Future heirloom? Covington-opoly limited edition game will debut just in time for holiday gift lists

COVINGTON, Ky. - Covington is joining the list of more than 30 cities that have their own community-themed versions of the classic board game Monopoly. 

The limited edition “Covington-opoly” will officially be launched on Dec. 7 at the Seventh Street Makers Market in Covington.

Priced at $25, the game will also be available at Uncorked Covington, Roebling Point Books and Coffee, Stoney’s Gifts and several other retail locations. It will be available only until all 500 copies are sold.

Playing the local game

The game was produced by Renaissance Covington, the non-profit organization formed to revitalize downtown Covington.

“The game is full of local references,” said Katie Meyer, manager of Renaissance Covington.

As you move a game token through the Covington neighborhoods depicted on the game board, you can buy the deeds to landmarks such as the Goose Girl Fountain, Devou Park, The Carnegie, Mother of God Church, or The Ascent apartment building.

The game cards also feature Covington businesses and organizations. For example, instead of a “Go to Jail” card, you may have to “Go to the Covington Police Station for questioning.” The game tokens include a suspension bridge, beer stein, clock tower, riverboat, dog, train, and bicycle.

Meyer believes Covington-opoly is the perfect platform for presenting a snapshot of the city: “The beauty of Covington is in her history as much as in her future. This game represents both.”

She added. “Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the story of Covington, because if you love this city, there’s so much to tell. The game captures a very broad stroke: from Latonia to MainStrasse, and from our arts institutions to our historic churches.”

Local businesses, landmarks

Marvin Wischer, who was born and raised in Covington, was eager have his HVAC and plumbing business KW Mechanical featured on a game card. He recalls playing Monopoly with his parents when he was little and says he played the game at least once a week when his own kids were young.

He predicts people with Covington roots will treat Covington-opoly like an heirloom, passing it from generation to generation as a way to remember what life was like in Covington. He see parents using the game to teach their children more about the history of the community and local landmarks.

As they play, he said, parents are likely to reminisce, “Here’s the store where I used to shop, here are the people who used to do my jewelry.”

Marvin notes that many people around the Tri-State have ties to Covington. Even residents of some of the newer suburbs are likely to have parents or grandparents who grew up in Covington.

Steve Bryant, president of the board of Renaissance Covington and a principal in the B Books academic publishing firm, regards Covington-opoly as a “celebration of Covington.” He said the project received overwhelming support from the community.

“The game raises awareness of the uniqueness of Covington as a fun, energetic, and engaging place to live, work, and play,” said Richard Hunt, owner of Roebling Point Books and Coffee. “Part of the magic of Covington is that each block is different, each building and business has a story, and each brownstone and restaurant fits together while standing apart. So, I think folks will rally around ‘being on the map.’”

The game was produced by Late for the Sky, an Oakley-based company that has created variations of the Monopoly game for about 60 colleges and universities and more than 30 cities. Late for the Sky can handle everything from game design and printing to manufacturing, assembly and distribution. In business since 1984, the company has shipped more 7 million games.

Hunt looks forward to selling Covington-opoly at Roebling Point Books and Coffee, because the store is committed “to giving the people in our neighborhood a place they can call their own.” He said Roebling Point Books is “uber-dedicated to supporting the community—whether it’s readers, artists, coffee lovers, advocates for social change, or cyclists.”

Hunt believes “Covington-opoly will let everyone on both sides of the river sample the fun and magic of what Renaissance Covington has described as ‘Kentucky’s North Pole’.”

Monopoly: A gift-giving classic

Custom versions of Monopoly provide a fresh twist on one of the most popular board games in the world. According to a fact sheet on Hasbro’s website, more than 275 million copies of the game have been sold worldwide. Available in 111 countries and 43 languages, Monopoly has been played by more than 1 billion people since 1935.

In addition to city-themed versions, Monopoly has been adapted to promote sports teams, brands, cartoons, and television shows. Neiman Marcus marketed a chocolate version of the game for $600 and a game celebrating San Francisco jeweler Sidney Mobell featured a 23-carat gold board and diamond-studded dice. (That game was valued at $2 million.)

Connect with contributor Eileen Fritsch on Twitter: @EileenFritsch

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