Scottsdale Monopoly board abounds in local landmarks | City News

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Monopoly: Scottsdale finally hit retail shelves Jan. 17, with 28 of its 40 spaces featuring some of the city’s top attractions, events and nonprofits.

Places featured include Tom’s Thumb Trailhead and Gateway Trailhead, Pinnacle Peak Park, McDowell Sonoran Preserve and of course, Old Town. 

“Of course, Monopoly had to have a Scottsdale version, right?” said Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega during the game’s unveiling inside OdySea Aquarium at Arizona Boardwalk. 

“What I like to talk about really is the different kinds of therapies in Scottsdale,” Ortega said. “We have hiking therapy at the McDowell Mountain Preserve, which has 30,000-plus acres to enjoy and find out about; we have art therapy in that we have 100 art galleries in every kind of taste, but we also have the Center for the Performing Arts, the Museum of the West and SMoCA,” Ortega added.

“Of course, we have golf therapy. We’ve got 52 golf courses and at the same time, we have sports therapy with our equine events, Spring Training baseball and then we have all of these amazing sports fields for families to enjoy.” 

These “therapies” helped guide the game board’s layout, according to Katie Hubbard of Top Trumps USA – which developed the game. 

“Each color set is themed and for every city, it’s different based on what’s important to that city,’  Hubbard said. 

On the board, players first travel to two brown squares where they can purchase either the Bob Parks Bronze Horse Fountain or the sculpture titled “Impulsion” before moving on to monuments reflecting the heritage of Scottsdale like Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and the Old Adobe Mission. 

From there, the board progresses to events such as the Parada Del Sol and Canal Convergence. 

The board then transitions from events to fun venues like OdySea Aquarium, Butterfly Wonderland and Scottsdale Stadium. 

After passing free parking, the board turns to local haunts like the Old Town Farmers Market, Marshall Way Bridge and the Scottsdale Air Tour before transitioning to frequent tourism destinations like the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess and The Phoenician. 

Rounding out the board are outdoor venues like the Civic Center, Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt and Pinnacle Peak Park before finishing with two icons of Scottsdale: the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and Old Town.

Hubbard said it was overwhelming at times to whittle down all of Scottsdale’s various sights and scenes to fit into 28 spaces of a board game.

She made sure to have countless conversations with some of Scottsdale’s brightest minds and reach out to representatives from some of its hottest attractions. 

“With any city that I go to, I have to get feedback from the public,” Hubbard said. “I spoke with Karen Churchard, the city’s tourism and events director and she was really helpful.

“A lot of these conversations I’ve had with everyone were really helpful in determining what’s important to Scottsdale in terms of what the locals love but of course, what the tourists love as well. It was really important to navigate that balance and make sure that this is representative for everyone since this is such a major tourist destination.” 

Among other organizations that Hubbard reached out to were Arizona Boardwalk and Scottsdale Arts. 

“They had reached out to us as they were really looking at the different spaces to fill,” said Arizona Boardwalk Managing Partner Ran Knishinsky. “There are a lot of really well-recognized places here in Scottsdale which are on the board and we were so pleased that we were invited to participate.” 

Knishinsky’s cousin Adi, also a managing partner at Arizona Boardwalk, echoed the sentiment, added, “Monopoly represents what we represent, which is family-friendly experiences that create memories for a lifetime.”

Representatives of other destinations pleaded with Top Trumps USA for inclusion on the board.

 “(Top Trumps) reached out to us about half a year ago and they talked to us about a couple of different options. However, since we are a nonprofit, it really wasn’t in our budget to do a large investment for Monopoly, but we argued that we are important public institutions, operating out of buildings owned by the city that are culturally important to Scottsdale,” said Scottsdale Arts spokesman Brian Passey. 

“SMoCA’s really an icon of Scottsdale in that way and Canal Convergence is obviously one of the largest events that happens in Scottsdale being a free 10-night event, drawing more than 100,000 people each year, and it’s something that we felt was important. We were grateful that Top Trumps thought that it was important to feature it on the board as well.” 

Other entities like Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West also pitched their attraction to Top Trumps. 

“There was an announcement in one of the newsletters I got that said that they were talking about a Scottsdale Monopoly game. I’ve been involved in other Monopoly games before at a hotel chain I worked for and also in Canada, so I quickly tracked them down and I chatted with Katie and then they interviewed me,” said museum spokesman David Scholefield. 

“They wanted to make sure that it was an appropriate representation of Scottsdale. Then we shared information in terms of costs, location, and things of that nature and they were very helpful.” 

Though there was a bargaining process to get these locations on the board, there was a shared sense of gratitude to be included in a game that will likely be featured at game nights across the city soon. 

“I’m always excited when I see an ad come to fruition whether it’s an ad in a magazine, or a newspaper, or radio or TV, so we’re excited by it,” Scholefield said. “Now, the next step is for us to find out when we can actually have the games (to sell.)” 

Monopoly: Scottsdale Edition will be available in stores, including Barnes & Noble Scottsdale, Kactus Jock, Scottsdale Southwest, Southwestern Reflections, The Poisoned Pen, and online at retail partners, including Amazon and more. 

Scholefield and Passey said they are having discussions to sell the game respectively at the Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West and Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art gift shops. 

The game is currently being sold for $49.95. Information: toptrumps.us.

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