Palm Springs Monopoly game unveiled at Palm Springs Art Museum

The wait for the official Palm Springs monopoly is over. Residents can “pass, go and collect $200” and move their favorite game pieces to the Palm Springs Visitor Center, Trio Restaurant and Frey House II.

Top Trumps USA Inc, makers of the official Palm Springs version of Monopoly under license from Hasbro, unveiled the game Thursday in the lobby of the Palm Springs Art Museum.

The game is available for purchase at various locations around town and online for $39.95 at TopTrumps.us.

Palm Springs City Councilman Geoff Kors, Adam Lerner, Executive Director of the Palm Springs Museum of Art, Jennifer Tripsea of ​​Top Trumps USA Inc., and Mr. Monopoly attended the event.

“One of the best and most exciting things for me about this new Monopoly board is actually connecting us to each other and to the audience,” Lerner told a small crowd.

Kors mentioned the three nonprofits on the board — the Palm Springs Animal Shelter, DAP Health and the Palm Springs Boys and Girls Club. He also mentioned Cinema Diverse, an LGBTQ film festival in Palm Springs, as the first LGBTQ item on an official Monopoly board.

“I really appreciate that they’re all included,” Kors told the crowd. “When you look around you at what’s on the board, you see what great things.”

Other landmarks on the board include Palm Canyon Drive, Blue Coyote Grill, Desert Water Agency, and the Palm Springs Art Museum.

Some of the “Chance” cards are “Celebrate Pride Week on Arenas Road, Raise $150” and “Pay $15 for a Photograph in Front of Iconic Wind Farms (Palm Springs)” and Community Chest items include “You have a wellness check from DAP Health, raise $100″ and “You won the best balcony at Splash House, raise $10”.

Palm Springs Art Museum Executive Director Adam Lerner (L), Mr. Monopoly and Palm Springs City Councilman Geoff Kors at the Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Springs, California on March 10, 2022.

When asked if the Monopoly board could be considered a work of art, Lerner told The Desert Sun that it’s part of our consumer culture.

“It’s a common memory for the people we share, and I know it evokes that for me personally. I think it does for other people too, so it’s something we have in common” , Lerner said.

The game was announced last summer

The new game was announced last August at a press conference in front of the “Forever Marilyn” statue on Museum Way with Tripsea and former Palm Springs Mayor Christy Holstege. Residents were invited to share their favorite places, icons and businesses to include on the board via email with Top Trumps.

“Palm Springs is truly unlike any other place and I can’t wait to see all the city has to offer featured in our own edition of Monopoly,” Holstege said at the time.

Jennifer Tripsea of ​​Top Trumps USA Inc speaks during the unveiling of the official Palm Springs Monopoly game at the Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Springs, California on March 10, 2022.

However, Jeffrey Bernstein, owner of the Palm Springs-themed Destination PSP merchandise store, told The Desert Sun that he was only offered a spot on the board if he was willing to pay thousands of dollars.

According to email correspondence Bernstein provided to The Desert Sun, those willing to pay $7,000 for the bronze tier could receive a square on the board and 12 free games; at the silver level, $12,000 could get a space on the board, a “Community Chest” card and 24 free games; and the gold tier—at $20,000—guaranteed the benefits of previous tiers, an image in the center of the board and on the box, and 36 free games.

Each pricing tier is a three-year commitment and billed annually.

“We thought it might be a good marketing opportunity, but we can design our own Monopoly game for less,” Bernstein told The Desert Sun in September. “You can’t put the official Monopoly name on it, that’s key, but the great thing about this game is that it’s an official Monopoly brand.”

Palm Springs City Councilman Geoff Kors speaks during the unveiling of the official Palm Springs Monopoly game at the Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Springs, California on March 10, 2022.

Tripsea did not address pricing for local businesses in September, but said in an email that the company had been “inundated with suggestions” from the local community on what to feature in the game. she reiterated that the company had received an overwhelming response from the community.

“They’re obviously a business and that’s sponsorship,” Kors said Thursday, adding that it’s the same when nonprofits hold fundraising events and sell sponsorships.

“There are some really unique businesses in Palm Springs (on the game board) and everything I’ve seen so far is locally owned and unique to Palm Springs,” Kors said.

There are other local-themed versions

There are three known local versions of Monopoly. A Cincinnati, Ohio company, Late for the Sky Production Co., created Coachella Valley-Opoly and Palm Desert-Opoly. The Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce also released Palm Springs-Opoly about four years ago in partnership with the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce.

The games have no affiliation with the original Monopoly. The original game has some parts of its gameplay and graphics copyrighted, but most of its general concepts entered the public domain in the 1980s.

A representative of Top Trumps USA Inc (left) and Palm Springs City Council member Geoff Kors (right) unveil the official Palm Springs Monopoly game at the Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Springs, California on March 10, 2022.

Coachella Valley-Opoly included venues such as Sherman’s Deli in Palm Springs, Big League Dreams in Cathedral City, The Living Desert in Palm Desert, Palm Springs Walk of Stars, El Paseo in Palm Desert, and the Coachella Music Festival.

Palm Desert-Opoly featured properties such as the Palm Desert Aquatic Center, Wilma and Frieda’s on El Paseo, and the Bump and Grind Trail.

Monopoly is made by Top Trumps under license from multinational conglomerate Hasbro, the toy company behind Transformers, GI Joe and My Little Pony.

Mr. Monopoly poses with the official Palm Springs Monopoly game board at the Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Springs, California on March 10, 2022.

The original version of Monopoly was released in 1935 and has been played by more than a billion people in more than 114 countries and made in 47 different languages, according to the company.

According to a 2015 article in Smithsonian Magazine, Monopoly was originally designed to educate the public about income inequality. Lizzie Magie, writer and inventor, received a patent in 1904 for “The Landlord’s Game”.

Previous reports by Desert Sun reporter Shad Powers were used for this report.

Desert Sun reporter Brian Blueskye covers arts and entertainment. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @bblueskye.


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Reggie S. Williams