A monopoly of their own: Denver Fair committee to unveil new game this year

By on August 16, 2017

Have you ever played Monopoly?
Surely you’ve noticed the spots that reflect regional spots &tstr; like the Reading Railroad or the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
If you liked the familiarity of Monopoly, chances are you’ll really enjoy the Cocalico-area familiarity of a new locally produced game that seems like a child of the classic board game.
The new game, Denver Fair’opoly, is played the same way &tstr; and it’s a first of its kind for any local fair committee.
Thirty-five familiar stores, businesses, and banks are featured on the game board.
The cost to purchase the game is $25 and all proceeds go to the Denver Fair Committee for the Denver Fair.

Photo courtesy Matthew Mitchell
Field testing the Denver Fair’opoly game: Matthew Butz makes a move while his father Tim Butz and brother Michael observe.

The game will be available at the Hospitality Tent on the midway of the Denver Fair, Sept. 12 to 16.
Folks who have tested the game say it’s fun to play and makes a great gift.
“I’d like to thank the local businesses who made donations to support the board game,” said Dennis Worley, chairman of the Denver Fair Board. “The businesses also contribute to the Denver Fair, and we could not do this without them.”
“Our fair committee, which meets monthly, and the fair in general, can always use volunteers,” he said. “Everyone who enjoys and cares about the Denver Fair is encouraged to volunteer, even if just one day or evening at the fair.”
He credits newcomers to the organization for innovations, like the new game.
“The fair committee has profited from new ideas from young people like Matthew Mitchell, who developed Denver Fair’opoly,” Worley said.
Mitchell hundreds of hours visiting area businesses, putting the game together, and getting it produced, packaged, and ready for sale.
Mitchell, 22, has been involved with the Denver Fair his entire life.
He started showing pigs at the age of nine and was active in the 4-H organization through his sophomore year in college, a total of 11 years.
The Denver Fair is a family affair for the Mitchells.
His father, Jeff, still houses animals for two 4-H students on his farm. His mother, Sue, serves on the fair committee’s board of directors.
“I got to see how this whole process works when I was president of the Pennsylvania Junior Angus Association,” said Mitchell, a Penn State graduate. “We hosted a big show in Harrisburg last summer and needed to raise money. Another association member suggested doing a game similar to this one as one of our fundraisers.
“I used the Angus Association game as a prototype to show business owners what our Denver Fair game would turn out to look like.”
Mitchell said at first he wanted to get everything needed done by last fall.
“That timeline needed adjusted due to the time involved with making all the business contacts,” he said. “Many of the businesses bought more than one spot on the board.”
Mitchell is pleased with the colorful, sturdy game board and pieces, which come boxed and shrink wrapped.
He’s also modest.
“I don’t want to be featured or pictured since I’d like to emphasize the game and the Denver Fair Committee, for whom this work was done,” he said. “Many folks have worked hard for decades on the Denver Fair and have not been recognized. It takes all of us.”
Games can be purchased during Denver Fair week. A limited number of games have been produced.
“It’s very expensive to make a game like this,” said Mitchell. “We couldn’t do it without the generous business sponsors. I don’t see us thinking about doing this again in the near future. The game will become a collector’s item”

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