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The Dorman Center Bingo operation finally this weekend will get its chance to hold sessions in its new building, the former Bluegrass Bowling Center in Shelbyville.
Kitty Simpson, who, with her husband, Scott, runs the bingo operation for the Dorman Center, in March had announced intentions to move that program from Simpsonville, and tonight – after numerous delays – will be the opening event.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Simpson said. “We had to go to the state, get an architect because going from the bowling alley with the lanes, the occupancy was only like 100 people. There were just a lot of little things that we had to do that we didn’t expect.”
But now the Simpsons have the alleys pulled out, new carpet put down and are ready to showcase some new equipment and bring back some old favorites.
“We’re ready for our grand opening weekend,” she said. “We’ll have open poker tables, prize wheels and kids activities, plus our regular Dorman Center session on Friday [today], then we’ll have a midnight session, too.
“And on Saturday, that will be the big day. We’ll be open from three to six with poker and prizes, and then at seven-fifteen we’ll bring back the Cosmic Bingo.”
The neon-splashed game played beneath black lights is a big hit, Simpson said.
“We used to do that in Simpsonville, but we had go up and change the light bulbs out. Now we just flip a switch, so we’re bringing it back. We don’t need ladders now.”
Simpson said the regular Sunday game at 7:15 p.m. will also be back.
But even with all the new space, she said they’re not ready to expand yet.
“We’ll keep our regular Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday games right now,” she said. “We’re not looking for any more organizations to work with yet because we don’t want to hurt the ones we’re working with now. We want to make sure they’re surviving and confident that they can keep going with the games we have.”
She said she is excited, though, for the options with the new space.
“We’re the biggest space around here now,” she said of the center’s 1,300-person capacity. “We can do wedding receptions, birthday and anniversary parties or business events. And when the Dorman Center has their reception, this will be perfect. Besides, it’s their building.”
As for a new touch with a new opening, Simpson and her husband said they’ve taken bingo all digital.
“We’re one of only three in the state to have a machine like this,” she said describing the new bingo machine. “When the balls pop up, the camera will put the image up on the screen, and then when it’s put in its slot, the machine will recognize it and put that number up on display. It’s really pretty neat.”
The center also will have a full snack bar with the drinks, sandwiches and more.
“We’re just so excited and ready to get things going here,” she said.