The big stack of cash in the middle of the game board became more tantalizing every roll of the dice.
The “I Love Tooele” space remained elusive, however, after many trips around a virtual Tooele County. I’d already put away a good chunk of my possible earnings due to property taxes and parking tickets; photo editor Francie Aufdemorte might have had it worse.
Editor Tim Gillie, however, was zipping around the board mostly scott-free as he piled up stacks of $100 bills and grabbed pricey properties like Settlement Canyon and Tooele Army Depot. So, of course, the rich got richer — and Tim snatched himself a cool $1,100 when he was the first, and only, person to land on the “I Love Tooele” space with available cash.
I guess that’s why so many games of Monopoly end with a flipped board, though we avoided any meltdowns playing a local twist on the Hasbro classic — Tooele-Opoly. We played the one hour version of the game, which probably helped. No one had to mortgage properties or face real bankruptcy, so things remained civil.
The Tooele variant, created by Late for the Sky in Cincinnati, Ohio, features a few changes. Monopoly’s railroads are replaced by ghost towns like Iosepa and Mercur, the utilities are swapped for the Tooele County Fair and Tooele Arts Festival, and Boardwalk and Park Place are now Bonneville Seabase and the Pony Express Trail, respectively.
Perhaps most fittingly, Monopoly’s jail is exchanged for a traffic jam, featuring an irate, red-faced driver.
There are some subtle changes to gameplay, too. Popular Monopoly house rules, like a payday for landing on Free Parking comprised of everyone’s fines and taxes (now “I Love Tooele”), are instead official.
Tooele-Opoly is available at the Tooele Walmart, as part of the partnership between the game company and the Bentonville, Arkansas-based super retailer, according to Late for the Sky’s Bill Schulte.
A June 12 post on the Tooele Walmart’s Facebook page let the public know they had a new shipment of the games to grab while supplies last. The post was shared 23 times, with 42 reactions and 32 comments, which were mostly people tagging their family and friends.
Each of the custom city, town, or community-oriented custom games are researched by Late for the Sky by contacting locals (generally Walmart employees), and websites for the local municipalities, visitor bureaus, the chamber of commerce and other “things to do” site, Schulte said. While the local flavor makes the -Opoly games a draw, Schulte said Tooele-Opoly is exceptionally popular.
The Cincinnati-based company has more than 500 different games either in stock or in the works, Schulte said.
Playing the one hour version of the game was still plenty of time for things to go sideways for those of us who didn’t win while Tim cleaned up. Francie hit a streak where she landed on “Exit to Traffic Jam,” then got the “Contingency” (think Chance) and “Big Fun” (think Community Chest) cards to go directly to the traffic jam back-to-back-to-back.
It was the complete Tooele commuter experience.
While touring the board, Tim, our education reporter, made numerous stops at Tooele Technical College, Utah State University’s Tooele Regional Campus and the Community Learning Center. He also stopped at the golf courses a lot, between stops at Casa Del Ray and Dairy Delight.
I got into a rut where I could not stay away from the Tooele Pioneer Museum, landing on it multiple trips in a row. It was a nice reminder to stop by in person again sometime soon.
Francie, when she wasn’t stuck in the traffic jam, collected all but one of the ghost towns.
In the end, Tim won by a comfortable margin of nearly $1,800 as the hour ended, raking in more than $4,200.
We didn’t get far enough into the game to put city blocks (houses) and keys to the city (hotels) onto the board and there wasn’t any wheeling and dealing to get a full set of properties.
It’s probably for the best we went with the abridged version. People take Monoply and its relatives pretty seriously.
One of the last times I played with my wife, she was steamed at me for ages after I made an extremely fair, well-balanced trade with a friend of mine which eventually led to her bankruptcy.
So, if you’re a collector or just amused by the local connection, Tooele-Opoly could be a fun pickup. Just be prepared for the blowback if you’re lucky enough to come out on top!