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Episode 71: Game On! A Conversation with Board Game Knights Founder Jesse Arburn

Spread the Ozark love

IANWA - The First Northwest Arkansas Board Game Lounge with

Jesse Arburn Owner of Board Game Knights in Bentonville

Hey folks, and welcome to another episode of I am Northwest Arkansas. I'm your host,

Randy Wilburn. And I'm excited today because again, this is the second time in well in

the past month and a half almost that I've actually gotten to sit in front of my guest today

and I'm here in Bentonville at Board Game Knights. I'm here with the owner of Board

Game Knights, Jesse Arburn. And Jesse is just putting this place together and probably

by the time this podcast comes out he will be ready to open his doors and hopefully,

while we won't be Covid-19 free, we will be in a better place with regard to getting out of

our houses and trying to resume our life again. So, I really want to encourage you to

come to check out what Jesse is doing here. If you are a gamer like I am, and you like

to play board games, and I mean more than just monopoly in life, those are good

games. But I mean, if you really like to play board games, you're gonna want to listen to

this episode. So, without further ado, Jesse, how are you doing?

Jesse Arburn [1:34] I'm great. Thanks for having me.

Randy Wilburn [1:36] Good, good. It's so great to be with you. And like I said, I'm so

glad to be out of the house. So, thank you for putting this together. I mean, it's just the

two of us. We are socially distancing, and we're practicing good habits and I wanted to

come out here and see what you were doing. So why don't you tell our audience here

at I am Northwest Arkansas just a little bit about yourself? Give us your little superhero

origin story and then we will talk a little bit about Board Game Knight.

Jesse Arburn [2:02] Okay. Again, my name is Jesse Arburn, and I live in Rogers,

Arkansas, and I moved here in 2011 from Northeast Oklahoma above the panhandle.

Worked on oil rigs and did some fun things down there had just about as many jobs as

you could possibly have every year and then slowly transitioned out here to get to know

my father. Worked in HVDC with him to do some construction work with him and got a

job with Walmart Home Office in IT. My education is in Science Technology so I worked

on data servers for Walmart Home Office for a while and I got really comfortable and

familiar with the area. And right about the time that I got comfortable, my wife and I had

a baby and decided that we were going to move to Pittsburgh for Walmart Home Office.

We went down there up there and I worked in New York and New Jersey for Walmart

remodeling stores and building new stores for them, making sure their servers are set

up properly. And then I stayed there for about a year and I really liked the Board

Gaming Community that they had there and realized that we had nothing like that here.

And when we decided we wanted to move back, primarily because we were having

the second baby and wanted to come back to where all of her family, my wife's family is, so

we decided to make the transition back to Northwest Arkansas, which we've always kind

of felt like it was our home in the first place. So yeah, we moved back here and the

moment we hit the ground, I decided to start looking into building a board game shop

here, someplace for people to come, gather and play board games on custom-built

board game tables, and from a huge selection and all the things that they have in the

North and on the East Coast of West Coast. We don't have anything like that here, so I

wanted to come here and get one of these brought up and get the community start-up

again for it.

Randy Wilburn [4:01] Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, ever since we connected,

which we did, and your wife happened to check me out on Instagram, and I reached

out, and we just started to have an organic conversation, which I really appreciate. You

reminded me about some things from my childhood that I missed, and I shared with you

that I played Dungeons and Dragons, but then I gave it up; I discovered girls, right, and

that's what happens. And so, but I still like playing games-- I don't play as much. My

kids play role-playing games electronically, like Fortnight and others, but I'm trying to get

them to reconnect with the tactile nature of actually thinking and playing a game that

may stretch beyond---. We played Dungeons and Dragons for days so it's not like it's

quick, a quick fix. And so, I guess the idea when we talked, I said, man, I think this

would be an interesting topic. Because, not only would it give you guys a little bit of

push with regard to creating more awareness for board game nights, but it also would

encourage people to think about different ways especially with everything that we're

going through right now to think about different ways to kind of reconnect with families

so that you're not just sitting around the house watching TV, or binging on Netflix. That

stuff is fine and there is a time for that but that there are other options and opportunities.

