Monopoly game board features Seaside and other South Walton landmarks By By Jennie McKeon staff writer, The Walton Sun
The newest licensed Monopoly board has South Walton written all over it.
It’s been over a year since George Wickey, of 30A Games, started the project of creating an official Hasbro licensed board game for the area. Now, Monopoly: Visit South Walton Edition is ready for retailers and players, and Wickey can hardly contain his excitement.
“We’re very proud and excited,” he said. “A lot of great people came together to make this project come to life.”
Wickey had the idea to promote South Walton while watching his daughter create a game board for a school project. While doing research, he came across the many special editions of Monopoly featuring major cities such as New York City, Las Vegas and Miami.
“It just clicked,” Wickey said. “The way the beaches are lined up on 30A, it’s so much like a Monopoly board. It’s too perfect.”
Because South Walton is not a major city, game backers had to prove the area was worthy of the Hasbro name. As it turns out, there was a Hasbro executive who owned a beach house in Miramar Beach.
“He became an internal champion,” Wickey said. “I never found out who it was though.”
With the help of the Visit South Walton Tourist Development Council, game developers reached out to beaches and businesses along 30A to incorporate in the game. Almost everybody was enthused about the project and signed on without hesitation.
Designing the game was a very intricate process. Hasbro allowed for almost every aspect of the popular game to be reconfigured — from the game pieces to the brightly colored paper money. There were some elements that could not be changed such as property prices and the fateful four corners of the board.
Looking closely at Monopoly: Visit South Walton Edition, you’ll see a lot of intricate details that make the game board a true product of South Walton. The game pieces feature a YOLO board, sea turtle, a vintage beach 4x4 truck, a beach cruiser bicycle, a dog dragging its leash and a piece of Alys Beach architecture.
Area events and local non-profits play a role in the Chance and Community Chest cards, each of which has a unique photo of South Walton on its card back provided by SoWal.com.
Monopoly properties were re-imagined with more familiar names. Boardwalk is now 30A and Seaside is the new Park Place. Wickey made the decision to use local print media in place of the four railroads. You can snag the Walton Sun and collect cash from any visitors or residents who stop by.
Other South Walton beach towns include Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach, WaterColor, WaterSound Beach, Seacrest Beach, Gulf Place and Grayton Beach. In addition, natural wonders including the state parks and coastal dune lakes as well as popular festivals, destination restaurants, art galleries and merchants are featured.
“The official, Hasbro Monopoly edition is a fun acknowledgement of how truly special this area is, and Seaside is thrilled to be featured as one of the premier properties on the game board,” added Lori Leath Smith, director of public relations and marketing at Seaside Community Development Corporation. “I’ve already opened my game up.”
The game is also a great souvenir for tourists and second homeowners to cure any South Walton homesickness.
“We hope they will take the game with them to their homes across the U.S. and be reminded of how they feel when visiting,” Leath Smith said.
Although the Monopoly board is only so big, the game is a pretty thorough representation of South Walton. “We wanted to make sure it celebrated our beach towns, our art and music scenes and our natural wonders,” Wickey said. “We wanted it to stand the test of time and epitomize the beach experience.”
Where to Buy
The Monopoly: Visit South Walton Edition games are priced at $39.95 and in stores now. Local retailers currently selling the board game include:
• Beach Ready Spa
• Fired Up Paint-Your-Own Pottery
• Fitness Fetish
• Quincy Avenue Art and Things
• Shimmering Seas Jewelry
• Sundog Books
Outside of Seaside
• YOLO Board + Beach and Spa 98 in Miramar Beach
• The Artists at Gulf Place in Gulf Place
• The WaterColor store in WaterColor
• Jolie in Seagrove Beach
• A. Wickey Studio Gallery in Seacrest
• Gigi’s Fabulous Kids’ Fashions and Toys in Rosemary Beach
• Shades Restaurant in Inlet Beach
The game can be purchased online exclusively at www.30AGames.com. For more informtion