‘This is a great day’: Colonial Downs raising its minimum wage to $15 per hour

Virginia News

'We need more businesses to step up and stop putting profits over people'

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Colonial Downs Group will raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour.

The company said Thursday that the decision will impact its more than 1,000 employees, including those who work at Rosie’s historical horse racing satellite wagering facilities in Richmond, Hampton, Vinton, and New Kent County, as well as all future facilities.

According to Phillip Harris, Rosie’s Richmond General Manager, the average salary for a Rosie’s team member is $42,000 a year, plus benefits.

“Whatever job you have or career you have, you want to be able to take care of your family,” Harris said. “So for a company for like ourselves to be able to help the community so people can come get careers is fantastic, and be able to support your family in a decent wage, higher than the average state wage, is pretty awesome.”

Virginia’s minimum wage currently sits at $7.25 per hour. The company will also raise its minimum wage for tipped positions to $9 an hour, an amount that’s nearly four times more than the state minimum wage of $2.13.

Employees at Rosie’s say they welcome the wage increase.

Julie Yanes is a college student and server at Rosie’s. She says the new wage will take some pressure off her student loan payments.

“It’s good for me, especially because I’m a college student,” she explained. “I wen to VCU and took a semester off because of student loans.”

Assistant Food and Beverage Manager Justin O’Connell added, “

“Everyone’s always, especially during the holiday season, a little bit pressed for cash. People want extra hours and stuff, so this will just really help and be a really good morale booster as well.”

Richmond City Councilman Mike Jones said he hopes more businesses will take notice and follow suit.

“This is a great day for workers on the Southside of Richmond. As we talk about uplifting communities and rebuilding neighborhoods, it all starts with good jobs. Every adult desires to provide for themselves and their families. Raising the minimum wage does that. It helps to combat crime but more importantly it provides hope for a better tomorrow.

One of my campaign promises was to bring resources and opportunities to the Southside; this delivers on that pledge. I happy with the partnership that we have with Rosie’s/Colonial Downs. We need more businesses to step up and stop putting profits over people.”

Richmond City Councilman Michael Jones

The compensation increase will go into effect in January of 2020.

“Our employees are the reason for our success, and we know this,” Aaron Gomes, Chief Operating Officer of the Colonial Downs Group, said. “Now, we are dedicated to ensuring that their hard work and commitment to our customers is rewarded, and that starts with their financial compensation.”

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