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 passion 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."
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 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. 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 Smith, director of public relations and marketing at Seaside Community Development Corporation. "I've already opened my game up."
Want to buy a copy?
The Monopoly: Visit South Walton Edition games are priced at $39.95 and in stores now. Local retailers presently selling Monopoly: Visit South Walton Edition include YOLO Board + Beach and Spa 98 in Miramar Beach; the Artists at Gulf Place in Gulf Place; the WaterColor store in WaterColor; Fired Up Paint-Your-Own Pottery, Sundog Books, Fitness Fetish, Shimmering Seas Jewelry and Quincy Avenue Art and Things in Seaside; Jolie in Seagrove Beach; A. Wickey Studio Gallery in Seacrest; Gigi's Fabulous Kids' Fashions and Toys, Rosemary Beach; and Shades Restaurant in Inlet Beach. More locations are being added each week. The game can be purchased online exclusively at www.30AGames.com.
Although the Monopoly board is only so big, the game is a pretty thorough representation of South Walton — covering everything from The Walton Sun to Alaqua Animal Refuge.
"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.”
The game is also a great souvenir for tourists and second home owners 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," Smith said.
“We hope it typifies their beach experience and allows them to play like they’re on vacation," Wickey added.
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.
“Year after year, thousands of families travel to South Walton to build traditions and memories of their time together in this special place,” said Visit South Walton Executive Director Dawn Moliterno. “The Monopoly: Visit South Walton Edition provides these families with yet another unique memento by which to remember their perfect beach, even after they return home.”
Now that Monopoly: Visit South Walton Edition is available for purchase, there's just one more thing Wickey needs to do and that's play. He already has a purchasing strategy.
"I'm going with our natural wonders and beach towns," he said.
At $1,430, it's a steal.
For more information visit www.facebook.com/MonopolyVisitSouthWalton.
Walton Sun available for purchase
While you're playing Monopoly: Visit South Walton Edition, be sure to snag the Walton Sun early and collect cash from any visitors or residents who stop by. George Wickey of 30A Games made the decision to use local print media in place of the four railroads, and the Sun is thrilled to be part of area businesses and destinations featured on the game board.