CONWAY, Ark. — People who live in Conway have a new way to appreciate their city. All it takes is a roll of the dice and an opponent or two.
The board game 'Conwayopoly' is now on sale at local Walmart stores. It takes on the well-known rules and look of Monopoly, but replaces all the spaces on the board with Conway landmarks.
“I love it,” Conway resident Claudia Fountain said Tuesday. “The greatest city of Conway. That’s a huge compliment.”
The game is the work of Late for the Sky Productions, a game company from Cincinnati, Ohio.
“We’ve had the city games on the market for over 20 years,” the company marketing manager, Michael Schulte, said, “but it has become more focused on local, smaller cities in the last three to five years, working with Walmart and various other retailers.”
Schulte said his company has made versions of the game for approximately 200 cities over the years. The staff consults the websites of the cities and their chambers of commerce, searches social media, and asks local sales representatives for their input and confirmation.
“If there are some businesses that have been around for a long time, we want to make sure that they are featured,” he mentioned, “because of their notoriety with the residents.”
The historic downtown takes the place of Boardwalk on the board with Lake Conway next to it instead of Park Place. A few downtown restaurants are on the board, as are the University of Central Arkansas, Hendrix College, and Arkansas Baptist College.
“So many things to do in Conway,” Fountain said. “You can go to Beaverfork Lake, have a picnic.”
In Conwayopoly, it costs $6 to land on Beaverfork Lake Park. While city leaders love the 27 roundabouts that control traffic, they are collectively the cheapest property on the board.
Fountain said she was excited to see the game released, in part because it reminds her of childhood memories playing Monopoly, “with my family, with my neighbors, and high school friends, of course. Well, I’ve been playing--I played my first time, I think, when I was eight years old.”
Schulte said consumers have typically been more excited about versions of the game made for smaller cities than they are for bigger cities.
“I think a lot of people are proud of where they come from,” Schulte said, “and they have a lot of great memories of their childhood, or even just in the now, you know? And they really love their town. Why wouldn’t you want to play a game that we all played as a child, but it be about your own hometown? And I think that that appeal that people have about their home and the game-play, it just kind of is a match made in heaven.”
Fountain is a perfect example of someone who has pride in her hometown.
“Oh, my goodness, it has got the best foods,” she said of Conway. “It’s got the best restaurants, the best schools, the best colleges, the people. It’s just a very tight-knit community and I love it!”
And just like in the city’s 27 roundabouts, you can go around and around the board as many times as you want. But in Conwayopoly, you collect $200 each time.