ANNA MARIA ISLAND – Since it was first created 87 years ago in 1935, little has changed in the Monopoly board game. A few game pieces have come and gone, but the properties, which are based on real places in Atlantic City, New Jersey, have not changed for the better part of a century.
But now there’s an Anna Maria Island version, courtesy of an Ohio-based company, Late for the Sky, that makes knock-off Monopoly games based on cities and organizations around the country.
After leaving “Go” by rolling the dice in traditional Monopoly fashion, players try to buy the Bridge Street Clock Tower, the Island Players, or Bean Point, rather than familiar properties like New York, Marvin Gardens or Park Place.
If you have the cash, you may even purchase the Gulf of Mexico.
Forget the railroads – they don’t exist on the Island – but you can try to collect Coquina Beach, Cortez Beach and Holmes Beach for maximum profits.
According to the company’s website, the games are unofficial versions of the popular game, but different in enough ways to avoid infringing on the Monopoly copyright. For instance, there are no hotels; instead, you collect keys to the city. Despite the popularity of the real-life historic Anna Maria City Jail, there is no jail, like real Monopoly; instead, you will be sent to a traffic jam, which is true to life this time of year.
Late for the Sky Production Company began making board games in 1984. Their first game was Miami Opoly, based on Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. The company’s founder is a graduate of Miami University and her time spent there was the inspiration for the game. The game then spread to 80 major U.S. colleges and universities. There are now hundreds of custom games that include colleges, games for food lovers, educational games and even a game featuring just about every popular breed of dog and cat.
Other nearby cities with an “Opoly” game include Sarasota and Tampa. The company says it researches the areas by following Facebook groups, local chamber of commerce sites and digging into as much online data as they can find to make the games relevant and fun. If you are new to the Island, this game may not only be a source of family fun, but also send the player to Island businesses and attractions they may have not known about.
Anna Maria Island Opoly is sold exclusively through Walmart and Amazon.