Downtown business for board game players opens
FARMINGTON — Calling all dungeon masters, wargamers or just fans of the Game of Life — it's your move.
Game Changers' Board Game Parlour, a new hobby games store, opened at 217 W. Main St. this month.
With more than 400 board games on hand, seating for 50 and a war room for diehards, the new store and game parlor's focus is on game skills and fun. Face-to-face socializing is also valued.
The business opened three weeks ago, but the owners, Craig and Randi Gjedde, began preparing to open it about four years ago when they started collecting board games. Now, the couple offers more than 450 games for customers to play.
The games are divided into categories such as children's, family, action, trivia, word and party.
Different games require different skill levels and time commitments.
"The strategy game usually takes the longest," Randi Gjedde said.
The couple hopes that people will come play games and participate in events or competitions the shop hosts. For instance, the business has challenged community members to paint miniatures that will be displayed in the shop window for the public to vote on.
Since the business opened, the Gjeddes have seen a stream of customers.
"A lot of people come in and say, 'What is this? I've never seen anything like this before,'" Craig Gjedde said.
He said the board games encourage interaction and help people unplug from the popular video games.
The business rules are simple.
"One of our philosophies here is to have fun and remember it's just a game," Craig Gjedde said.
The Gjeddes chose to locate in downtown with the hope that their business will help "downtown evolve a little bit," Craig Gjedde said.
The building where the business is located in formerly served as a tuxedo store before that shop relocated across the street after getting new owners.
"We’re getting people to in-fill those vacant buildings," said Michael Bullock, a member of the Farmington Downtown Association.
But while new businesses are opening, there are still several empty properties, including three empty buildings next to each other. The city is trying to fill those vacant buildings, including a large space that opened up earlier this year when the Humane Society thrift store relocated to Aztec.
Bullock said the downtown association is working on formalizing an incentives package, including help with code compliance or infrastructure update help for developers and businesses.
Bullock said the new stores, like Game Changers, are enlivening business activity and, based on the hours they are open, increased nightlife downtown.
"That’s kind of exciting," he said. "You can eat dinner at Three Rivers and pop down to the game store and check it out."
If you go
What: Game Changers
Where: 217 W. Main St. in Farmington
Hours: 2 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday
Cost: $4.99 to play games
James Fenton is the business editor of The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4621.
Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.