BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) — A majority of voters in Bristol, Virginia have said “yes” to a referendum that will allow Hard Rock to build a casino and resort at the former Bristol Mall site.

The referendum to legalize casino gambling was the first step in making a Hard Rock casino resort a reality.

Developers have said they plan to spend an excess of $350 million on construction to transform Bristol’s old mall into a magnet for incoming tourists. 

“We are incredibly grateful for the strong support we have received from the voters of Bristol, VA.  Today’s referendum vote to bring a Hard Rock Hotel & Casino to Bristol is a vote in favor of more jobs and greater economic opportunity for local residents. This is a win for Bristol, and a win for the entire region.

We know this project will transform the economy of this area and make it an even better place to call home, and we are incredibly excited to now begin taking the next steps to make it happen.  We look forward to working with the VA Lottery during the licensing and permitting process in the months ahead.”

Joint statement by chairmen of “Vote Yes for Bristol”

In September, officials with the proposed project unveiled a new 3-D model of the casino and the hotel.

Hard Rock’s 3D model and floorplans show a casino with 1,500 slots, 55 table games, and a sports book. They plan to build a hotel tower with at least 300 rooms, a resort-style pool, and 50,000 square feet of meeting and event space.

News Channel 11’s Kaylyn Kluck will have more on this referendum vote tonight on News Channel 11 at 11.

News Channel 11 is Your Local Election Headquarters. For in-depth coverage of the races and election news, head to the Your Local Election HQ page.