HAMPTON – City officials from Hampton appear to be optimistic about a proposal for a resort/casino complex on the Atlanta Motor Speedway grounds.
On Monday, Alex Cohilas, Hampton city manager, said that the city was excited about the possibility, but wanted more information on the matter.
“We’re very intrigued and excited to see what the full possibilities are,” Cohilas said.
“I haven’t gone through the full conceptual, I only know what’s been reported that only 8 percent is devoted to gaming, so it seems like there’s going to be a lot of opportunity for economic growth, providing jobs, and it should be a boost in sales tax, which will be good for everyone in Henry County.”
Cohilas said the city would be “better positioned to comment” once it receives more information, but feedback it had received from citizens was positive.
“Anything that would cause people to stop and discover Hampton, I think would be a good thing in the long term,” Cohilas said. “Our view is we can achieve quality growth and not lose that small-town charm. So growth west of U.S. 19/41 can serve as an economic engine to continue to vitalize and revitalize the downtown district of Hampton.”
Earlier this month, Ed Clark, president of Atlanta Motor Speedway, proposed a resort complex that would include a casino, should the state’s constitution be amended by the Georgia General Assembly and then by the state’s voters to allow for casino gaming.
Clark said in an interview last Monday that the facility would be a “complete destination resort” with a hotel, condominiums and/or timeshare apartments, as well as retail space, restaurants, amusement rides, a music venue, a water park, karting, and other things “that cater to the whole family.”
“We would have no interest in it if it was just a casino,” Clark said.
In order for casino gaming to be legalized in the state, both the Georgia House and Senate must approve, with a two-thirds majority, the measure before it goes to the voters later that year.