ANNA MARIA ISLAND – Since its inception 87 years ago in 1935, little has changed in the Monopoly board game. A few game pieces have come and gone, but the properties, which are based on actual locations in Atlantic City, New Jersey, haven’t changed for the better part of a century.
But now there’s an Anna Maria Island version, courtesy of an Ohio-based company, Late for the Sky, which makes counterfeit Monopoly games based on towns and organizations across the country.
After exiting “Go” by rolling the dice in traditional Monopoly fashion, players try to buy the Bridge Street Clock Tower, Island Players, or Bean Point, rather than familiar properties like New York, Marvin Gardens, or Park Place .
If you have the money, you can even buy the Gulf of Mexico.
Forget the railroads – they don’t exist on the island – but you can try to collect Coquina Beach, Cortez Beach and Holmes Beach for maximum profits.
According to the company’s website, the games are unofficial versions of the popular game, but different enough to avoid infringing Monopoly’s copyright. For example, there are no hotels; instead, you collect the keys to the city. Despite the popularity of the historic Anna Maria City real prison, there is no prison, like the real Monopoly; instead, you’ll be sent into a traffic jam, which is true to life at this time of year.
Late for the Sky Production Company began manufacturing board games in 1984. Their first game was Miami Opoly, based at the University of Miami in Oxford, Ohio. The company’s founder is a graduate of the University of Miami, and her time there was the inspiration for the game. The game then spread to 80 major US colleges and universities. There are now hundreds of custom games that include college games, foodie games, educational games, and even a game featuring just about every popular breed of dog and cat.
Other nearby cities with an “Opoly” game include Sarasota and Tampa. The company says it studies domains by following Facebook groups, local chambers of commerce sites and digging through as much online data as it can find to make games relevant and fun. If you are new to the island, this game can not only be a source of family fun, but also send the player to island businesses and attractions that they may not be familiar with.
Anna Maria Island Opoly is sold exclusively through Walmart and Amazon.