Rocky Mount Begins Purchasing Land Previously Linked To Casino Expansion

Rocky Mount reportedly has embarked on an ambitious land acquisition plan that could pave the way for significant economic development opportunities in the region.

The city purchased approximately 42 acres of land for $4 million, beginning its efforts to acquire over 300 acres of prime real estate previously linked to plans to join the ranks of North Carolina casinos.

Rocky Mount invests in its economic future

Situated near the intersection of Old Carriage Road and Sunset Boulevard, the purchased land is close to the junction of US 64 and Interstate 95, just eight miles west of downtown Rocky Mount. City Manager Keith Rogers Jr. emphasized that the acquisition is part of the city’s broader initiative to invest in its economic future.

According to the Triangle Business Journal, the Rocky Mount City Council authorized the purchase of this land for around $15.2 million at the end of last year, reflecting the city’s long-term vision for economic growth and development.

The land in question had been earmarked as a potential site for a casino, aligning with previous proposals from state lawmakers to allow the operation of three casinos in North Carolina, including one in Nash County.

However, these plans encountered resistance and were eventually put on hold.

NC Development Holdings, a company associated with Baltimore-based casino developer The Cordish Companies, had secured options on most of the land the city intended to purchase.

A Rocky Mount casino won’t be discussed in NC legislature this year

Despite speculation about the potential use of the land for a casino, Rogers reiterated that commercial casinos currently are not permitted in North Carolina. He highlighted the city’s intention to close on the remaining land next month, underscoring its commitment to driving economic growth and revitalization efforts.

Rocky Mount, spanning Nash and Edgecombe counties, has been striving to revitalize its downtown area and address population decline in recent years. With a population drop from 57,477 residents in 2010 to approximately 54,000 residents in 2022, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the city is exploring strategic initiatives to stimulate economic development and attract investment.

The acquisition of this significant parcel of land represents a pivotal step for Rocky Mount as it seeks to leverage its resources and position itself for future growth and prosperity.

With casino expansion legislation off the table in 2024, North Carolinians must wait until at least 2025 for further casino expansion debates. While likely, no lawmakers have clarified whether the three counties proposed in 2023 casino legislation–Anson, Nash and Rockingham–will remain the focus for future legislation.

Tribal casino expansion mirrors Rocky Mount land purchase

Similarly, the Catawba Nation recently made headlines with its acquisition of the Two Kings Casino Resort and its surrounding land in Kings Mountain. This move mirrors Rocky Mount’s initiative as the Catawba Nation solidifies its position and plans for future growth in the region.

The tribe, led by Chief Brian Harris, announced the successful purchase of approximately 42 acres of land adjacent to the Two Kings Casino Resort, marking a significant step toward bolstering economic self-sufficiency. The acquisition includes the surrounding property and parking area, previously held by Sky Boat Gaming, a Greenville, South Carolina-based gaming company instrumental in operating the casino.

With both the expansion in Kings Mountain and the land purchases in Rocky Mount, North Carolina is mobilizing its efforts toward the creation of strong physical infrastructure to support both its existing tribal casinos and any future plans for casino development.

About the Author

Nikhil Kalro

Nikhil Kalro is a sports betting writer at NCSharp. With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specializations include soccer, football, basketball, tennis and esports betting.