Quincy Hentzel, president and CEO of the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce, takes a selfie with Lynn Tillotson, president and CEO of Visit Portland, Tim Barney of Top Trumps USA and the Mr. Monopoly mascot after a news conference at Ocean Gateway in Portland on Thursday announcing that Portland has been chosen for a version of Monopoly that will be released this fall. The toymakers seek local input on which Portland landmarks should be featured on the board. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Move over Boardwalk, hello Old Port? Or Munjoy Hill? Or Monument Square?

The city of Portland has been chosen for an officially licensed community-themed version of the classic board game Monopoly that is set to be released in the fall.

Before that can happen though, representatives from the company that produces alternative versions for game-maker Hasbro will solicit local input about which local landmarks and businesses to include. Beginning Thursday and lasting until the end of the month, submissions can be made via email to: portland@toptrumps.com.

Since only 28 spaces are up for grabs, competition could be fierce.

“The way we design the setup, the original four corners remain the same, but the rest is customized from start to finish,” said Tim Barney, a representative with Top Trumps USA. “We usually cluster each color on the board around different types of business. So, it could be landmarks, museums, universities, sports teams or restaurants.”

With only two or three spaces for each sector, inclusion on the Portland board will be exclusive. Will there be room for Merrill Auditorium AND the State Theatre? Or for the Victoria Mansion AND the Tate House? And how can they possibly choose just three restaurants in a city known for its vibrant food scene?


“Inevitably, we always leave something out that people want,” Barney said. “But at the end of the day, people are very happy with the results. They see the board and they say, ‘That looks like my city.’ ”

Mayor Kate Snyder said she’s always been a fan of the game and is excited Portland was chosen.

“More than anything, having Portland represented in this way helps build civic pride – something we are good at, but you can never have enough,” Snyder said.

Portland will soon have its own themed Monopoly board game. Shutterstock/Casey Martin


Top Trumps USA (which has no connection to the former president or any of his companies) has been producing themed versions of Monopoly for Hasbro for years. The first community board, San Diego, California, was released in 1994.

Since then, there have been big cities like Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia and Seattle, and smaller ones, too, like Utica, New York, Port Arthur, Texas, and Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. In all, there have been 50 city-themed versions, and new ones are added each year.


There are several state-themed boards, too, including a Maine version that features Colby and Bates colleges, Moosehead Lake, Cook’s Lobster House, L.L. Bean, Acadia National Park, Boothbay Harbor and more.

In addition to community boards, Top Trumps and Hasbro have produced many other themed versions over the years  – Star Wars, Harry Potter and Jurassic Park, just to name a few.

Beyond these, there are an unknown number of unlicensed versions that are changed just enough to not run afoul of copyright laws.

Monopoly was introduced to game players in 1935 using Atlantic City, New Jersey, as the template. It’s been a classic ever since, and has elevated street names like Park Place, Marvin Gardens and a host of avenues in the Jersey Shore city to icon status.

Other community-themed boards that have been released in recent years include local landmarks and neighborhoods, but often prominent businesses and organizations as well.



Inclusion in the game is not free for businesses or organizations because it’s effectively advertising.

Barney said his company does not disclose any of the pricing publicly but said it varies depending on the type of exposure. Whoever wants the Boardwalk space might have to pay more than they would for Baltic Avenue, for instance. Just like Monopoly – location, location, location.

Barney said businesses and organizations that are up for consideration will be interviewed ahead of time.

Although the call for submissions is open, Barney and his team will ultimately decide who’s in and who’s out. But they have solicited input from local leaders, too.

In addition to the 28 board spaces, the Portland-themed Monopoly will include customized “Community Chest” and “Chance” cards.

Although the game is Portland-themed, there is some geographic leeway. For instance, Portland Head Light may well be included even though it’s technically located in Cape Elizabeth.


The Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce was among those Top Trumps USA invited to consult on the project.

“Our role will be to celebrate this opportunity to showcase our city and ensure our community is aware that Portland will be the recipient of our own Monopoly game in the fall,” chamber CEO Quincy Hentzel said. “The exposure will be extraordinary – it’s quite an opportunity to celebrate our city in conjunction with an iconic brand and have the chance to highlight the places we love most about Portland.”

Hentzel said she’s confident that the final product will be a fair representation of the city.

Lynn Tillotson, president of the local tourism organization Visit Portland, said she’s looking forward to seeing what ultimately is chosen to represent the city.

“It’s tricky, but I know they have done this before and they have a formula to go by,” she said. “I think when it comes to businesses, you want to make sure they are strongly embedded businesses that are likely to stick around.”

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