DANVILLE, Va. – The stage is now set in Danville for citizens to make the final vote on whether or not they’ll allow a casino in their city.
Tuesday night, Danville City Council approved a performance agreement with Caesars Entertainment, which promises to bring millions of dollars and quality jobs to the region.
This is the latest step in helping shape the Danville of the future - one that could include a casino.
City Council agreed to what the city stands to gain from Caesars Entertainment in exchange for allowing a casino resort at the old schoolfield site.
Danville Mayor Alonzo Jones said the plan is good for the city.
“Our consultants and our attorneys have been working very hard with Caesars’s attorneys and their consultants to make sure Danville gets exactly what we feel Danville deserves and it worked out greatly,” said Jones.
While citizens won’t vote until November, the city is already making plans for the money.
Caesars promises to invest $400 million dollars in the resort itself, hire 1,300 people at $15 an hour minimum and buy the city a firetruck and ambulance.
That’s among other agreements, like Caesars giving the city $15 million up front and more than an estimated $20 million in city tax revenue by year three, which Jones said they can put to immediate use.
“Our priorities are to reduce violent crimes, support education and grow Danville. And what I’m asking in my second term as mayor is that we move that number two to number one, which is education,” said Jones.
The resort is slated to have a full casino, live concert venue, high-end restaurants, conference space and a spa.
Caesars said they’re ready to hit the ground running and hope to open by 2023.
For now, it’s up to the citizens to make the final call through a referendum on Election Day.
Despite some opposition, Jones said he thinks they can get it done.
“What we are trying to do is making sure Caesars, and they are, are getting all the information and pertinent information to the citizens of the community to help them make the best decision for Caesars, whether they want Caesars in this community,” said Jones.
Some corporate Caesars employees will be in town Thursday to provide information and celebrate this milestone with Danville city leaders.