Watch now: People show up for Saturday work away, loyalty cards at soon-to-open Bristol casino | Appalachian Highlands

BRISTOL, Va. — At one end of the temporary Bristol Casino that nearly opened on Saturday, prospective employees lined up for a job fair.

Elsewhere on the casino property, future customers lined up for free loyalty cards, free food truck tickets and a free bag of loot.

As the clock ticks towards the July 8 launch of Bristol’s temporary casino, which in two years is to become a full-fledged Hard Rock property including entertainment venues and a hotel, officials at the Florida-based company are are said to be satisfied with the latest job rate before opening and interest in the United loyalty program.


Allie Evangelist

Allie Evangelista, chairwoman of the hard rock Hotel & Casino Bristol at a job fair June 25 at the venue, the last before the temporary casino opens on July 8.

“It’s a better result than I expected,” said Allie Evangelista, chairman of the future Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol, just inside the team members’ entrance on Saturday at the midday, an entrance to a building where JC Penney once operated.

“People are excited,” said Evangelista, who is from Brazil. “We will always hire. That’s what we do in the entertainment business.”

She said 600 employees, more or less, will be on board on July 8, while the jobs are expected to double there in 2024 when the permanent casino and associated properties start operating.

Some who walked out of the hiring event said they were told they could be called back in the future.

Evangelista said the temporary casino area inside the mall, which faces north of Gate City Highway, remains off-limits to the public and media until the July 8 opening, as does the lounge area. employment.


However, in anticipation of the onslaught of restaurant and gambling customers this Friday, Hard Rock Unity free cards were activated and given out from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, although employees said some people had started early at 10 a.m. in a section of the old Bristol Mall facing Gate City Highway.

The cards will continue to be distributed on Sunday at the same times at the same place, as well as next Saturday and Sunday, July 2 and 3, at the same time.

Marc Deleo

Mark Deleo, Vice President of Marketing at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol, holds one of the Unity Cards, which offers rewards and offers available to anyone 21 or older. It will expand to include hard rock venues internationally by the end of the year, he said during a handout of the cards on Saturday.

Marc Deleo, vice president of marketing for Hard Rock in Bristol, estimated that around 5,000 Unity Cards, a customer loyalty card for Hard Rock operations, have been given out so far at casino-related events in Bristol, including those at Bristol Dragway, elsewhere. in the Tri-Cities, Knoxville and Asheville.

Deleo said Unity cards are free for anyone 21 or older and by the end of the year will be valid and usable at Hard Rock properties around the world. The cards will be usable at Bristol’s casino, restaurants, entertainment venues and retail stores, as well as stand-alone restaurants and other Hard Rock operations internationally.

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He said that whenever a cardholder presents the card and players a table game, slot machine or performs any other Hard Rock transaction, the person will receive rewards and bonuses via email, including free games, free food and other perks.

Those who registered on Saturday received a free Hard Rock 1971 tote bag, a cozy mug, information about online games and a Hard Rock bandana, as well as a ticket for free food from a food truck That day.


Carr, Perry and Carr

Left to right, Cameron Carr, Heath Perry and Natalie Carr during the Unity card giveaway on Saturday at the upcoming Bristol Casino which will open on July 8.

Among those queuing for food were Natalie Carr, her son, Cameron Carr, and her boyfriend, Heath Perry. Blountville’s mother is the manager of Moe’s Southwest Grill in the nearby Pinnacle development, where Perry serves as assistant manager.

“We’re thrilled,” Natalie Carr said of the casino after getting her Hard Rock loyalty card.

“It’s already bought business” for Moe’s, Carr said. “I think it will be good for a lot of moms and dads and everything.” Local food trucks served the food on Saturday.


Distributors of Hard Rock Garcia and Bishop loyalty cards

Left to right: Florida’s Gianina Garcia and Kingsport’s Jenny Bishop were among those working on Saturday handing out the United Cards, a Hard Rock loyalty card, ahead of the opening of the temporary casino which will open on July 8 in Bristol, in Virginia. The distribution will continue from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday June 26, as well as Saturday and Sunday July 2-3.

Also online was Jenny Bishop of Kingsport, a part-time Hard Rock employee, a 28-year-old mathematician who is still at Dobyns-Bennett High School who is working full-time this summer for the Unity program and will be part-time , nights and weekends, during the school year.

“Last weekend we were on the drag strip all weekend,” Bishop said. “I love people. I love being around people. I love my job as a teacher, but I wanted something else when I retire.”

One caveat: Bishop and other Hard Rock employees are not permitted to gamble at any Hard Rock establishment.

Another employee is Gianina Garcia, a native of Hawaii who lives in Florda and works at a Hard Rock-related property there, but for a time helps with Unity marketing for the Bristol casino. Garcia and Bishop said the employees’ variety of ages, past occupations and backgrounds make for an interesting mix of colleagues.

Although most of the people picking up the cards are local, Bishop said a couple from Ohio traveling in the area stopped by Saturday to get a card.

Cards can be pre-ordered online and picked up at the casino property or can be ordered and received at the casino property the remaining three Unity days before the casino opens. Getting one before opening will save you queuing on a first visit to get a card.

A Wendy’s near the casino property had a stream of employees, who came for the food, many wearing the black “We’re with the band” t-shirts and a pick name tag with their first name and favorite or chosen band .

Back at casino ownership, Deleo and Bishop sported Billy Joel on their picks, while Evangelista had U2 on their pick. Garcia had no choice.

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