With the amusement center closing down, desirable industrial-area property is up for grabs
  • With the amusement center closing down, desirable industrial-area property is up for grabs
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Many media outlets recently bid a sentimental farewell to Chula Vista’s Fun-4-All, a micro-sized amusement park that had offered kids batting cages and boat rides since the 1970s. But some unexpected entrepreneurs may fill the vacuum with an adult Fun-4-Some.

The property is located on Industrial Boulevard near the L Street exit on I-5. The location is also close to Chula Vista’s new Seven Mile Casino on Bay Boulevard. According to sources, Dan Hom, CEO of the public relations and lobbying firm Focus.com, and Ryan Stone of the La Jolla–based Monarch Group, recently visited some Chula vista council offices to discuss the possibilities of opening a bingo hall in this area.

Ryan Stone, Rodney Stone, Masis Kevorkian, and Kermit Schayltz are 50 percent owners of VC Bay Properties LLC, a corporation that owns the real estate of the newly opened Seven Mile Casino in Chula Vista. Ryan Stone is also the owner and operator of two gambling halls in Citrus Heights, California.

A recent story in the U-T suggests the Seven Mile Casino gambling license may be in trouble.

On October 19, the Reader called Ryan Stone to inquire about the possibility of a bingo hall coming to Chula Vista. Stone stated, “I’m at the beginning of my investigation,. The best person to talk to is Dan Hom; he’s helping me through it. I think as we learn more maybe we can talk but for right now Dan Hom is the person to talk to.”

Hom did not return calls to the number Ryan Stone offered. However, this statement was forwarded from Hom through Olivia Stafford, the account coordinator for Focus.com:

“For almost two decades, the Stone Family Foundation has been supporting the community through charitable giving. We are presently exploring options throughout the county of San Diego to create a BINGO venue. This is a great opportunity to generate much needed funds for local non-profits because, by law and by design, 100% of BINGO revenue must go directly to non-profits. We are still in the discovery phase of this project and look forward to working with the community to identify organizations in need.”

The Stone Family Foundation has filed 990 (tax-exempt) tax forms going back a number of years. Rodney Stone, Ryan Stone, Gloria Stone, Ashley Stone are members of the board of directors. The purpose of the foundation is “To conduct or support activities for the benefit of the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego.” In the last few years the foundation has given money to the Monarch Basketball Club of the Jewish Community, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, UCSD Foundation, the Jewish Federation, among others.

While many people are familiar with bingo in church settings or Elks Clubs, bingo halls in Southern California that are run by groups who hold a gambling license tend to be open longer hours and offer larger prizes. One such operation is the Bingo Club in Hawaiian Gardens, California. It is open seven nights a week until midnight. Critics have expressed concern that places like the Bingo Club are often located in low-income areas.

Chula Vista attorney Glen Googins said he hasn’t “actually seen a specific proposal” so he couldn’t comment on the pros or cons of the bingo venture.

Via an October 20 email, he elaborated, “Currently, any Bingo operation would need to comply with these rules. If someone wanted to operate a Bingo establishment under different rules they would first need to propose changes to these code provisions. It would be entirely within the City Council's discretion to approve or disapprove such a proposal. Depending upon the location and the extent of the operations, a prospective Bingo parlor operator would likely also need to obtain City approval of a conditional use permit. Depending upon the type of Bingo operations proposed, permits from the state may also be required (e.g., 'remote caller bingo').”

In California, a bingo establishment is not legal unless all the proceeds go to a nonprofit organization that has been in existence for more than three years. The organization must also be licensed by the city or the county.

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Comments

eruption Oct. 21, 2015 @ 6:46 p.m.

Wow, It looks like we will have our own mini Vegas Strip. My concern lies with the name Dan Hom and Focus Com. Both have an ugly history with the SUHSD.to me that's the oil in the ointment.

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anniej Oct. 21, 2015 @ 10:22 p.m.

Non profits you say? I find that hard to believe. I seem to remember Non Profits as one of the issues Sweetwater had. It was more than interesting how VERY much money was involved and just how many alerts could be found on Guidestar that were associated to those now infamous Non Profits.

PEOPLE, PEOPLE, PEOPLE - Bingo as a non profit fund raiser belongs in a Church, not on a strip of prime property in Chula Vista.

It will be interesting to watch the votes of individual C.V. Council members.

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jnojr Oct. 22, 2015 @ 11:13 a.m.

1) "Non-profit" doesn't mean they don't make any money. It just means the money is all spent.

2) If you don't want to play bingo, don't go.

I don't understand why people get so upset about something like this. "OH, GOD, NO, a bingo hall! Surely the devil will sup upon my soul!" Who cares? Why does bingo "belong" in a church but not somewhere else?

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eastlaker Oct. 22, 2015 @ 12:12 p.m.

Just one more way to drain the resources of an already impoverished community.

Sick.

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anniej Oct. 22, 2015 @ 12:52 p.m.

jnor - perhaps, just perhaps it is those who are involved that have the public concerned. Worth considering.

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Bvavsvavev Oct. 22, 2015 @ 3:41 p.m.

Glad to see what a classy city Chula Vista is becoming! First s strip joint, then a card room and now a bingo hall. I'm sure all that will drive redevelopment along the bay. Great job City Leaders! Keep keeping Chula Vista a classy city!!

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eastlaker Oct. 22, 2015 @ 9:44 p.m.

Can anyone tell me where this would fit into the City Plan?

I cannot imagine this would be a plus for any neighborhood. This is a very sad picture of what our civic leaders want--if this goes forward. And isn't Dan Hom a great friend of John McCann? Maybe I am wrong.

I simply do not understand why, if the city of Chula Vista wants to revitalize the west side and redevelop the waterfront, they would want this type of business, which only preys on lower income people.

Not the type of business that would enhance the planned for Chula Vista Convention Center. Almost more like a money laundering opportunity?

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joepublic Oct. 23, 2015 @ 9:36 a.m.

After reading this article and doing a little research, I found a publication called "Bingo Bugle--North America's Bingo and Casino Gaming Newspaper" on line: (http://www.bingo4fun.com/pdf/SDOct15Web.pdf) Scroll to page 13 and you'll find locations where the "Bingo Bugle" can be found. Apparently, in Chula Vista this publication is only distributed on the far-west-side. It's been said that gambling establishments target certain sections of cities, which seems to be the case here. West-side family-oriented places like Fun4All, Anthony's Fish Grotto, Souplantaion, Toritos, etc., have all left the area and adult-oriented entertainment establishments are replacing them. No judgement here, just an observation of imbalance. Is this what residents envisioned for Chula Vista's bay front development?

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eastlaker Oct. 23, 2015 @ 2:43 p.m.

With these types of businesses, it looks like the city of Chula Vista is trying to become a seedy, low-rent district instead of trying to create healthy businesses that promote a healthy population.

There is something very wrong here, and it probably has to do with campaign contributions. Or something like that.

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