Some of Aspen’s most desirable addresses are within your grasp — in Monopoly
Feel like you’ve been priced out of Aspen? Don’t fret. Now you, too, can be a fat cat who assembles an empire with some of the most desirable addresses in town and maybe even a ski area or two.
The classic board game Monopoly has been transformed into an Aspen version.
Gone are Park Place and Boardwalk. They were replaced by The Little Nell (available for purchase for $400) and Limelight Hotel ($350).
Any player knows that a key to victory is acquiring all the properties of the same color. In regular Monopoly, for example, the red properties of Kentucky Avenue, Indiana Avenue and Illinois Avenue are lucrative parts to an empire.
In Aspen Monopoly, they are transformed into a trio that any player would covet — Maroon Bells, Independence Pass and John Denver Sanctuary.
The B&O Railroad and three other rail lines in the original version can’t be had in Aspen. The four local ski areas have replaced their spaces.
An aspen leaf, skier and gondola car have replaced the thimble, top hat and battleship players’ tokens from the classic version.
The game is being marketed and sold by Aspen Games For Good, which is the brainchild of Katherine and Dane Chapin. They are owners of USAopoply, a company that is authorized by Hasbro Toy Co. to create localized versions of Monopoly and other board games. They have invented more than 400 titles of Monopoly alone.
The Chapins are part-time residents of Aspen and have been embraced by the community, Katherine said. They wanted to build off their record of philanthropy in San Diego and give back to Aspen as well. They did so through the avenue they know best.
“We sat around and brainstormed with a lot of local people” on the properties and tokens for Aspen Monopoly, Chapin said. “We wanted to make sure these were very iconic sites in Aspen.”
She said Aspen resident Lisa Baker was instrumental in helping them with creation, logistics and all other aspects of launching the local version of the game.
All profits from sales of the game will go to charity. Partial proceeds will go to Aspen Community Foundation to support its Cradle to Career program. Additional proceeds will go to Aspen Music Festival and School and other philanthropic causes to be determined.
The games became available this week at Aspen retailers for $40. Some outlets reported they have already sold out and re-ordered.
“So we know this is an absolute home run,” Chapin said. “People are literally walking into stores and saying, ‘I want 10 of them.’”
Stefanie Davis, philanthropy and partnerships director for Aspen Community Foundation, said the organization is delighted to be associated with an endeavor that combines Aspen, families and fun. She confirmed the game is proving popular right out of the chute.
“The buzz even this week is great,” she said.
The Aspen Community Fund’s office in Basalt sells Aspen Monopoly. In Aspen, the game can be found at Carl’s Pharmacy, Clark’s Market, City Market, Gorsuch, Explore Booksellers, Four Mountain Sports, Pitkin County Dry Goods, The Little Nell, Limelight Hotel, Aspen Shop, Hotel Jerome and Aspen Art Museum Gift Shop.
Aspen Games For Good produced 5,000 Aspen Monopoly in the initial run and Chapin anticipates a second run. With all the people passing through Aspen over the course of a year, the demand could remain high for years to come. It’s an “evergreen” game that is likely to be a collector’s item, Chapin said. Proceeds will continue to go to charitable causes.
“We very much hope it’s the gift that keeps on giving,” Chapin said.
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