DANVILLE, Va. – On Monday night, the community got its first look at what the new Caesars casino in Danville will look like. Corporate leaders met with Danville residents to take feedback on the plan.
Sunsets over the old Schoolfield site in Danville are numbered as demolition of some of the buildings and site features is set to begin in just a few weeks. Caesars senior vice president, Robert Livingston, and team met with the community to talk about their big plans.
“This meeting was about making sure that we’re listening to the public, people that really understand what that site means and making sure that the design ends up with their feedback,” Livingston said.
A full design for the casino will drop next month, but the community got to see snippets of what architects are thinking. The water tower and finished building will be demolished, but Caesars said it plans to honor Danville through the eyes of a world-class venue. A number of residents agreed they’d like to see aspects of the historic industrial site incorporated in the design and tell the story of the company that is embedded in the city’s history.
“By listening to the community members I think we can take that a step further and still have the iconic imagery of Caesars Entertainment, the Caesars brand, that blends nicely with the history of Danville and Schoolfield,” Livingston said.
Locals such as Jay Yow, a lifelong Danville resident, like what they saw.
“Oh I feel great, I mean every year I go to Vegas so now it’s just next door, literally,” Yow said.
The iconic smokestacks will be the focal point of the development and brick will play a major part. Caesars is already upping the ante, planning for 500 rooms instead of the 300 required in the city’s performance agreement. The agreement required a $400 million investment, Livingston said that currently sits at more than $500 million.
Danville city manager Ken Larking answered a few questions from the crowd when it pertained to city matters and said from the city’s point of view, things are on track.
“People have questions. They want to know when it’s going to happen, they want to see things progress and hopefully here in the next few weeks we’ll start to see some action out here,” Larking said.
Locals did share concerns about safety and traffic, which casino leaders said will be addressed.
They’re also leaving room to possibly build two more hotel towers with 500 rooms each down the road. Livingston said the economic impact can’t be understated.
“It’s huge, I mean you can sit there and look at an empty site for the rest of your life or you can do something with it and we’re going to try to do something with it,” Livingston said.
Significant environmental cleanup and site prep are needed before construction can begin. Caesars expects to break ground this winter and open on-time sometime in late 2023.