Time for the Temporary: Bristol Casino opens today | Living

BRISTOL, Va. – Officials will open the doors to the temporary casino in Bristol today to eager gamblers and community members ready to see just what the future home of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Bristol has to offer.

A grand opening ceremony for the temporary casino is set for 11 am The doors will officially open to the public at 2 pm

The current scope

The facility is a temporary, full-service casino with approximately 30,000 square feet of casino space, 870 gaming slots, 20 tables, and a sportsbook for a variety of gaming options. The casino will be open to the public 24 hours a day every day of the week.

The space will include a main casino floor as well as non-smoking and high-limit gaming areas.


Distribution of Hard Rock Unity cards, loyalty cards, at the Bristol Casino site in the former Bristol Mall Saturday, June 25. The temporary casino will open July 8, with the permanent one, including a hotel, entertainment venues and more restaurants and gambling venues to open in about two years.

RICK WAGNER / Kingsport Times-News

Slots were delivered and installed in May, according to project officials. The Bristol Casino – Future Home of Hard Rock site lists 15 “popular slots” set for the temporary facility. Those include Dragon Link, Lightning Link, All Aboard, Buffalo Link, Wild Wild Buffalo, Buffalo, Rakin Bacon, Goldfish, Wheel of Fortune, Willy Wonka, Monopoly, Ultimate Fire Link, Wonder 4, Buffalo Chief and Video Poker.

Table games include Baccarat, Blackjack, Craps, Mississippi Stud, Pai-Gow, Roulette, Spanish 21, Three Card Poker and Ultimate Texas Hold ’em.

The Hard Rock Sportsbook mobile app is now live. Officials announced earlier this year that a retail sportsbook is scheduled to open today along with the Bristol Casino – Future Home of Hard Rock.

Free Hard Rock Unity cards have been activated and given out at various hiring events and at various events throughout the region. According to casino officials, about 5,000 cards have been given out ahead of the grand opening.

Unity cards are free for anyone 21 or older and by the end of the year will be valid and usable at Hard Rock properties around the world. The cards will be usable at the Bristol casino, eateries, entertainment venue and retail shops, as well as stand-alone restaurants and other Hard Rock operations internationally.

Every time a cardholder presents the card and plays a table game or slot machine, or makes any other Hard Rock transactions, officials said, the person will receive rewards and bonuses via email, including free game plays, complimentary food and other perks.

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Food and Drink

Visitors will also have three food and beverage options to choose from:

Mr. Lucky’s is a full-service restaurant that offers regional cuisines utilizing the freshest selections of beef, fresh seafood, and an array of locally sourced ingredients, according to casino officials. The menu offers pastas, house-made soups, steaks, seafood and chef specialty items.

Brick’d is a chef-led pizzeria with a quick-service Italian menu and a selection of grab-and-go items.

The Bristol Bar is located across from the Sportsbook area and offers live entertainment in a sports bar atmosphere. The bar allows you to watch your favorite games with beer and cocktail options. An adjacent smoking sports lounge is also available.

The future

Arriving at the former mall site only triggers a vision of the future hotel, casino and entertainment venue.

According to officials, the temporary facility will also include a display area that will showcase the future Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Bristol that is now under construction.

The site will eventually transform into a two-story, 80,000- to 100,000-square-foot casino complete with 2,700 slot machines and 100 table games. The final project will also include two hotel towers (with over 350 rooms and a pool), a 3,200-seat Hard Rock Live venue, and a 20,000-capacity outdoor entertainment venue on 45 acres in Bristol, Virginia. There will also be multiple restaurants (including a Council Oak Steaks and Seafood restaurant), bars, shops and convention space. Officials are planning for a $ 400 million expansion. According to the website, the final project is set for completion in summer 2024.

The resort is also slated to offer about 2,000 direct, permanent jobs and several thousand indirect and induced jobs. Officials said the project will also generate more than 1,000 construction jobs. The casino is also expected to bring in four million annual visitors and $ 16 million to $ 21 million in tax revenue.

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