VINTON, Va. – To say Rosie's Gaming Emporium has been a huge shot in the arm for Vinton since it opened earlier this year may be an understatement.
"They're making a really significant draw to the community. They're bringing folks in not only from the Roanoke Valley but from outside the Valley," Assistant Vinton Town Manager Pete Peters said.
In fact, Peters said the money the town now has thanks to Rosie's is allowing the town to do projects that have been put off for years due to a lack of funding.
"One of the first projects we're doing is doing some security upgrades to the town municipal building. Then, we have a road, a very heavily traveled road in the town, that actually needs reengineered, reconstructed," Peters explained.
Because of Vinton's population, Rosie's is limited to 150 gaming machines.
Rosie's is asking the state racing to commission to use the population of the entire Roanoke Valley to determine how many machines are allowed.
"Even with the revenue Rosie's is producing, it's still going to take multiple years to pay for the projects," Peters noted.
Additional machines could significantly reduce that amount of time and allow other projects to be completed.
"We're looking to redo some sidewalks in the town, make some connections with sidewalks in the town. We have several transportation grants to build greenways and connections to greenways. Those all have matches, local matches," Peters said.
Neither Rosie's nor the racing commission responded to a request for comment Friday.
Peters said he does not know when the racing commission may make a decision about the request from Rosie's.