Osoyoos-opoly proves popular
Sarah Crookall - May 13, 2024 - Biz Releases

Photo: Sarah Crookall

Locals and tourists alike can now own their favourite Osoyoos destinations—with Monopoly money, that is.

Osoyoos-opoly, “a fun game celebrating Canada’s only desert,” hit Home Hardware shelves last week.

Samantha Peter, Osoyoos-opoly designer and Home Hardware sales associate, sprawled out with coloured pens, pulling up a poster board on her coffee table with “a million different notes” when designing the game.

Being an avid Halloween decorator, Peter relied on her prop mapping skills, along with the photography of her mom and co-worker, Susan Peter, to bring her vision to life.

The locally-inspired board game features recognizable properties like the Osoyoos Museum, Junction 3 Coffee House and the Owl Pub. However, Gyro Park, OK Tire, and Home Hardware are some of the highest value spots on the board.

“This was Samantha’s project and she nailed it. Hit it out of the park,” Home Hardware manager John Jorgens said.

“She asked us, as management, if she could do it and we said Absolutely, 100 per cent, and encouraged it. She did it all on her own time, on her own efforts.”

Samantha Peter runs the Osoyoos Home Hardware toy department. One day, she saw the neighbouring town of Oliver was included in the community edition of BC-opoly, but Osoyoos wasn’t.

“I thought, Well, what the heck? Why can’t Osoyoos have its own Monopoly?”

Canadian community editions including Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto have been made since 1982. However, Samantha worked directly with game maker Late for the Sky to ensure specific local icons were included.

“If you actually take a look at the city-opolies, like even BC-opoly or Kelowna, they’re a lot different from this one,” Samantha said.

“They’re just plain. There’s not much colour on the board, nothing really on the boxes that stand out, so I knew that when I was making the Osoyoos-opoly I wanted it to be different.

“I didn’t want it to be the same. I wanted colour. I wanted pictures in the town because that’s what people know.”

Locals might notice the cherry on the box representing cherry fiesta, a grape representing local wineries, and the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre sculpture. The player pieces are the same as those used in BC-opoly: a snowshoe, a curling stone, a hockey stick, a beaver and a canoe.

“You can’t get any more Canadian than that. I thought that was perfect,” Samantha added.

The process started in December 2023, and the game just hit shelves on Monday. By Tuesday night, Home Hardware had already sold 24 individual games. Jorgens added people have been asking him to put some aside for them as well.

“It turned out a lot better than I ever imagined,” Samantha said.

Osoyoos-opoly is exclusively sold at the South Okanagan Home Hardware, retailing for $39.99. Shoppers can’t miss the wall of board games near the entrance and paint section of the Osoyoos store.

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