Bingo always gets a big welcome at Pechanga Entertainment Center as both long time players and customers rejoice over the return of their favourite game. The Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians commemorated the center’s 10th Anniversary with the revival of bingo, which was one of the first few forms of entertainment at the center. Long time players Al and Cecile Sawyer, with smiling faces declared ‘We’re home!’ at the ballroom of the Pechanga Resort and Casino which saw hundreds of other bingo players over the past few days since the news broke out.
Pechanga Bingo Gets a Boost!
The celebrations, beginning Thursday, were the beginning of an exciting series of bingo-themed events, attracting in excess of 900 people. Old friendships were renewed, longtime friends were embraced and stories were shared as all came together for their love of bingo. Patrons remarked about how nice it as to meet up with folks that they recall from years ago. Among the familiar faces was Larry Montoya, who was a member of Planet Bingo, the ‘pioneers’ that ran the bingo games in the 90s. He expressed his appreciation at all the terrific bingo entertainment on offer. And being back in Temecula was a real treat for him.
Pechanga Entertainment Center back in the 90s
The Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, operators of the Pechanga Entertainment Center, introduced bingo as one of the early attractions when the center first began operating. Before the casino was built, or even before there was a building, the games took place in a tent located at a parking lot. The tent provided shelter from heat and cold, and this is where residents would gather and play bingo. After a few years, the tribe then moved the games into a building. In 2003, the tribe shut it down to make way for a high-end gaming area. Those who worked for the bingo games either worked in other parts of the casino or transferred to other areas, and in Larry Montoya’s case, moved to Tennessee.
A Memorable Bingo Reunion for All
Montoya made the trip again to Temecula after receiving a call about the return of bingo, which he described as an admirable act the tribe had taken. President of the Pechanga Development Corp, Mr. Joaquin Fletcher said that all old workers were called back to Temecula to mark the return of bingo and to make it a memorable event for all, with nothing but words of appreciation for the organizers. A large crowd turnout exceeded everyone’s expectations and made the bingo event a sure-fire success.
Reactions of the crowd of bingo aficionados definitely proved that bingo was still well received despite its nine years of absence. Folks commented that it felt like a good old family reunion. The casino’s 1st player’s club cardholder – Mrs D. Beyer was especially proud of proceedings. Chuck Beyer, her husband, who holds the second card, said was happy to let the ladies go ahead and take center stage.