BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) — Hard Rock International announced Tuesday that Allie Evangelista will serve as president of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Bristol.

Evangelista’s career in the gaming industry began in 2006 when she became an assistant slot operations manager in Missouri. She moved up to director of casino operations and vice president of casino operations at an Iowa casino in 2014. She then became the vice president and general manager of the Hollywood Gaming and Racetrack property in Ohio five years later. Most recently, she was vice president and general manager of the Hollywood Casino Perryville in Maryland.

Allie Evangelista (Photo: Hard Rock International)

“I look forward to embracing the community in Bristol and working with the many partners who have been instrumental in supporting the project,” Evangelista said in a news release. “As the ‘Birthplace of Country Music,’ Bristol is rich in history and culture.  As someone with a passion for exploring new and diverse opportunities, I am excited to experience the region’s natural beauty and its many wonderful music, entertainment and recreational offerings.  As a destination-resort, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol will be a perfect complement to the world-class events and attractions that draw millions of visitors to the Tri-Cities, including ones across Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.”

Hard Rock plans to open a temporary casino by mid-year which will feature 30,000 square feet of casino space with 900 gaming slots, 20 tables, and a sportsbook. There also will be a restaurant, food outlet, and sports bar and lounge.

According to Hard Rock, the temporary casino will create 600 new jobs.