‘Monopoly’ spin-off puts Fort Erie landmarks up for grabs
Psst… do you want to buy the Peace Bridge?
You can, because the iconic reach that connects Fort Erie to Buffalo — a bargain at just $90 — is just one property. You can also buy Old Fort Erie, the Leisureplex or even Crystal Beach in the “Fort Erie-opoly” game which is being sold for a limited time at Walmart’s Fort Erie location and Walmart.ca. The creation of the game is a partnership between Outset Media and Walmart. And according to Outset’s senior vice president, Jean-Paul Teskey, the concept has proven popular in the past with games made for other communities.
“It’s all supposed to be fun,” Teskey said.
The concept originated after Outset was approached by Walmart to produce games that would appeal to local markets where the retail giant has stores.
“They knew we had the legitimate rights to the ‘opoly’ game. We had Dog-opoly, Cat-opoly. Now we celebrate different communities across Canada.
Fort Erie is the third municipality in Niagara to feature a version of the classic game of buying and selling real estate released by Outset. Niagara Falls and St. Catharines also had their own versions. A fourth Welland-centric Monopoly-style game – The Game of Welland – was produced by the Welland Downtown BIA.
And while big cities got the gaming treatment, Teskey said it’s the smaller communities where the games are a hit.
“Sarnia-opoly outsells Toronto-opoly,” he said.
The game is the same as the classic Monopoly board game. Players buy properties, build houses and hotels, and collect rent when opponents land on their properties. But instead of Boardwalk, Park Place, or Baltic Avenue, players can buy properties like Point Abino Lighthouse, Crystal Ridge Arena, or Happy Jack Chinese Restaurant.
“We try to throw in a bit of everything,” Teskey said.
Fort Erie Mayor Wayne Redekop was unaware of the game, but thought it was great that the town was featured.
“It really helps raise the profile of the community,” he said.
“Monopoly” was first released in 1935, and over 250 million units of the game have been sold since then.
CORRECTION: May 30, 2022: This article has been amended to be added to the list of Niagara municipalities that have been the subject of Monopoly games.