SKOWHEGAN — Be careful rolling the dice: you could end up getting your car towed directly to Randy’s Auto, without passing go or collecting $200.
It’ll cost you a hundred bucks to get out. Or you can roll a double, or get a lucky draw and a get-out-of-Randy’s-free card.
Sound familiar? It should.
It’s “Skowopoly” — a board game based on the classic Monopoly game in which players compete to own properties in the fast-paced world of real estate. But instead of Park Place and Boardwalk, Marvin Gardens, Short Line Railroad, Electric Company and Water Works, there is The Bankery, Quinn’s Hardware, Hight’s auto dealerships and Redington-Fairview General Hospital.
Game tokens are all local symbols — a sneaker from New Balance, a pine tree, a fish from the Kennebec River, an apple, a maple leaf and an ice cream sundae from Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream.
The replica game has been produced as part of a fundraiser for the group Main Street Skowhegan to move forward on initiatives in its strategic plan for townwide revitalization, according to Executive Director Kristina Cannon said, rolling the dice against Matt DuBois, co-owner of The Bankery and president of the Main Street board.
“It’s exactly the same as Monopoly except for this has different places — Skowhegan places,” Cannon said.
Land on “Property Tax” and pay $200 to the bank in the middle of the board. Currency used in the game represents five area banks.
“People are excited that it will make a great Christmas gift for friends and family,” DuBois said. “People even are coming in to get them for people that used to live in Skowhegan to give them a piece of nostalgia.”
Main Street will take delivery of 1,000 of the games, all with the Skowhegan brand and photos of the area. Cannon said 107 of the games already have been ordered locally and from people who have moved out of state as far away as California and Utah. Each game cost $35, with a $15 shipping charge for mailing.
They can be purchased online at Main Street Skowhegan/Skowopoly or at The Bankery/Skowhegan Fleuriste on Water Street.
Skowopoly is the brain child of Late for the Sky, a custom gaming company in Ohio, which makes personalized games for businesses groups and communities all over the country, Cannon said. She said Skowopoly is not an infringement on traditional Monopoly or any of the trademarked iconic locations. Game tokens, she said, are not the original tokens.
In Skowopoly, the “Chance” cards and “Community Chest” cards in the center of the board are sponsored by Redington-Fairview and Somerset Sports and Fitness. There are 40 different local businesses represented around the board. The four railroads of the original game are now Hight’s stops — for the four family dealerships. If you roll the dice and land on them, you pay rent.
Gifford’s Ice Cream and Maine Grains at the Somerset Grist Mill are the new Park Place and Board Walk. There are also houses and hotels to add to each property, upping the rent each time a player lands on a piece of property.
The Skowopoly bank also is in the middle of the board — if a player lands on New Balance, that person collects all the money accumulated in the bank.
The Monopoly board game was first released by Parker Brothers in the 1930s. It is now licensed by Hasbro.
“Main Street now owns the rights to our games, so we are technically the only company that can sell them,” Cannon said. “It was very important for us to maintain the Skowhegan brand. We sent them the logo and the colors we like to use, so, as much as they could, they maintained the brand of Skowhegan.”
Other locations include Ginny’s Natural Corner, Griffin’s Clothing, Old Mill Pub, the Children’s Cottage and three stops at Lakewood theater, golf course and restaurant.
“There’s been a lot of really great response, people are really excited about the game,” Cannon said. “We posted it to Facebook a couple weeks ago and there was a huge response.”
In Skowopoly, as in the original Monopoly, the last player left on the board wins the game.
Doug Harlow — 612-2367