RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)– This week Richmonders are getting the chance to speak directly with one of the three developers still in the running to build a casino in the city.
Wednesday’s discussion was the second of Bally’s Corporation’s three-day-long Listening Tour. While previous meetings have been virtual, residents had the chance to voice their concerns face to face.
Throughout the last several weeks, some Richmond residents have expressed opposition to a casino in the Stratford Hills neighborhood. Residents have had concerns about traffic in the neighborhood, its effect on wildlife and the environment, small businesses, and potential gravesites.
Jeanne Walls has lived in the Stratford Hills area for more than 40 years.
“I hope Bally’s will go home. They don’t belong in Stratford Hills,” said Walls. “Everybody in Stratford Hills works hard for what they have. I know I have. I want to keep it a quiet and peaceful neighborhood.”
Bally’s Corporation is proposing Bally’s Richmond Casino and Resort near Powhite and Chippenham Parkway. Neighbors head out to Battery Park to get their questions answered. During the discussion, the company addressed tough criticism. The company told 8news, it was the biggest operator of the three proposals and was the most aggressive economic proposal.
“There’s no guarantee the money will be going to Richmond schools,” said Robin Martin, a Richmond resident.
Bally’s Corporation acknowledged that its initial proposal included an alternate location. Bally’s said there was an alternate location behind Rosie’s on Midlothian Turnpike. According to the company, if the alternative site would have been approved, the corporation would give the city an additional $30 million, along with the already guaranteed $100 million upfront, stated in the proposal.
Today, the Mayor’s office announced that alternative sites will not be considered. According to the city, the Stoney administration has informed the three remaining respondents.
“The city has been consistent throughout the Resort Casino RFQ/P process in its evaluation of a single site submitted by each respondent to the RFQ/P. The operator and site go hand in hand,” said Leonard Sledge, Director of the Department of Economic Development.
Michael Monty is Bally’s Senior Project Manager. According to Monty, it was important to continue the conversatin with residents.
“To understand their needs as we continue to refine our scope and be the first step in our enduring partnership to be selected,” said Monty.
According to the city, citizens are encouraged to continue to share their comments on the proposed resort casino projects. Comments can be emailed to email@example.com.
The Evaluation Panel will share a recommended operator, location, and terms of the deal. Residents will have another chance to share their comments next month.