In the face of mounting financial losses, the not-for-profit GBS Bingo Hall operated by the Grande Bingo Society will close its doors for the final time on February 15th.
“We are a not for profit organization, run and operated by local charities and [not-for-profits],” it posted on Facebook. “We cannot afford to operate at a loss, and over the last two quarters have not made enough money to operate and give the charities a return on volunteering.”
“Previously, we were in a different location and even fewer [sic] people came,” the society adds. “Unfortunately, the economics behind being in a shiny new well-located building is not in the cards for our [not-for-profit].”
The bingo hall has been run out of the Community Village since 2016, following a short stint at the ANAVETS Hall. It was previously located across from the Great Northern Casino, but closed temporarily in 2013. The Grande Bingo Society notes its partnership with the Community Village, and the rent they were able to pay, was a vital reason they were able to stay in operation for so long.
A trio of auctions and online sales have also been set up as part of the closure, with the first of three taking place on February 3rd in the lobby of the bingo hall. Everything in the building, including cash registers, hundreds of chairs, tables and office supplies must be sold.
For those involved, it’s like losing a member of the family.
“Just to see all the history there, all the things that you hear people telling stories about. Everything has a little story,” says volunteer Courtney Carson.
Carson adds everything must be sold or given away by the end of the month, as volunteers have no way of storing any of the items after the 29th. A second in-person auction is slated for the bingo hall’s final day of operations, with an online auction also scheduled for the middle of the month.