Next year, Park City residents will have the distinct honor of having their town represented on a special edition Monopoly Board. I’m struggling not to take it personally, for two reasons.

First, I am very good at one thing — playing Monopoly. Like anyone who excels in their field of expertise, I can get a little intense about the game. Did I once have a meltdown because I ended up with a bum pack of property cards? Yes. Did this happen in my adult years? Also yes. But that’s the price of passion. Do we fault LeBron James for falling to his knees in anguish when referees fail to call a foul, sending an NBA game into overtime? Do we laugh at John McEnroe when he calls a tennis official “the pits of the world”? I mean, yeah, because it’s funny, but my point is, I deserve the same level of respect as these passionate athletes.

I’m so intense about Monopoly that most of my loved ones refuse to play with me, and I find myself begging even the most casual of acquaintances to have “just a friendly, relaxed board game night” knowing full well that the acquaintances will likely end the night in tears. But I can’t help myself. I must play. There is no one more committed to Monopoly than I am.

Second, I am a lifelong Utahn and I’ve been to Park City maybe 10 times. I forget that it’s part of the state, as do most of my fellow suburban dwellers. I know just one person who lives there, a transplant from elsewhere. I’m not anti-Park City. It’s a lovely town! Great for recreation! I just don’t recognize it as part of the Beehive State. It’s kind of an independent city within a state. Like the Vatican, minus basilicas.

And I resent it when I’m in a conversation with people unfamiliar with Utah and they mention Park City as the single Utah destination of which they are aware. I imagine Floridians feel the same way about Disney World.

Park City is a part of us, technically, but most Utahns don’t think about it. Like that part of your back you can only see in the mirror if you contort your torso.

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All this is to say I am disappointed that I, the world’s most passionate Monopoly fan, who also lives in Utah, will not be represented by this new Monopoly board.

But I’m not giving up hope that there might someday be a Monopoly board that represents my suburb. And I have some property suggestions for when that day comes.

Mediterranean and Baltic Avenues

The residents of my city are blessed to have both a Walmart and a Target, the bedrocks of any suburb. Much like the brown spots on the Monopoly board, these big-box retailers are often undervalued. But having one in a suburb is crucial to those residents’ quality of life. Having both is a monopoly that wins the game. In this hypothetical, Walmart is Mediterranean Avenue, and Target is Baltic. Obviously.

The railroads

We don’t have much of a public transportation infrastructure to speak of, but we do have about eight blocks of a major road that are lined with drive-thru restaurants, and if you squint, the lines of cars at McDonald's and Chick-fil-A look like trains.

Marvin Gardens

Our proverbial Marvin Gardens is the Holiday gas station, or as my 4-year-old calls it, “the Creepy Clown place.” Indeed, the logo features a clown head and it’s no one’s favorite, but on their drink machine, they do have individual nozzles for each soda so none of the syrups cross streams. It’s a pure soda experience. Marvin Gardens is everyone’s favorite Monopoly spot, and Holiday is everyone’s favorite gas station.

Park Place and Boardwalk

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This one requires some light time travel. Nothing too intense, and nothing that will disrupt the space-time continuum or trigger a butterfly effect. We just need to go back about 20 years to Jordan Commons, a restaurant and theater complex that was, at the time, home to The Mayan. The Mayan served inedible Mexican food and featured handsome cliff divers, and 20 years ago, it was The Place To Be.

Kids at school spoke, with stars in their eyes, of the magic of The Mayan. Families drove from all around the state to experience dinner-and-a-show in the restaurant’s giant, indoor replica of the cliffs of Mexico. The place smelled overwhelmingly of chlorine. Sadly, the whole inedible food thing made it a hard business to keep profitable, so eventually The Mayan closed its doors. But the movie theater remains open, and I’m there often because I bought the refillable popcorn bucket. So Jordan Commons will always be Boardwalk to me.

But even today, my town deserves Monopoly representation.

Park City may have multiple ski resorts, a jewelry store owned by one of the “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City,” and a world-renowned film festival, but my suburban city is just as worthy of the great honor of a Monopoly board that I will 100% buy should the good people at Hasbro decide to make it.

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