Looking for a new venue for their bingo games since August of this year, the bingo facility that supports several charitable organizations in Manchester may have finally found another space in East Manchester's Industrial Park on November 29, 2006. According to Richard Danais, owner of the warehouse and Board President of the UpReach Therapeutic Riding Center, one of the charities that will hold the bingo games, if permission from city officials is granted by next week, the bingo games could begin operating at the 1050 Holt Avenue warehouse by mid-January of next year. This past summer, UpReach and other non-profit organizations in Manchester were forced to abandon their former home at the Amoskeag Bingo Center due to management problems.
Local retailers who charge a rather heavy fee regarding bingo consultation, acquired the building and as a result, the charities feared a loss of their traditional bingo games where volunteers ran the games at the Mill West Complex located on McGregor Street. A planned move to a Rogers Street mill was abandoned just this August and the non-profit organizations have not sold a single card in months. Danais added that he will rent out the 12,000 square feet space in the over half a decade old warehouse on Holt Avenue, located at East Industrial Park Drive. The first floor of the warehouse offers open space, high ceilings and a huge parking lot for the bingo players that will be attending the games.
Bingo games, which the city council views as an entertainment activity, are not usually permitted in an industrial zone, so Danais and company are seeking a variance. The Manchester Zoning Board of Adjustment has scheduled a meeting to consider the request by the group on December 7, 2006. Aside from UpReach, the other non-profit organizations that will be holding their bingo games at the warehouse are the American Legion-Jutras Post, Catholic War Veterans and the Palace Theatre. Danais said that the bingo parlor will operate similarly to the former Amoskeag Bingo Center.
He will then organize an umbrella organization that will rent the warehouse at a reasonable price. The rent will be paid through a $4 admission fee, a standard rate set by the state. Profits that will be earned from the bingo games will be directly given by the charities. Danais said that they would try their best to earn for the charities. He expects that the bingo players from their previous space will support their bingo games at the new space, as most charities have kept in touch with their customers via e-mail.
According to UpReach Executive Director Karen Kersting, the loss of their former space at the Amoskeag Bingo center has meant a great deal of profit loss for the charities. For example, UpReach is currently facing a $45,000 deficit in their $427,000 yearly budget. UpReach had to reduce the number of hours of their part-timers. Thus, now they will add horses and riders at a slower pace, depending on the availability of budget.
Sunday, December 17, 2006