Soon real-estate mogul wannabes will be able to "buy" Easton's State Theatre and Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem.
Well, not exactly.
Those sites and many other local landmarks are part of Lehigh Valley-opoly, a regional version of the classic board game, Monopoly. The game is scheduled to hit stores by Black Friday.
Organizers of the game were hoping it would be in stores by mid-November. However, delivery of the game has been delayed about a week, said Bernie Maopolski, promotional products and incentives manager for One Point, a business solutions company with offices in Scranton and Bethlehem. Some 6,000 games have been produced.
Lehigh Valley-opoly will be available for $21.95 at Giant supermarkets and all ESSA Bank & Trust branches in the Valley as well as MorningCallStore.com and several participating local retailers, including the Sands casino gift shop and the Peeps & Company store in Bethlehem.
Players will use their Peep-shaped game pieces (in a variety of colors) to traverse the board, buying up properties like C.F. Martin & Co. and The Morning Call, which is a media sponsor, and building on their territory using cottages and inns (instead of houses and hotels).
One City Center and Two City Center, part of Allentown's redevelopment project near the planned hockey arena, are the Valley's versions of Park Place and the Boardwalk. Also on the game are the Lehigh Valley Zoo, the Crayola Experience and Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom. There's paper money to use to buy the properties. The money will feature the logo of ESSA Bank & Trust, a Stroudsburg-based bank with more than a dozen branches in the Valley.
Inside each game is a $4 discount for Crayola Experience in Easton and is good for more than one person. (For example, a family of five would save $20.)
The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce and PBS39 will benefit from the sale of the games. The goal is to raise $30,000 for the Chamber and $20,000 for PBS39.
Games sold at ESSA branches will also benefit Toys for Tots of Lehigh Valley in addition to the Chamber and PBS39.
Frank Facchiano, executive vice president for Member Relations and Operations for the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, said response by businesses and institutions to be part of the game was overwhelming.
"The fastest I ever saw," Facchiano said.
Other regional versions of the game have sold well. Maopolski said 5,000 copies of Scranton-opoly — which featured that city's top sites, including Gerrity's Supermarkets, the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and the University of Scranton — sold in three weeks.
The game was so successful that another run was produced and sold 2,000 more copies, Maopolski said.
In Wilkes-Barre, 3,500 of the Monopoly-like games were sold.
Maopolski has three other regional games in the works — for Hazleton, Bucks County and Philadelphia.
WHERE TO BUY THE GAME