Tysons Casino Bill Set For Hearing; Alcorn Plans To Speak Against It
Tysons Casino Bill Set For Hearing; Alcorn Plans To Speak Against It

Tysons Casino Bill Set For Hearing; Alcorn Plans To Speak Against It

Patch will update this story during and after Thursday’s Senate Resources Subcommittee hearing at 4 p.m.

RICHMOND, VA — Sen. Dave Marsden’s (D-Burke) bill seeking to put a referendum on a future ballot to authorize a casino for Tysons is on the agenda of the Senate Resources Subcommittee’s hearing at 4 p.m. Thursday.

Supervisor Walter Alcorn (D-Hunter Mill), who has been a vocal critic of Comstock Holding Companies’ plan to put a casino on Metro’s Silver Line outside the Capital Beltway, was heading to Richmond and planned to speak in opposition to the bill during the subcommittee’s hearing.

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Patch first broke the news in September that Comstock Holding Companies was seeking to build a casino at or near the Metro station at Wiehle-Reston Station, where the company has its headquarters.

Over the next few months, Marsden told reporters that he “preferred” the casino be built in Tysons, where it would serve as an anchor for a performance space, conference center and hotel.

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“That’s what the Silver Line was created for,” Marsden said, in October. “That’s what the business community paid extra taxes for, was to create the Silver Line to do high-density development. We’re losing $150 million a year to MGM at National Harbor. Virginians are going over there. We’re funding Maryland schools.”

On Jan. 17, Marsden introduced SB 675 in the Virginia Senate, where it was referred to the Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology and assigned to the Subcommittee on Gaming.

It was at this point that Marsden identified the abandoned Exclusive Automotive Group lot at 8546 Leesburg Pike as the planned location of the casino. Cherner Development Group sold the property to Tysons Development LLC — a joint venture of the Clemente Development Company and Khaled Juffali Co. — for over $57 million on Feb. 4, 2020, according to FFXNow.

Costantino Daniel Clemente, president of Clemente Development, is the father of Comstock Holdings CEO Christopher Clemente. Both companies are completely separate entities.


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Read all of Patch’s reporting on Comstock Companies’ plan to build a casino on Metro’s Silver Line in Fairfax County at Silver Line Casino.

During a Jan. 24 subcommittee hearing, several people spoke in favor of Marsden’s bill, including Julie Coons, president of the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, and Benita Thompson-Byas, the vice chairman of the Thompson Hospitality Corporation.

Thompson Hospitality was a minority partner in the casino project, according to Thompson-Byas. The company manages several regional restaurant chains, including Big Buns, matchbox, and Milk & Honey.

In 2023, Warren M. Thompson, president and chairman of Thompson Hospitality, donated a total of $20,237 to local and statewide candidates, according to campaign finance filings reported by the nonprofit Virginia Public Access Project. These included:

No one testified in opposition to SB 675 during the subcommittee hearing. While some lawmakers expressed reservations about the bill, it was referred back to the general laws and technology committee on a 4-4-1 tied vote.

On Jan. 24, the Senate Committee on General Laws & Technology voted 10 to 4, with one abstention, to refer SB 675 to the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee.

Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) told Patch on Friday that it was his understanding that SB 675 would be referred to the Senate Economic Development & Natural Resources Subcommittee, which was scheduled to have a hearing on Monday afternoon. However, the bill never appeared on the subcommittee’s docket. That subcommittee is chaired by Marsden, the bill’s sponsor.

Patch acknowledges that Thompson Hospitality, its employees, and others have a right to make donations to any candidate whose campaign they wish to support. The same goes for the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce and Comstock Holdings.

Patch is reporting this publicly available information; it is not saying that Thompson Hospitality, its employees and others did anything illegal

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