Mentor Business Hosts Magic The Gathering Tournaments
Great Lakes Game Emporium has only been open for a month, but it is already a gathering place for 'Magic' players
Some doubt the validity and potential profitability of niche businesses, while others dive right in, ready to tackle an open market.
Dan Fries and Eli Doran represent the latter, having opened Great Lakes Game Emporium on Feb. 1. The shop heavily relies on the cult-type following of Magic The Gathering, a card game that is enjoying a national resurgence in its 20th year of existence.
The partners don't just hope people will buy the various Magic sets and apparel at the store, they bring in avid players five nights a week for tournaments that can get as competitive as any poker game down at Cleveland Horseshoe Casino.
"It's probably one of the most strategic games out there," Fries said. "This last year, was (creator) Wizards of the Coast's most successful year. They've put a lot of research and development into the product.
"The player base has quadrupled in the last six years."
The tournament participants at the Emporium's 7249 Center Street storefront are typically in their late 20s or early 30s and are from Mentor, Willoughby and Painesville.
"In the beginning, it was small, but word keeps getting out and we see more and more faces," Fries said.
The partners initially had to describe Magic's appeal to the property owner, but Fries said that smoothed over by the savvy Doran, who has also owned Mr. Cards & Comics in Mayfield Heights for more than two decades.
"He has some credibility there," Fries said. "It took us probably two or two and a half months to find this location. There was a lot of construction that had to go inside here."
The tournaments usually cost $5 or $10 to enter, with the winner receiving that amount in store credit. More information is usually posted on the business' Facebook page.
Call 440-290-8950 for more information.