By KATIE DAVIS SKELLEY
Staff writer/Social media
Bingo is back!
After almost a year since closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Challenger Bingo reopened March 3. And while the Bingo staff is excited to open their doors again, there are some modifications to keep patrons safe. The facility will operate under an 80-person capacity, with social distancing. Masks are required unless participants are eating, and patrons are required to make a bingo reservation 24 hours in advance by calling 955-3729.
While Bingo might look a little different, the important parts are the same – fun, fellowship and the chance to win some big bucks.
“We are still paying out the same $10,000 a night as before,” Ben Howard, Challenger Bingo business manager, said. At the time, due to the capacity cap, there are no plans for Challenger Bingo’s popular special events. Howard said the event nights would bring in more than 200 patrons and that isn’t feasible with social distancing guidelines.
“If limitations are lifted we will entertain doing some special events,” he said.
The facility has also changed their hours due to the pandemic. Bingo will now operate Tuesday through Saturday, 3-10 p.m. Tuesday with electronic bingo starting at 3 p.m. and session bingo beginning at 6:45. Saturday hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Electronic bingo starts at 11 a.m. and session bingo starts at 1:45 p.m. The facility will be closed on Sunday and Monday.
Food and drink are allowed, with Bingo still serving coffee and water. But instead of self-serve, the staff will serve patrons to keep with safety guidelines.
Howard said that after a year away, his team is ready to get back to work and see their regular Bingo players – and they welcome anyone new to Challenger Bingo, which has been a Redstone tradition.
“We are just excited to be open,” he said.