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Residents in Bristol, Virginia will vote in a local referendum very soon. A “yes” vote is a vote for Bristol’s future. Bringing the Hard Rock Resort to the former Bristol Mall will give this community the boost we need.

Quite a lot of money is being spent to convince us that a Hard Rock Casino is good for Bristol and for this area of Virginia and Tennessee. However, experience paints a far different picture.

Of all the churches in the city, only two are part of the coalition of churches who have taken it upon themselves to tell Bristol, Virginia how to vote on the casino. Of the nine listed members of the coalition, three are in Washington County, Virginia, and four are in Tennessee.

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On Thursday morning representatives from Hard Rock International as well as the local business leaders behind the project unveiled a three-dimensional model of the proposed Hard Rock Bristol Hotel and Casino at the former Bristol Mall.

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Thailand has long been among the top destinations for travelers, receiving close to 40 million foreign tourists last year.

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Turkey made over $34.5 billion from tourism in 2019, and the transcontinental country is eager to get back in business.

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Virginia legislators have introduced legislation to establish tolling gantries along the 325-mile route between Bristol and Winchester on I-81 in order to raise money to improve the road. Tolls would come to roughly $37 for a one-way trip across the state, according to the bill. We agree with Bristol Virginia City Manager Randy Eads that “something” must be done about the traffic and road quality. But this isn’t it.

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I support the proposed resort and casino because of the jobs and revenue it will bring to the City of Bristol and the entire region. Not just any jobs, but jobs where folks can work in a clean and safe environment. These will be good jobs, earning an average annual income of $46,000, much more than minimum wage. I see this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity we can’t afford to waste.

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