HARWICH – Clear some space on your coffee table and pull up some chairs, there’s a new board game that’s going to be the talk of Harwich for years to come.
The Harwich Chamber of Commerce is creating Harwichopoly – a spinoff of the famous Monopoly board game – in an effort to continue to promote Harwich and the chamber’s members.
“I go down a lot of rabbit holes with some crazy ideas, but I never thought I’d be making a Monopoly game,” said Cyndi Williams, the chamber’s executive director.
The game will look like the Monopoly board game that was first introduced in 1935, though it will be outfitted to represent Harwich’s seven villages and the businesses that call them home.
Williams said the idea came to her after spotting a Facebook post by a member of a group that unites chambers from around the nation.
“A conversation kind of started around the country in the group and I thought, ‘Oh, this is kind of cool,’” Williams said. “We have so many new businesses throughout the seven villages of Harwich and, as the Harwich chamber, we take care of all seven villages. So, I said, ‘All right, this would be a neat way to get a wide-range of businesses involved.”
Williams quickly put together a registration form and sent it out to all of the chamber’s members early on the morning of April 29. What happened next stunned her a bit, as all four corners of the board, the money and the two sets of Community Chest and Chance cards were all sold out within about 10 minutes of her sending out the form.
The first company to sign up was the chamber’s newest business, Seagulls Ice Cream and Soda Fountain, which is set to open in May.
“I emailed all of our members with the form and they signed up right away,” Williams said. “People loved it — it just took off!”
As of press time, Williams said she believes all of the board pieces have been purchased and accounted for by the chamber’s members. She also said the chamber plans on ordering 500 copies of the game to start and will begin selling them at the end of August or the beginning of September, depending on when the shipment arrives.
“We’ll sell the game for $30 and the money raised will all go back to how we operate the chamber,” she said. “We’re fully funded by memberships, sponsorships and the fundraising that we do, like this, and events. So, this will be another way for us to keep going.”
Some of the companies that will appear on the board alongside Seagulls Ice Cream and Soda Fountain include Cape Cod Realty Group, The Platinum Pebble, Cape Cod Wealth, Say It Sweetly, Dairy Queen, The Pilgrim Lodge and the 400 East Restaurant, among others.
“I’m really happy the businesses were excited to be involved with it, and so quickly, too,” Williams said. “Our hotels that have bought the different squares are going to buy some to keep in their hotels and some of the local realtors said they were going to buy some. It’s going to be a great thing.”
Williams said she’s aware that some local towns have made custom Monopoly games in the past, noting that she remembers Chatham and Harwich producing games many years ago. However, this year’s game will include the town’s latest businesses and will be able to be played for decades to come.
“It’s not that this hasn’t been done, but now it’s starting to come back around,” she said. “I haven’t seen any of our local chambers doing this recently, but it’s definitely a good thing, especially as the town and its villages continue to grow. All of the new businesses will now be a part of a game that people will play for years.”
Williams said the chamber will continue to post updates about the game on its social media channels. Businesses with questions about the game or the chamber can reach her via email at Cyndi@harwichcc.com.
Email Brad Joyal at email@example.com