Bendigo landmarks to feature in global board game Monopoly

Bendigo’s historic and modern landmarks, like Pall Mall, Rosalind Park or the Great Stupa could soon feature on a new custom Monopoly, as the family-friendly world board game gets a facelift in central Victoria.

Tourism operators and Bendigo advocates hope fun promotional tools like the local Monopoly board game will help bring visitors back to the regional town.

Monopoly was created in 1935 and its creator Winning Moves, under license from Hasbro, now makes a Bendigo version where people can buy and sell the attractions of Bendigo on his way to becoming a real estate mogul.

The local attractions will replace Mayfield and Park Lane from the original London Monopoly board and come with a custom “Community Chest” and “Chance” playing cards that reflect the town of Bendigo.

James Reade of Bendigo Heritage Attractions wants to land on Joss House Temple and Tramways.(Supplied / Bendigo Heritage Attractions)

This has excited tourism advocates in the region and Bendigonians can vote for the places and landmarks they would like to see featured in the edition of the popular board game when it is released in October.

James Reade is the CEO of Bendigo Heritage Attractions and said he would vote for the Joss House Temple and Bendigo Trams to be immortalized in a Monopoly board.

“The trams have been running since 1903 without interruption. This is after the first tram went into service in 1890. So a lot of history.”

“And as a child, you bounce around the Monopoly board; it will also be a good learning opportunity to promote and share the stories of Bendigo’s history and culture.”

Michael Counsell of Winning Moves said he looked for places that had culture, history, and location to fit the board game.

“We customize the whole board. What goes into the edit will be decided by the people,” Counsell said.

A white poppethead, a tall structure, used for mining during the Goldfields era.
Gold mining will likely feature on the new board game.(ABC Central Victoria: Shannon Schubert)

Mr. Counsell said the hardest part of his job was reducing positions to 22 locations on the board.

Hopes for boosting tourism spending

The news coincided with the federal government’s announcement that Australia’s borders would reopen to double-vaccinated tourists by February 21.

The Department for Jobs, Constituencies and Regions said total tourism spending in Victoria was $12.8 billion for the year ending June 2021, a 50 per cent drop from 2020.

The Tourism Industry Council says Victoria has lost $20 billion in the last two years of the pandemic.

Fountain Alexandra of Bendigo.
Bendigo’s Alexandra Fountain will likely feature in a new Monopoly board.(ABC Central Victoria: Tim Purdie)

The council’s chief executive, Felicia Mariani, said reopening borders to international travelers would not bring immediate relief to tourism operators, but it was a step in the right direction.

“When you go abroad it takes time to plan a trip, that’s why having a date is so important,” Mr Mariani said.

“Operators can prepare and people abroad can have the confidence to plan a trip.”

Bendigo residents can vote for the places and landmarks they would like to see featured in the popular board game edition via the official Bendigo Monopoly Facebook page or by emailing [email protected] .

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