California

Like Monopoly? These custom board games shout out Central Coast landmarks

Ever wanted to own a piece of Pismo Beach or Santa Maria?

This is your chance: Custom Monopoly games for each city have hit shelves at Walmart.

The customized board games were made by Late for the Sky, a Cincinnati-based company that has made Monopoly games for cities all over the country.

Bill Schulte, one of Late for the Sky’s owners, told The Tribune in a phone interview that the company works with Walmart stores to figure out if there’s enough interest in a customized game.

“When they feel like this game would be something their customers have an interest in they contact us about creating a game specific to that area,” Schulte said.

The Pismo Beach game hit store shelves sometime around the end of February or the beginning of March, Schulte said. The Santa Maria game came out in the past few weeks, he said.

There’s also a Santa Barbara-opoly, which came out sometime between the Pismo Beach and Santa Maria releases, Schulte said.

In the Santa Maria game, players can own institutions such as Allan Hancock College and the Historic Santa Maria Inn.

The Pismo Beach game features local landmarks like the pier, Splash Cafe, the Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove and the Pismo Beach sign.

But both games also include properties from other cities: the Pismo Beach game has Bubblegum Alley in San Luis Obispo and the Central Coast Aquarium in Avila Beach on the board, while the Santa Maria game lists Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc and the Dana Adobe in Nipomo as properties.

Schulte said the company tries to use landmarks with a “big connection to local people,” which sometimes necessitates going outside the city proper.

“We want to keep things right in city limits, but some of the things that are most popular are just outside the city,” Schulte said.

The company has made games for other California cities, including Fresno and Sacramento. The Fresno game came out around the holidays in 2018.

“The California market has certainly been the best market we’ve had so far this year,” Schulte said. “It’s surprising how much everybody loves where they live out there.”

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