing several good-paying jobs, and bringing much-needed revenue to the City.”

Larking said the development agreement would be brought before the City Council for its consideration at its Sept. 1 meeting. The highlights of this development agreement include promises to do the following:

  • Construct a Caesars-branded resort casino with a minimum of $400 million in capital investment, to include multiple restaurants and bars, a hotel with 300 four-star guest rooms, a 35,000-square-foot conference center, a 2,500-seat live-entertainment venue, a pool, and a spa. The resort is expected to be open in 2023.
  • Employ 1,300 full-time equivalent employees, earning an hourly wage of at least $15 per hour.
  • Generate 900 construction jobs during the construction period.
  • Within 30 days of the referendum, pay $15 million to the City.
  • Guarantee a minimum of $5 million in gaming tax revenue each year for every full year Caesars is in operation.
  • Provide an annual supplemental payment directly to the City based on a percentage of net gaming revenue.

Based on estimates provided by Caesars and reviewed by Convergence Strategy Group, Larking said it is expected that, by year three of operation, this project will produce $22 million in state-collected gaming tax revenue remitted to the City of Danville, $12 million in supplemental payments to the City of Danville, and $4.2 million in meals, sales, hotel/motel, and property taxes.

The resort is to be located at the former Dan River Mills industrial complex in Schoolfield.

Larking also said an advisory committee has been formed to receive and distill feedback from the community on how to invest possible new revenues in ways that will have the greatest long-term impact on all parts of our community.

The members are:

  • Paul Liepe
  • Porchia Russell
  • Matt Switick
  • Kenny Lewis
  • Ann Stratton
  • Greg Hairston
  • Joy Wood
  • Crystal Cobbs
  • Sheila Williamson-Branch
  • Frank Wickers
  • Kristin Barker

Larking said the members were chosen based on their backgrounds in many areas, including education, early childhood development, housing, tourism (including sports tourism), economic development, public safety, historic preservation, at-risk populations, poverty, and financial stability.

The committee, he said, was not formed to advocate for or against the referendum.

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