Pandemic won’t impact future casino tourism in Danville, City Manager says


DANVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — Danville City Manager Ken Larking said he does not think the coronavirus pandemic will have much of an impact on tourism by the time a casino would be operational in Danville. He expects the ripple effect for Danville’s economy would be “like a giant boulder in a pond.”

In an announcement on Monday, city officials said the casino would create 1,300 permanent jobs and include 500 hotel rooms, several bars and restaurants, and an entertainment venue.

That would involve large crowds of people in enclosed spaces to generate significant revenue for the City, which is something Larking said he hopes will become normal again soon.

“I think with time, people will start to understand that it’s safe. I know that there are polls out there right now that show that a lot of people are not feeling safe going out in public without a vaccine, for example.”

Danville voters still have to approve the casino in a referendum in November.

From there, Larking saids it would take about 18 months to restore Dan River Mills and build the complex.

He’s hopeful that two years is enough time that the virus won’t impact tourism.

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