EAST COUNTY — A year after announcing an apartment complex would be built on the southeast corner of State Road 70 and Lockwood Ridge Road, the property’s owners are moving forward with another temporary use for the space.
While housing plans are being finalized, owners will lease the front portion of the parcel to Las Vegas native Chance Luckmeister, who will hold revival tent-style games of drag queen bingo on the property.
Luckmeister signed a one-year lease with the property owners earlier this month.
He found his next big idea after he attended a Drag Queen Bingo Bonanza night March 7, at The Players Theatre in Sarasota.
“Our goal was to answer the community’s call for something new and special,” Luckmeister said. “We came up with this idea for them; it’s a perfect fit for this area.”
“Bradenton is a Drag (Queen Bingo)” will host bingo nights five night a week, which will run from 7 to 11 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and from 8 p.m. to midnight Sundays, in the parking lot in front of the former store. He said the deal came together quickly.
In May, ASAP Demolition will take down the Winn-Dixie building occupying the back portion of the multi-acre space, per officials’ concerns that the graffiti-covered building might keep participants from attending events hosted by Bradenton’s first Drag Queen Bingo company.
Luckmeister and his team can’t wait to show the public their new hub for Bradenton nightlife, which will consume one acre of the 10-acre property.
Luckmeister wasted no time in finding talent to run the events. He hired familiar faces after searching various cities to find 100 drag performers, cocktail waitresses and waiting staff to bring to the East County site for regular and special events. Hired personalities include well-known Las Vegas drag queens Lady Lockwood and Pretty Luscious, among others.
Luckmeister envisions a red-and-white circus-style tent, with large, possibly 20-foot, speakers on either side of the entrance to broadcast the night’s events for patrons unable to attend.
An electric bill board will allow driversby to play as they pass.
Each week, the event will feature different themes, based on public input posted on its Bradenton is a Drag (Queen Bingo) Facebook page.
To further the idea of larger-than-life acts and to draw in more business, he will also place various life-sized sculptures of scantily dressed performers in the lawn facing State Road 70, and possibly throughout East County as well.
Luckmeister plans to eventually transform East County into a “mini-Vegas.”
The business owner, who operates more than 50 casinos and adult-entertainment businesses throughout the western region of the country, hopes to not only grow his one-year lease into land ownership, but also plans to bring the bustle of 24-hour casinos and other attractions of the Las Vegas Strip to East County.
“This bingo site is the first of many steps to really putting this area on the map,” Luckmeister said.
“Snowbirds and spring breakers will seem a distant memory compared to the crowds I plan to bring here.”
An official opening date has yet to be announced for Bradenton is a Drag (Queen Bingo), but Luckmeister hopes for early June.
Contact Amanda Sebastiano at [email protected].
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