Officials break ground on Virginia gaming resort and hotel

Colonial Downs Group broke ground this week on The Rose Gaming Resort, a nearly $400 million gaming facility, hotel and public park set to open next year in Dumfries, Va. 

The ceremony was held at the Potomac Landfill, a longtime construction debris landfill located at the southwest edge of Dumfries that is set to close at the end of January, about 10 years ahead of schedule. Work on the new gaming facility will begin with capping the landfill, which Colonial Downs Group must do before construction can begin. That process is expected to start within the next few months.

The gaming resort will include a hotel with up to 305 rooms, eight restaurants, a 1,500-foot conference and meeting space, a cultural events center and 50,00 square feet of gaming space. Colonial Downs, which will own the gaming facility, has promised the project will be accompanied by a new public park that will be built atop the closed landfill, which encompasses 80 acres of the 93-acre site. Colonial Downs will maintain the park for 10 years before turning it over to the town.

Colonial Downs opened Rosie’s Gaming Emporium, a smaller gaming outlet, a year ago in the Triangle Shopping Center in Dumfries. It will close when The Rose opens.

State Sen. Scott Surovell, D-36th, said The Rose will allow Dumfries and Prince William County to get a share of the tax revenue generated by Virginia residents who travel to Maryland to gamble. “What has always bothered me is the $350 million going across the bridge every year to the MGM National Harbor Casino in Maryland," Surovell said. “What this does is create an opportunity for Virginia money to stay in Virginia and go to Dumfries.”

“We are committed to Virginia, Dumfries and Prince William County and we are in it for the long hall,” said Brent Stevens, founder and chairman of Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, the parent company of Colonial Downs Group.

The Rose is Virginia’s first casino-sized gaming facility that’s technically not a casino. By state code, gambling at “The Rose” will be limited to off-track betting and historic horse race betting machines, which are similar to slot machines.