Posted on: February 9, 2024, 02:06h.
Last updated on: February 8, 2024, 05:06h.
Caesars Virginia in Danville has cut back on the number of hotel guestrooms the resort will offer once it opens later this year.
Caesars Entertainment, the company behind the $500 million project, held a topping-off ceremony in January of the hotel structure.
Caesars reps said at the time that the 12-story building would house 320 rooms, a 36% reduction from the 500 rooms the resort blueprint called for when construction began in August 2022. The original plan included an 18-story hotel tower.
Caesars has been mum on explaining the room reduction, but Danville City Manager Ken Larking told the media recently that the change is due to construction costs.
It came down to costs and they have a budget,” Larking explained. “Like everyone else, they’ve got to stay within that budget.”
Inflation has greatly increased the costs of materials. Labor expenses have also surged in recent years.
“Construction costs have skyrocketed,” Larking continued. “They are tweaking [the design.] They’re focusing on other things, but in their estimates, it was best to reduce the number of rooms and save costs so that funding could go to other aspects of the project.”
Danville was one of five cities that was designated as a casino host city under state legislation passed in 2020. Caesars won a bidding war for the Danville casino opportunity, and local voters formally signed off on the project during the 2020 election with nearly seven in 10 voters backing the project.
Caesars’ host agreement with the city promises a minimum investment of $400 million, at least 300 four-star guestrooms, 35,000 square feet of conference space, a 2,500-seat entertainment venue, and a pool and spa. Caesars also agreed to employ at least 1,300 people on a minimum wage of $15 per hour.
Caesars additionally paid Danville a one-time $15 million fee upon the successful referendum. Caesars will direct at least $5 million annually to the casino in local gaming taxes.
As for the casino, the plan remains unchanged with an expected 1,300 slot machines, 85 live dealer table games, a World Series of Poker Room, and a Caesars Sportsbook.
Caesars has implemented Danville’s iconic “Three Sisters” smokestacks into the resort design to pay homage to the historic Dan River Mills factory complex where the casino is being built. The smokestacks have been a focal point of the region and Caesars funded their refurbishment conservation.
Temporary Casino Success
The provisional gaming facility offers 808 slot machines and 33 table games. Since its mid-May opening through December, the Danville casino generated gross gaming revenue of more than $147.3 million. Being the host city, Danville receives 6% of the gaming win, which amounted to over $8.8 million during the casino’s first seven and a half months.
The state taxes gross casino win at 18%. The rate increases to 23% if a casino wins over $200 million in a given year. The rate increases to 30% if a casino wins over $400 million.