UPDATE: MAY 10, 2022: One week after naming a general contractor for the job, Caesars Entertainment announced delays on its $500 million Danville, Virginia, casino and hotel project.
Robert Livingston, senior vice president at Caesars Entertainment, told the Danville City Council May 3 that supply chain issues, labor shortages and additional site work contributed to the project’s Dec. 1, 2023, deadline becoming “unrealistic.”
“You’ve all heard the mantra ‘on time on budget.’ We all take great pride in ‘on time on budget,’” Livingston told the council. “The way of the world today is, it’s going to cost more, it’s going to take longer. That’s just the reality of where we’re at.”
The company now intends to open the slot machines and deal cards in 2024, with a more specific target coming as the pace of progress is clearer.
Demolition of an old fabric and home fashion product finishing plant on the project site will continue through the summer, Livingston said, though Whiting-Turner will start constructing the hotel portion of the project where the existing building has already been demolished.
- Caesars Entertainment has tapped Baltimore-based Whiting-Turner as the general contractor for a $500 million, 500-room casino hotel project in Danville, Virginia, the Reno, Nevada-based gaming company announced.
- Whiting-Turner has a history of constructing hospitality and casino projects, having built Horseshoe Baltimore and worked on Caesars Palace Las Vegas, as well as LINQ Hotel + Experience Las Vegas and Harvey’s Lake Tahoe.
- The announcement of the GC selection came nearly four months after the Danville City Council said they hoped to select a builder. The project is anticipated to create 900 construction jobs in the area.
Site work on the project has begun, with a goal of opening in the second half of 2023. The new casino will include, according to the release:
- A World Series of Poker room.
- 40,000 square feet of meeting and convention space.
- An entertainment venue that can hold 2,500 guests.
- Restaurants and bars.
- A spa.
- A pool.
- A fitness center.
The project follows initiatives from fall of 2020 to expand casino gambling in Virginia, even as COVID-19 slowed entertainment-focused projects in most of the country. Several cities in the state voted to advance plans for casino projects, Danville among them.
Whiting-Turner, which ranked fifth on ENR’s Top 400 contractors in 2021, declined to comment on the project.
Virginia is just one example of jurisdictions that are betting on new casinos as a way to boost revenue. In New York City, Times Square shut down during the pandemic and Broadway theaters sat empty for months. Now, the hotel union there is lobbying for new casinos, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Office developer SL Green Realty Corp. wants to build a casino near Times Square, according to the Journal. The state is set to approve up to three casino licenses for the city, as developers have pitched a number of locations.
New York state currently has a ban on new casinos through 2023, but Gov. Kathy Hochul wants to change that, the Journal article said, as casinos mean more jobs and tax revenue.