Hard Rock executives hold event for women and young professionals ahead of Bristol casino referendum


BRISTOL, VA. (WJHL)- Executives from Hard Rock promoted the professional opportunities offered by their proposed resort and casino project at the old Bristol Mall on Friday.

In less than three weeks, Bristol, Virginia voters will decide whether or not to legalize casino gambling in the city. If the casino is approved, Hard Rock officials say the Bristol resort destination will employ 2,000 team members once it’s up and running.

On Saturday, officials will host information sessions on job and vending opportunities that will be available to the community. Executives touched on Hard Rock’s Women in Leadership program at a luncheon for young professionals and women leaders on Friday.

Executive Vice President of Administration Tracy Bradford said women who work for the Bristol location will be able to apply for the program, which connects high-ranking professionals with women newer to their careers. Women in Leadership is centered around education, networking, and mentorship, officials said.

“To ensure that we are empowering them, that we are educating them, that we’re sharing our knowledge, enabling them to be successful. That’s the future of our company,” Bradford said.

The company emphasized its reputation for being a strong employer of women and promoting from within. The Vote Yes for Bristol website says the jobs directly created from the project will have an average total compensation of $46,500.

Many of Hard Rock Bristol’s jobs will be hospitality-based. The project’s website says there will also be opportunities for support services jobs in areas like finance, accounting, human resources, and more.

“You could come in and be a front desk agent. You could be a food service hostess, server, bartender, or a barback – all the way up to a senior executive,” said Bradford. “So all that range in between, the sky’s the limit.”

Chief Operating Officer Jon Lucas said they like to hire locally. He said some specific positions, such as property president, will likely be hired from the outside.

“But the reality is, when you bring people in, that is great for the community too. Because it’s creating more of the tax base with people moving in, buying a house,” said Lucas.

Both job and vendor events are at capacity for Saturday, but Hard Rock officials encouraged the public to watch a livestream of the events on their Bristol Resort and Casino Facebook page.

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