Danville receives $15 million from Caesars. Now what?

City needs to determine a plan for how to spend the money

Caesars Virginia presents the city of Danville with a $15 million check on Dec. 8, 2020. (City of Danville)

DANVILLE, Va. – The city of Danville now has $15 million more to its name.

On Tuesday, Caesars Virginia LLC presented Danville Mayor Alonzo Jones with the check.

“Today, we take another step forward in our partnership with Caesars Virginia,” Jones said at the ceremony. “City Council and City staff worked diligently in negotiations with Caesars Virginia to get the best possible outcome for our citizens and bring much-needed revenue. This payment is evidence of that effort, and we look forward to working with Caesars Virginia as this project advances from stage to stage.”

The payment is part of Danville’s development agreement with Caesars Virginia following the successful passage of the casino referendum.

During next week’s city council meeting on Dec. 15, the council is scheduled to formally consider accepting and appropriating the money.

The appropriation will allow the city to move forward with the $6 million police department headquarters project off Memorial Drive.

To determine how the remaining $9 million will be spent, Danville City Council has been listening to public input.

For the past few months, the Investing in Danville Committee has worked with the public to develop a list of spending priorities for this upfront funding and the expected new annual revenue received once the casino is in operation.

City Council will soon hear a report from the committee on possible spending priorities, according to City Manager Ken Larking.

“We want to make sure that we use these funds to improve the lives of our residents,” Larking said. “This means addressing needs that we’ve not been able to afford and investing in projects and programs that will lead to a strong local economy with economic opportunity for all who choose to call Danville home.”

The casino resort would include multiple restaurants and bars, a hotel with at least 300 guest rooms, a 35,000 square-foot conference center, a 2,500-seat live-entertainment venue, a pool and a spa.

It’s slated to open in the third or fourth quarter of 2023.