‘Ocean Beach-opoly’ board game scores big with merchants, customers
by DAVE SCHWAB
Apr 23, 2014 | 3259 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The “Ocean Beach-opoly” board game was a huge success for the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association, merchants and customers.                                          Courtesy photo
The “Ocean Beach-opoly” board game was a huge success for the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association, merchants and customers. Courtesy photo
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It may not be a monopoly, but Ocean Beach has cornered the market with “Ocean Beach-opoly,” its beach version of the time-honored board game.

Ocean Beach “passed go” and has collected $24,000 through sales of 1,500 copies of “Ocean Beach-opoly,” retailing at $40 per game since November.

“The first order was for 1,000 (games) and we went through that in three days,” said Denny Knox, executive director of Ocean Beach Main Street Association (OBMA), about the merchant group’s board-game fundraiser.

The first printing of “Ocean Beach-opoly” was so successful, OBMA had to go back for a second helping.

“We ordered another batch after Christmas and we still have about 500 left,” said Knox, noting board game sales are likely to continue through the annual Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off Festival on Saturday, June 28.

“It’s certainly been well received. And it’s a really great thing because businesses have made more money on it than expected,” said Knox.

“Ocean Beach-opoly” has been so successful, in fact, that other coastal communities, like La Jolla, are contemplating creating their own Monopoly-style game.

Monopoly is an American board game originally published by Parker Brothers, based on the economic concept of monopoly with players competing to own all the game board’s properties. Monopoly’s history can be traced back to 1903, with the creation of a similar game by Elizabeth “Lizzie” J. Magie Phillips.

By 1933, a board game called Monopoly had been created, which formed the basis of the game sold by Parker Brothers in 1935. Several people, mostly in the midwestern U.S. and on the East Coast, contributed to the game’s design and evolution.

This is when the game’s design took on the layout and familiar playing cards were produced.

“Ocean Beach-opoly” board spaces were sold to Ocean Beach merchants last year on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“We wanted everyone to be equal, so we just started selling spaces at 9 a.m. to those with checks in hand and continued while properties were still available,” said Knox.

She said the idea was to keep board spaces local — Sunset Cliffs, Dog Beach and the like — and eclectic in keeping with the community’s spirit.

Other beach touches were added to “Ocean Beach-opoly.” Board tokens, for instance, are not the classic Scotty dog, thimble or shoe, but rather “indigenous beach stuff,” like peace signs, flip-flops, a surfboard and a palm tree, said Knox.

Asked if there will be an updated version of “Ocean Beach-opoly,” Knox said the localized board game has probably served its intended purpose.

“I don’t think so. We don’t want to saturate the market,” she said. “We’ve been thinking of trying other fun board games.”

OBMA has said that “Ocean Beach-opoly” proceeds will go into a fund to do beautification projects and just “any great projects that come along.” 

Those projects, Knox said, are likely to include “a substantial donation to [redevelopment of] Veterans’ Plaza.”
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