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coastermonger
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March 20, 2014 3:17 am  

I was curious if there's already an established board game store on STT. If not, perhaps this is a niche where I can help.

Imagine something similar to a library, except instead of books on the shelves there are board games. You walk in to find an extremely wide selection and variety to choose from - classics, new games, even types that are considered hard to find. Catan, Ticket to Ride, Risk, Monopoly, Magic the Gathering, 7 Wonders, Cranium, Diplomacy, Apples to Apples, Pandemic, Dominion, Agricola, Carcassone, Life, ...you name it!

The idea is that you could buy a cheap day pass or monthly membership to come and go as you please. More than just a "library," it would be a hang-out joint for a group of your friends, or you could come solo to mix and mingle with fellow gamers. Snacks and drinks would be on hand, and outside food would be welcome if you want to bring that in. If you like the game you're playing, you could buy a copy of it for yourself or have it special ordered.

Strategy games, party games, casual games, solo games, cooperative games, card games, collectible games, puzzle games, this place would aim to have it all. Personally, I find the concept of board gaming to be incredibly rewarding. They're great for a rainy day or a lazy afternoon. They can be used to break the ice, have a great time with friends and family, and test your wits and skills for fun and entertainment. Best of all, they require no batteries.

Let me know your thoughts and I'll see what I can do 🙂


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CAtoSTX
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March 20, 2014 11:16 am  

I have little hope for most stores since we lost our only bookstore.
I know the gaming store concept, but think the clientele is TOO niche for a place like STT where the overhead of having a store is exorbitant.


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divinggirl
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March 20, 2014 11:44 am  

I love this idea! My friends and I used to do game nights all the time - not sure why we've gotten away from it. It's a great concept that would also provide a good social setting as well. However, I am not sure how lucrative or sustainable it would be in an area with such a small population.


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mtdoramike
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March 20, 2014 1:07 pm  

BOARD GAMES, really, you do realize we live in the computer age. Now if you opened up a computer cafe with the idea of having gamers come in to play on line games, then you might stand half of a shot of it making it through the first year. But you are wanting to open up a business with little to no capital using BOARD GAMES, don't get me wrong, board games are great when the power goes out and is off for days. I can take a chess set down to any bar and play all day or night and only pay for what I consume.

The reason why book stores went out of business is because they couldn't compete with all the online book vendors as well as most books being online and easy to access.


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ms411
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March 20, 2014 1:54 pm  

People in the Caribbean mostly play dominos, so you lose a large market segment. Some hotels and villas provide games for their guests. I have games still in the box, because I can't find people interested in playing.

Board games are good in areas with cold winters, but in warm climates you mostly enjoy the cool nights and talking with friends.


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riverwed070707
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March 20, 2014 2:29 pm  

We love playing board games but to be totally honest, I can't imagine paying a monthly fee to play unless it was REALLY cheap. I have to imagine it would be hard to turn a profit on that alone but maybe if it were in conjunction with a cafe or something where the food was turning a profit and the games gave customers a reason to stay and spend more time there it would have a better shot at survival?

Alternatively, its not a business idea, but perhaps a game share club where people get together once a month to exchange games and maybe have a game night before the swap? I'd be in for that!


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islandjoan
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March 20, 2014 2:34 pm  

One day an enormous coronal mass ejection will bring down the entire electricity grid.

Nothing will work.

Board games might become quite popular then.:D


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Exit Zero
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March 20, 2014 3:08 pm  

You might want to check out Frenchtown Deli on STT - they have a Scrabble night once a week.


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speee1dy
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March 20, 2014 3:20 pm  

i love board games, but i can not imagine one would actually do very well here


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coastermonger
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March 20, 2014 5:10 pm  

I appreciate the comments! Whether you think it's feasible or not, leave the financial part to me. I'm independently wealthy by other means, but games represent a personal passion. I'm simply interested in whether you would want to visit such a place yourself.

