Wānaka to be immortalised in Monopoly board game

May 16, 2023

Wānaka is set to be immortalised in a special edition of the world-famous Monopoly board game later this year.

Well-known Wānaka landmarks and beloved community destinations feature on the board, which is designed to acknowledge the many diverse local businesses as well as the area’s reputation as a tourism hotspot in a ‘journey’ around the Upper Clutha.

The initiative is the brainchild of the Wānaka Business Chamber, which is working in partnership with Winning Moves – a licensed Hasbro provider and Monopoly manufacturer based in Australia – to create the bespoke board.

Wānaka Business Chamber general manager Glenn Peat says he’s excited about the opportunity the hugely popular board game provides to highlight Wānaka and surrounding areas.

“We have an array of incredible businesses here, and this allows us to create something that supports the local community as well,” he says. “Monopoly is a board game played in more than 114 countries and 47 languages – with many local and international travellers visiting our area and looking for a holiday keepsake, it feels only fitting to have a Wānaka edition.”

Businesses and organisations keen to feature around the board, or on game pieces, can now purchase coveted board landmarks. Demand is expected to be high, and businesses are encouraged to secure their place on the board as soon as possible to avoid missing out. Some spots will be reserved to be sold at a special auction event held by the Chamber at Edgewater Resort on May 25. Design and production of the board games begins in June.

The Chamber is reserving two spots on the board to be gifted to important community assets, Wānaka Wastebusters and the Wānaka Community Hub. A portion of the Wānaka Monopoly board sales will also be donated to Food For Love.

Wānaka Business Chamber board chair Jo Learmonth says the Monopoly project has involved months of planning by board members and the executive team. “Revenue made from sponsorship and from board game purchases will be used to allow the Chamber to continue to offer important training, education and advocacy to strengthen our local business community. It’s exciting to reach this milestone and eventually see Wānaka Monopoly come to life.”

Winning Moves Australia & NZ Monopoly manager Dale Hackett says every edition is different, as every location has its own community and character.

“We have released a total of four editions in New Zealand, including Auckland, Wellington, Southland and Palmerston North,” he adds. “Wānaka itself is such an amazingly beautiful area, and I have no doubt this edition will certainly showcase that.”

The Monopoly Wānaka edition will be sold through the Wānaka Business Chamber, with board pre-sales open from August and boards available from November.

The original Monopoly board game was released in 1935. Since then, it has been played by over 1 billion people and translated into 47 different languages.

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