Elmhurst-Opoly to give local businesses game-board fame
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Water Works, the Reading Railroad and FREE PARKING soon will take on a West suburban twist as the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce & Industry creates its own commemorative Monopoly game called Elmhurst-Opoly.
Meant to feature long-standing businesses as well as newer establishments that reflect trends, the game will add to the chamber's celebration of its 100th anniversary.
"It's a good time to get the game done and have something historical," John Quigley, the chamber's president and CEO, said.
The chamber began selling properties on the board Monday, along with sponsorships of the six player tokens, the stacks of Elmhurst-Opoly money and the cards in the "Chance" And "Community Chest" decks. Businesses could join the fun for $35 to $2,000.
For example, the "Vehicle Fine" or "Property Tax" spaces cost $250 and each of the two premier properties (think Boardwalk or Park Place) cost $500.
"You don't have to be a corporation to have a place on a pretty unique board," Quigley said.
During the first two days of sales, Quigley said businesses claimed spots worth $9,800 out of $16,000 available in sponsorships, showing the game has piqued the interest of the merchants and companies that call Elmhurst home.
"It's unique to Elmhurst, and this community likes that kind of thing," Ken Bartels, senior vice president of Community Bank of Elmhurst, said about the commemorative game. "This is going to be something that people will buy and hold onto."
The bank bought two corner spots on the Elmhurst-Opoly board, on which it plans to show photos of its locations -- one in Elmhurst City Centre and another on the south side of town -- or possibly something more creative.
Bartels said the local version of the classic board game, with its marathon sessions challenging players to build properties and amass fortunes, will become an instant collector's item. The idea is spreading around chamber of commerce conventions, with cities large and small making Monopoly their own.
"It will be part of the community for decades to come," Bartels said about Elmhurst's version of the game. "It will be a legitimate heirloom."
The game will be created by Ohio custom gaming company Late for the Sky, with production expected to begin in April. Quigley said the chamber has ordered 1,000 copies of Elmhurst-Opoly and plans to sell them for $25 each at several Elmhurst shops beginning in June. Proceeds will go toward the chamber's Second Century campaign, which aims to raise $100,000.
Elmhurst resident and new chamber member Mike Roberts said he's excited to have his business take its place on the Elmhurst-Opoly board. He runs Kinetic Energy Consulting in Oakbrook Terrace, so for $350, he bought the Electric Company.
He also claimed two "Chance" or "Community Chest" cards and is using them to talk up the value of energy management.
"Due to a favorable load profile, your business saves 20 percent on its electricity costs. Collect $50," Roberts said he'll submit as the text for one of his sponsored cards.
"Due to a polar vortex, gas prices go up 200 percent. Your business is unaffected due to the fact you have a fixed rate through Kinetic Energy Consulting," is what he said he'll suggest for the other.
Roberts said the game is an easy marketing opportunity.
"It just seemed like a cool idea," he said.