As of January, North Georgia residents can play "Fort Oglethorpe-Opoly," a customized version of Monopoly by an Ohio based company. As players go around the board, they'll find familiar sights like Park Place Restaurant, Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School, Chickamauga Battlefield and Sixth Cavalry Museum.
"Unless you've been to Atlantic City or grew up there, it's just a place on the board," Late for the Sky Marketing Director Michael Schulte said, referencing the original board game. "City pride runs deep."
Late for the Sky, based in Cincinnati, has been in the game developing custom local "-Opoly" boards for the past 35 years. In the past few years, the small company has focused on highlighting smaller towns with populations of less than 10,000, Schulte explained. The team works with a local sales representative to review the city's website, the local chamber of commerce, social media and news outlets to make sure they get as much of the city as they can into each game.
A Chattanooga version came out about three years ago featuring Ross's Landing, Lookout Mountain and Ruby Falls, to name a few of the properties; and some community chest pieces have players losing a turn for eating too many pancakes at Aretha Frankensteins. A Hixson, Tennessee, board dropped about six months ago with players trying to claim Northgate Mall, Chickamauga Dam and the Sinks Disc Golf Course.
"Our goal is to be as local as possible," he said.
While properties are city-specific, token pieces are more generalized. This comes down to keeping a feasible inventory, said Schulte. Thus far, Late for the Sky has developed over 650 city versions, with more on the way. "It's impossible to try and itemize the tokens," he said, so the company developed updated yet general pieces like a high-five, smile, heart, dog, sneaker and pretzel.
The game is made for two to six players and sold at Walmarts in the city for about $20.
In its first run, the company manufactures 360-720 printings, Schulte said. While Late for the Sky could not share exact sales numbers, he reported that in the first two weeks of the Fort Oglethorpe launch, it has been very successful.
"It's a new release," Schulte said, but if it keeps the positive trajectory, another printing may be in the wings.
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