BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) – With a ground scheduled to be broken next week, officials in Bristol are preparing to accommodate the estimated two to four million annual visitors that could come to the permanent Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Bristol, Virginia Mayor Anthony Farnum said though there is a lot to consider, from roads and public transit to police and EMS staffing, the city is prepared for the challenge.

“Because this has been a process that’s been in the works for several years, we’ve had the ability, the time to plan. So we feel like we’re well prepared,” Farnum told News Channel 11.

With transportation as a key factor, Farnum said a traffic study on a few key roads is already underway.

“We want to make sure when people come to Bristol, they can get around, they can get to and around Bristol as easy as possible”

Farnum said he hopes the tax revenue generated by the casino and its visitors can help fund some of the city’s needs like purchasing new police cars and increasing salaries for first responders.

“Bristol has a lot of needs,” Farnum said, “Right now we’re building a new elementary school. We need to hire more firefighters. We need some new police cars. We need to make sure we pay our first responders at a competitive rate.”

A 2019 study from the state projected the casino could generate $3.7 million in local tax revenue for the city. The Virginia Lottery says so far the temporary casino has brought in at least $14 million in revenue each month from August through October.

Farnum says the casino has hundreds of employees and he expects this expansion to bring on hundreds more.

“Obviously, we’re thrilled to have hard rock in Bristol. They’re one of the most well-known names across the globe. The fact that they want to come here to Bristol was great.”