Come this fall, the Marina Shopping Center might be home to a bingo parlor operation that will split its profits with school groups and other nonprofits.
The Blue Devils Performing Arts organization has been running a bingo parlor in the Concord-Walnut Creek area for more than 30 years, and it wants to expand its operations to Suisun City, where the Asian Market, Green Papaya and Christian center are now.
The City Council gave cautious approval for city staff to go ahead and negotiate city bingo ordinance changes to potentially allow the Blue Devils to open up a parlor in Suisun City.
Claude Pellarin, the center owner, said at a City Council meeting Tuesday all three tenants would move to other spaces within the center if the city approved the bingo operation. In the Asian Market’s case, the market would move to a larger space.
According to a city staff report, the Blue Devils operations are dependent on nonprofit groups to supply volunteers to help run the games in exchange for proceeds that help fund the nonprofit organizations.
If the bingo parlor successfully navigates the city approval process and, additionally, finds success at its proposed Suisun City location, it could be a boon to afterschool programs and the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District sports- and music-funding group called Save Our Athletic Programs — both were mentioned as possible recipients by City Council members.
At the City Council meeting Tuesday, Brett Rios, a Blue Devils representative, said he hoped once the operation got going, roughly 1,000 people per could would visit the bingo parlor.
That led to a City Council discussion about parking in the Marina Shopping Center, which has 400 spaces, and whether it would be enough to keep bingo patrons from parking in the neighboring subdivision.
Pellarin said that traffic estimates put about 1.6 people per car, or 160 people per 100 spaces. City staff said the city couldn’t dictate how much of the center’s 400 spaces could be used for the bingo parlor and what parking could be used for other businesses.