Fort Ligonier, Idlewild, Rizzo’s star in Westmoreland County board game
From Historic Hanna’s Town to Bridgeport Dam, Seton Hill University to the Original Pie Shoppe, regional landmarks pop up all over the new Westmoreland County-Opoly board game.
Created by Late for the Sky Production Co. in May and available only at Walmart, the game sells for $19.98.
Late for the Sky, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, has been producing licensed, collegiate board games with a property trading theme since 1985. The company has no affiliation with Hasbro, makers of Monopoly, and states that it uses none of its protected trademarks.
An early game focused on Penn State, says Michael Schulte, company marketing manager.
— Anita Ridge (@RidgeBio) June 22, 2018
Games are available for Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Altoona and other Keystone state cities, he says.
In the Westmoreland County version, players move their tokens from site to site, including Living Treasures Animal Park, Keystone State Park, Laurel Mountain Ski Resort and The Palace Theatre.
Players can purchase owned or unowned properties they land on, upgrade to city blocks and receive keys to the city.
“We research several cities and communities around Pennsylvania to make a very localized game about a specific area. We always make sure that the locals love their town before we take on a project. We make the content as authentic as possible,” says Bill Schulte, one of the Late for the Sky owners.
“We talk to locals, (Walmart) store management, and research county and city websites to get a feel for what would be popular,” Michael Schulte adds.
“We are rolling out games weekly all across the country. It’s (similar to) a game we all grew up playing,” he says.
Test orders determine how many games to produce for future sale.
The games make fun gifts for people who attended college out of town or out of state, as well as people who have moved away from their hometowns, Michael Schulte says.
One version that did well was a release of Compton-Opoly in Compton, Los Angeles County, Calif., a city once known largely for gang violence and the subject of N.W.A.’s “Straight Outta Compton.”
Compton is “making strides toward improvement,” Michael Schulte says, and the city’s game board includes the Martin Luther King Dream Mural.
“Games like this support that. It’s not negative, it’s all positive,” he says.
In Westmoreland County-Opoly, players are more likely to have to avoid a “traffic jam” on the way to All Saints Brewing Co. or Kerber’s Dairy, and try to dodge the $200 property tax while heading to the Evergreen Drive-In Theater or Abie & Bimbo’s Pizza.
Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, [email protected] or via Twitter .