BRISTOL, Va. — BVU Authority expects to upgrade some infrastructure to accommodate the planned Hard Rock Bristol Resort and Casino and potential additional development along the Gate City Highway corridor, its CEO said Friday.
Authority President and CEO Don Bowman briefed the BVU board about preliminary meetings with the casino developers, the city and other utilities providers.
The Hard Rock project, which includes a casino, 300-room hotel, entertainment venue, restaurants, shops and other amenities, is slated to replace the former Bristol Mall at 500 Gate City Highway.
The project must first receive its gaming license from the Virginia Lottery Board and the casino is expected to open in late 2022. Operators hope to open a temporary gaming location on the property before the permanent casino opens and Bowman said existing utilities should be able to serve that.
“Water, we’re fine. For wastewater, we think just about any conceivable thing, we’re fine,” Bowman said after the meeting. “Electricity, we know we have the power supply from TVA, but we want to do some things for reliability, and we may make generational improvements.”
BVU plans to upgrade its electricity transformer capacity in that area by 50% and make other changes.
“We talked to them about we want to upgrade our Valley substation; in case we lose the West substation we can still supply the casino. We want to potentially do something with the Shelby substation or northern Bristol so that if we lost Valley and West, we would have service,” Bowman said.