When Sharon Ellis heard rumors that a casino might be built down the highway from her home in Rockingham County, she called the county’s planning and zoning office.
“They were very kind on the phone, but he did kind of laugh,” Ellis recalled. “He said people can stir up quite the rumors in the county. It kind of gave me a little bit of assurance.”
That was the first week of July, Ellis said, and the next week she called county commissioners with the same question. They were vague, Ellis said, telling her that a 192-acre plot that was up for rezoning would be the biggest project in county history, but they couldn’t provide details.