Paint store rolls a critical hit with new gaming section
Between browsing a large shelf of paint primers and a rainbow paint color sample display at Wylie’s Paint Store, customers will notice some slightly unexpected products for sale, including Catan and Arkham Horror. That’s because the small paint store has expanded to serve the gamers of Grand County.
The unusual combination of paint and games occurred pretty organically thanks to owner George Wylie’s passion for both.
“I went into it (because) I’m a gamer anyway,” Wylie said with a smile.
In the dead of winter, Wylie’s Paint Shop, located in the Fraser Valley Shopping Center, doesn’t see the same foot traffic it does in the warmer months, Wylie explained, but because no one knows when a paint emergency will occur, he is determined to keep consistent hours.
He began to bring games into the shop to pass the time, playing Monopoly or Ticket to Ride with his associate Matthew Foster. After a few months fielding questions from customers about whether the games were available for sale, Wylie decided that maybe the answer should be yes.
“It kind of clicked and it was like I should open a game store and it’s amazing how many people are gamers up here, but didn’t get the chance to meet other gamers, so it’s become a hub all of a sudden,” he said. “I’ve been a paint store for so long, so all I’ve seen is painters and people who have painting projects, but now I’m getting a whole new dynamic of people in here.”
Now, his shop has an official games section, complete with old-school style arcade machines, a large wooden table for role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons, a special section for Magic: The Gathering supplies and, of course, a large array of popular board and card games for purchase.
“We kind of have everything covered,” he said of the game selection.
More than meeting a need in the community as a game seller, Wylie wanted to create a place for people to get together and enjoy gaming. To support this goal, he offers customers the opportunity to come in and play games at his store for free.
Gamers can select one of the board games Wylie provides, play the arcade machines or reserve the table for group games all at no cost.
What: Wylie’s Paint Store
Where: 505 Zerex Street, B107, Fraser
When: Monday – Friday: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
More Info: wyliespaintstore.com; 970-363-7079; on Facebook
*For game table reservations or to set up a time to learn a new game, call the store or message on Facebook
If a customer spots a game on the shelf they don’t recognize or are interested in joining one of the gaming groups for the first time, Wylie and Foster, are more than willing to help teach them how to play.
“There is no place to game up here besides in your living room amongst your friends, (…) there was definitely a need,” he said.
As of right now, Wylie is working on scheduling dedicated game nights to provide that community space consistently. One night would likely be focused on role-playing games, another for open board games and he would like to participate in Friday Night Magic, a Magic: The Gathering sponsored event that happens at participating game stores internationally every Friday night.
“(Grand County) is growing and that brings in more people who need more things to do,” he said. “I enjoy going out to the bar and having a drink like anyone else, but you can’t do that every night, so you need other things to do. (Gaming) builds everything, it builds communication, it builds stories.”
In the future, Wylie hopes to expand his game and gaming supplies selection, but wants to do so smartly. To start with, the store will soon offer hobbyist paints, dice, miniature figurines and, of course, more games.
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