For the skeptics, some points to consider:
1) A library doesn't often run into the same costs as other retailers. New product is ordered, but most of it doesn't need to be continuously "re-stocked."
2) Additionally, the merchandise doesn't expire or become outdated.
3) There are no special storage requirements or extra regulatory hurdles to store and sell board games.
4) The value of the store can grow over time as its inventory naturally expands, and as some games even go "classic," becoming hard to find elsewhere.

The store would primarily generate revenue by selling its game inventory to tourists, drinks and snacks to patrons, and entrance fees for those that want to access the enormous library for themselves. For those getting off a cruise ship, grabbing a game for the long ride home can be an excellent option to keep the boredom at bay. In a way, this also allows tourists to continuously build towards a longstanding and very valuable community hub that everyone on the island can benefit from. Example pricing would be:

Retail Section to browse and view the inventory for sale - always free
Day pass to come and go as you please, full access to the library - $8
Monthly pass for those that want to come in more frequently - $25
If you donate a game to the library that it didn't have before, you can get 2x monthly passes for free.

I guess the idea is playing off the concept of what people like to do in their free time. If you've ever wanted more options, or have been looking for something new to do, this could be a nice break from the norm!


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Alana33
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March 20, 2014 5:30 pm  

Not to burst your bubble but you should first consider and investigate the cost of leasing a place that will accommodate your needs, especially with a very good location for interaction to tourists as well as locals, the costs of doing business with regards to licensing, liability insurance, Hurricane Insurance, etc., gross receipts and other taxes, all the minutia of related costs plus, last but not least, WAPA.

Our tourist high season is short. The majority of cruise ships head out for Europe, the Mediterranean and Alaska destinations in May and don't return until about mid-Nov. when things pick up again. Arrlines arrivals drop off during this period as well. You must have a dedicated local clientele to survive in "off season."


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noOne
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March 20, 2014 5:35 pm  

BOARD GAMES, really, you do realize we live in the computer age.

I pretty much play just one game, an on-line MMO, Rift. That said, Apples to Apples is a really fun card game, you should all try it.


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coastermonger
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March 20, 2014 6:05 pm  

Not to burst your bubble but you should first consider and investigate the cost of leasing a place that will accommodate your needs, especially with a very good location for interaction to tourists as well as locals, the costs of doing business with regards to licensing, liability insurance, Hurricane Insurance, etc., gross receipts and other taxes, all the minutia of related costs plus, last but not least, WAPA.

Our tourist high season is short. The majority of cruise ships head out for Europe, the Mediterranean and Alaska destinations in May and don't return until about mid-Nov. when things pick up again. Arrlines arrivals drop off during this period as well. You must have a dedicated local clientele to survive in "off season."

I love your realism. Perhaps if you feel up for it, I could tap you as a consultant due to your local expertise. I would ultimately not aim to lease, but buy a property outright. WAPA seems like a pain, so I'd prefer to detach myself from them as much as possible. Luckily I have connections in the solar power industry.

Still, the core concept remains. If I build it, will they come? I'll have to do some market research over the next few months to find out. But the comments here are still valuable.


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riverwed070707
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March 20, 2014 6:06 pm  

I like the idea that you can get monthly passes for donating a game. Great way to build your inventory and regualr patrons. For the day pass, perhaps you'd also consider giving a free or disounted pass for making a food or beverage purchase? Could serve traditional game night fare -- popcorn, root beer floats or sundaes....

Also just another consideration, maybe its not your target audience but if you're wanting to attract families, I feel like you'd have to have some sort of group pricing. If $8 only gets one person access, probably I'm not going to bring my family of 4 our as that becomes a rather pricy afternoon activity. Consider either a set rate for people in the same household or maybe kids under 12 are free or something to that effect.


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Alana33
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March 20, 2014 6:46 pm  

Not to burst your bubble but you should first consider and investigate the cost of leasing a place that will accommodate your needs, especially with a very good location for interaction to tourists as well as locals, the costs of doing business with regards to licensing, liability insurance, Hurricane Insurance, etc., gross receipts and other taxes, all the minutia of related costs plus, last but not least, WAPA.

