Rose Gaming Resort in Virginia begins construction as landfill closes

Posted: January 29, 2022, 11:57 a.m.

Last update: January 29, 2022, 4:46 a.m.

The Rose Gaming Resort, a nearly $400 million venture in Prince William County, Va., southwest of the nation’s capital, is officially under construction.

The Rose Gaming Resort Virginia HHR Casino
The Potomac Landfill in Prince William County, Virginia is pictured in 2021. The landfill is where a $389 million casino called The Rose Gaming Resort is being built. (Picture: Potomac Local News)

Colonial Downs Group is behind the $389 million gambling complex in Dumfries that will replace a 37-year-old landfill. The Potomac landfill, located along I-95, accepted its last truck on January 28.

The Potomac landfill served as the construction waste landfill area. Over the years, the heap grew into a hill about 230 feet high.

It’s bittersweet,” Phil Peet, president of the Potomac Landfill, said WUSA9. “People worked every day and raised their families on the income they earned by taking someone else’s waste and putting it in the ground.”

Those days for Peet and the 15 landfill workers are over. The long-running horror that keeps rising above Dumfries will soon become home to Rose Gaming Resort.

History fuels the future

The Rose Gaming Resort plan places a new resort and casino on the landfill. The property will include 305 rooms, eight restaurants, conference and meeting rooms and approximately 50,000 square feet of gaming space.

The complex will be located at the foot of the old landfill. The remaining land will be transformed into a recreational park of approximately 79 acres.

Colonial Downs Group, which owns and operates Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums in New Kent, Vinton, Richmond, Hampton, Collinsville and Dumfries, is betting big on Virginia’s emerging gaming industry. Colonial Downs, an entity controlled by the Peninsula Pacific Entertainment (P2E) casino and hospitality company in California, uses historic horse racing machines to its advantage.

P2E in 2018 agreed to buy the closed Colonial Downs Racecourse for $20 million. But a stipulation of the acquisition was that Virginia would license P2E and its new Colonial Downs group to operate historic horse racing (HHR) machines on the track, as well as at satellite sites.

HHR terminals mimic traditional casino slot machines, but are actually electronic pari-mutuel networks. The outcome of each game is not random, like a slot machine, but rather dependent on the outcome of a horse race already run and the odds encountered that day.

DC market

Peninsula Pacific recently suffered two major electoral blows.

Voters in Richmond, Va., last November rejected a casino pitch that P2E was a part of by a slim majority. P2E has partnered with Urban One on a $565 million project called ONE Casino + Resort. But Richmond voters said no to the proposal.

Last month, voters in St. Tammany Parish in Louisiana rejected a $325 million P2E development called Camellia Bay Resort. P2E was looking to move its Louisiana gaming license from Bossier City north of New Orleans to Slidell.

With Richmond and Slidell banned, of the three projects P2E hoped to develop in 2022, only The Rose in Dumfries is advancing. But with the DC Metro less than 30 miles away, P2E is thrilled to take advantage of the affluent area.

Officials in Dumfries and surrounding towns hope The Rose will retain some of Northern Virginia’s estimated $350 million in annual gambling revenue that currently crosses the Potomac River to the MGM National Port in Maryland.

Four commercial casinos with traditional slot machines and table games, as well as sports betting, are in development in Virginia. But the northernmost casino project is currently in Norfolk. Richmond continues to debate its next steps regarding its unissued casino license.