DEL MAR — San Diego County — and specifically its smallest city — have been monopolized.
Inspired by his second home, Bob Feinberg created Del Mar — Surf Meets the Turf, which he describes as a game of horse racing and real estate trading similar to Monopoly, but with enough differences to avoid copyright issues or other legal conflicts.
“As a retired attorney, I made sure of that,” he said.
About three years ago Feinberg released Malibu — A Game of Fame & Fortune, which he said became very popular in the beach community where he lives most of the year.
At about the same time he began spending time in Del Mar during the horse racing season. Joe Harper, president and CEO of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, had seen Feinberg’s Malibu game and suggested he design something similar for the racetrack.
“I spent about a year developing and creating the Del Mar version,” Feinberg said. “Since I spend a few months a year there it was my home away from home so I was familiar with the area.
“Each player starts with $5 million that they inherited when Aunt Zenyatta dies,” he added, referencing the successful retired thoroughbred.
Starting at SeaWorld, players move around an oval game board, stopping at restaurants such as Red Tracton’s and Mr. A’s, rather than railroads, and hotels including L’Auberge and Hotel Del Coronado.
“I tried to connect the restaurants and hotels to properties adjacent to or near Del Mar and the racetrack,” Feinberg said.
Go has been replaced by a wagering wheel where players spin to win or lose money each time they pass or land on the space. There is no jail.
Feinberg said the original Monopoly game is a bit outdated, with cards that aren’t socially relevant and properties selling for $100.
In his game, house prices are a bit more current but still a little low, with homes in cities from La Jolla to Carlsbad ranging from $100,000 to $1 million.
Once three properties in a group have been purchased, they can be developed into villas or mansions instead of houses and hotels to collect higher rent when an opponent lands on the space.
Surf and Turf cards can result in a loss of property due to an earthquake or a monetary gain from a bet on a longshot thanks to a legendary handicapper.
Game pieces include a surfer, horse and jockey, stand-up paddle boarder and sunglasses.
Del Mar — Surf Meets the Turf was released July 1 and “sales have been fantastic,” Feinberg said.
It can be purchased at www.delmarboardgame.com for $39.95. The game is also available locally in about 40 stores, including Silks at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, Country Squire Gifts & Linens in Rancho Santa Fe, Hansen Surfboards in Encinitas and Ooh La La in Carlsbad.
Feinberg said he was also inspired by the Breeders’ Cup, considered the Super Bowl of horse racing, making its debut at the Del Mar Racetrack Nov. 3-4.
“With so many people coming from the East Coast and the international crowd, I thought his would be a great Del Mar gift for them to take home,” he said.