Our tourist high season is short. The majority of cruise ships head out for Europe, the Mediterranean and Alaska destinations in May and don't return until about mid-Nov. when things pick up again. Arrlines arrivals drop off during this period as well. You must have a dedicated local clientele to survive in "off season."

I love your realism. Perhaps if you feel up for it, I could tap you as a consultant due to your local expertise. I would ultimately not aim to lease, but buy a property outright. WAPA seems like a pain, so I'd prefer to detach myself from them as much as possible. Luckily I have connections in the solar power industry.

Still, the core concept remains. If I build it, will they come? I'll have to do some market research over the next few months to find out. But the comments here are still valuable.

Happy to help if I can. PM me.


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speee1dy
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March 20, 2014 6:53 pm  

i would think there would be other areas that would have more of a need for this service ( seattle maybe ). and i agree with Alana about wapa, and if you can do it without wapa than you have a better shot than most. with your unlimited supply of money makes it even more feasible for you.
riverwed is correct about a family plan, at the prices you are proposing,a family would be better off buying a game from the flea market or kmart

Good luck and ask more questions


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mtdoramike
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March 20, 2014 7:08 pm  

I re-read your original post and couldn't find any where it mentioned that you have visited the islands before. To me, you would have a better chance with a themed style business like Putt putt golf, which also includes laser tag and maybe a paint ball course.


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mtdoramike
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March 20, 2014 7:13 pm  

I re-read your original post and couldn't find any where it mentioned that you have visited the islands before. To me, you would have a better chance with a themed style business like Putt putt golf, which also includes laser tag and maybe a paint ball course.

You could also consider a bingo hall. They are big business where I'm from and are usually packed every night because people love the game of chance.


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Alana33
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March 20, 2014 7:46 pm  

Think there's a Paint Ball business here in STT already. Have seen signs. Don't know how that is doing.
The Putt Putt golf that started near the old Pinapple Beach Resort (now soon to be Margaritaville) across from intersection going towards Coki Beach died quite a few years ago.

You have to figure out a good, safe location while hitting your target audience.
Decades ago, downtown was a thriving after hours business place that had lots to do and places to go a within walking distance (bars/restaurants/etc.) and was safe and secure. Parking depending on location can also be an issue whether day or night.
Something to think about.


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LiquidFluoride
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March 20, 2014 8:03 pm  

BOARD GAMES, really, you do realize we live in the computer age.

I pretty much play just one game, an on-line MMO, Rift. That said, Apples to Apples is a really fun card game, you should all try it.

I've just pre-ordered WildStar... as a long time MMO player I like the "fun" direction this game is going, you should check it out (unless your completely happy with Rift)

I love the boardgame idea... I would frequent if it were on STX!

There was a [URL="http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/abinazir/2011/06/15/what-are-chances-you-would-be-born/"]1: 400,000,000,000,000[/URL] chance of you being born: what have you done with your miraculous life today?


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JulieKay
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March 20, 2014 8:09 pm  

As much fun as board games can be, I just don't see the appeal, especially to the younger generation. A bar where we live now has a "game wall" with all sorts of modern and older games and it is never touched.

One of our friends is an old school paper and pen RPG but he belongs to a national club and travels to play every year. Like others have said I don't see the VI having the demographics for this.

"This is your world. Shape it or someone else will." ~Gary Lew


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Linda J
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March 20, 2014 8:09 pm  

Very old joke. How do you leave the virgin islands with a million dollars? Arrive with two million dollars.


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BeachcomberStt
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March 20, 2014 8:09 pm  

Doesn't Sugar Bay Resort have a small putt-putt mini golf course?


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speee1dy
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March 20, 2014 8:59 pm  

there is one at the divi and it hardly ever has people


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JulieKay
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March 20, 2014 9:17 pm  

I honestly think most tourists come to the VI for rum and reggae and beach, not games.

"This is your world. Shape it or someone else will." ~Gary Lew


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