Bingo Halls in Bay City (Michigan)
|Amvets||Bay City||520 N Pine 48708-9190|
|Boys and Girls Club||Bay City||300 Lafayette Ave 48708-7728|
|Knights of Columbus||Bay City||360 River Rd 48708-9601|
|Pulaski Hall||Bay City||1401 S Grant St 48708-8059|
|St Alban Cloverlead Club||Bay City||105 S Erie Street 48706-4431|
|Village Hall||Bay City||1338 N Johnson St 48708-6258|
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New Bay City bingo hall and event center hopes to boom business on Henry Street
BAY CITY — A Bay City bingo business is on the move and hopes to bring some entertainment, traffic and dollars to the city’s West Side.
Donald Lotter, co-owner of Starlite Event Center, planned to kick off his company’s first bingo night Friday at its new location, the former Moose Lodge at 1517 Henry St. Lotter hopes he can add some vitality to Bay City’s 9th Ward.
“We’ve fully renovated the whole facility,” said Lotter, of Caro. “We think there is a lot of positives for Bay City and this area.”
Lotter’s former bingo business was at the Village Hall, 1338 N. Johnson St. He opted to move to the new location rather than renew his lease at Village Hall.
It’s the second business to open on the Henry Street corridor between East Wilder Road and East Midland Street this year, following the restaurant Latitude 43.
“Whatever brings people in to socialize and have some fun and entertainment has economic ties,” said Bay City Commissioner Larry Elliott, 9th Ward.
Elliott said the area is growing, especially after a massive road construction and water sewer project that started in 2008. To keep it growing, however, businesses need incentives, he said.
That’s why the city established the Moose property as an Obsolete Property Rehabilitation District, offering Starlite Event Center about $39,000 in tax breaks over a 12-year span to buy the facility.
“In this day and age, people are always going to question giving tax breaks, and rightfully so,” said Elliott.
“But unfortunately, it’s a sign of the times and businesses are asking for breaks and getting it. You almost have to give it to them so they make these kinds of investments.”
According to Lotter, the bingo business can bring in some big dollars.
When he started running bingo games four years ago, the company was raking in about $200,000 a year. By its third year, that number dropped to about $180,000.
“And the current year just hasn’t been good,” said Lotter. But Lotter remains optimistic that his bingo business won’t go bust. Along with running bingos, the event center can be used for business meetings, graduation parties and other functions.
The bingo hall features state-of-the-art computerized bingo equipment. Players can rent a computerized bingo tablet for $30 and play up to 54 boards at once to increase their chances of winning. It costs $18 to play 36 boards each game and $27 for 54 boards.
“And, of course, traditional players can use disposable cards and daubers,” said Lotter.
Starlite competes with at least five other bingo games offered across Bay City. It does not serve alcohol.
Ray VanMullekom, owner of Latitude 43 restaurant, which opened in December at the former Paddock restaurant, said his business is going well and thinks more traffic has made its way down Henry Street. He pointed to the 2008 road and sewer project.
“It’s a great location for us because you’re in the middle of a neighborhood, there’s a lot of people around here,” he said.
After the restaurant opened in December, Kim Brissette, manager of Brissette’s 6 Twelve general store, 717 S. Henry St., said her business picked up.
“We’ve always had a steady business with regular customers,” said Brissette, “But (Latitude 43) helped out. There’s more traffic, and people may just think they need something from the store while they’re in the area.”
If successful, Elliott said Henry Street can become one of Bay City’s up-and-coming areas.
“It’s a great, high-traffic area, between Wilder Road and Midland Street,” he said. “That’s a good area for business.”
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