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New owners say no bingo slated for old Moose lodge

December 03, 1997

New owners say no bingo slated for old Moose lodge

By STEVEN T. DENNIS

Staff Writer

The new owners of the former Moose Lodge property on Downsville Pike said Tuesday they want to develop the property commercially, possibly to include a motel, restaurants or offices, and promised not to hold bingo.

Gene Albert Jr., one of the partners in 632 Joint Venture, said he has assured local fire companies that there will be no bingo at the lodge.

Universal Charitable Corp., a Knoxville, Md.-based charity, had applied for a permit for bingo at the property, but Albert said that the application was without merit.

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Albert also said a plan to turn the lodge into a tropical-themed restaurant and lounge featuring nationally known music acts was "dead." Albert said it's been months since he heard from Michael St. Clair, a former Miami music and entertainment producer, who had said he would buy the lounge.

The Washington County Commissioners rezoned the former Moose Lodge property on Downsville Pike to Highway Interchange on Tuesday. It had been zoned Agricultural.

The change will allow nonfraternal organizations to run a variety of commercial operations at the lodge, which is on 7.25 acres on the southeast side of Md. 632, about 600 feet north of Interstate 70.

Commissioner R. Lee Downey said the approved construction of the Downsville Pike/I-70 interchange next year was the main reason the rezoning was justified.

Moose International last month sold the lodge to 632 Joint Venture for $1 million. It had been assessed at $1.6 million.

The building has been vacant since Moose International closed the lodge in February 1994, citing repeated violations of the organization's laws and policies.

When it was operated as Moose Lodge No. 212, the lodge had as many as 10,000 members, making it the largest Moose lodge in North America.

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