And so, I know most people probably have a life at home and monopoly and all the

standard games. But, you know, in your mind, when you think of a board game shop or

a place where people can come and play, you're talking about a wide variety of games.

So, what were some of your inspirations? What did you see in some other places that

you got a chance to look at when you were in the Northeast that you wanted to bring

back here and then what's your hope to accomplish with Board Game Knights with

regard to the atmosphere that you want to build up here.

Jesse Arburn [6:04] Sure. So in regards to what kind of setup and the things that I

want to build here in the sense of community is, I want--- my wife, her background is in

education, she's a teacher and a counselor. And, again, we have two kids at home so

our goal is to try and raise these kids into a developing world of technology. And it's so

hard to keep the TV off, right? It's so difficult. They're like bugs to blue light. My three-

month old will stare at a TV and he doesn't have control of his arms yet, so I wanted to

try to find a way to create memories that didn't require a lot of technology, and a lot of

everybody just sitting around staring at their phone. So the goal behind that was, we

play board games with our friends every weekend, almost every weekend and we have

people come over, we go to their house they host we host. It's a hassle you have to

decide what we're going to eat? Who's gonna cook? What we're gonna drink?

Everybody has to have a potluck together things. Once you start having kids and stuff,

those abilities start to go away a little bit; it started for us anyways. It started to go away

for us a little bit, and we really weren't happy with that; that wasn't something that we

were willing to give up. I can give up a lot of things but that sense of community and in

regards to Dungeons and Dragons and stuff, the collaborative storytelling that comes

behind Dungeons and Dragons is really remarkable. There's nothing else in the medium

that can compare to it. That being said, I haven't played Dungeon and Dragons in a few

years and I'd love to get back into it and we plan to try and work some things out here in

the store to make sure that that happens. But, primarily the goal is like what I saw in the

Northeast really was the community gathering, getting people in that may not have a

group may just be them and their partner or them and a friend who, you know, a board

game design for four people is not that fun with two people. So, having a place that you

can come to and play with other people and meet new people and stuff, just that social

gathering alone will make it ostensibly better than what you would normally get on a

Friday night hangout session and movie theater.

Randy Wilburn [8:33] Right? Exactly. Yeah, totally different. And that lasts for two

hours and then it's over.

Jesse Arburn [8:38] And there's no contact, there is no eye contact. There's no talking.

I don't know about you, but I would never--- when I was younger, and I was dating, I'd

never asked my date to go to a movie with me. What are you gonna learn about them?

What are you gonna do? You're gonna stare at a screen, and that's all you're gonna do.

You know what's better to do? Put a puzzle in front of them. Work on a puzzle together

because then you can talk and you can do things with the puzzle. We will have puzzles

here too but in a board game is just like a puzzle. Puzzles have a set of rules and you

sit at a table and you talk while you do the puzzle, the same with board games. So, I

think that's a remarkable thing--- I really want to see more of here in Northwest

Arkansas.

Randy Wilburn [9:21] Yeah, and it's funny because, like I said after we initially spoke, I

connected with a few of my friends locally. Big shout out to Clint Schnekloth, who is a

pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Fayetteville. He's a neighbor of mine, and

he's a big gamer. He's a big kid. I mean, he loves playing games, both with adults, but

he especially loves the quality time that he has played a bunch of board games with his

kids. And then he gave me a list of the stuff that he's playing. And, I've been out of the

gaming space for a while except for as I told you Ticket to Ride which is the one board

game that I'm playing with my kids. And we like that game, of course outside of

Monopoly. I will dominate monopoly. Anybody that wants to take me on just hit me up

randy@iamnorthwestarkansas.com and we can have a monopoly contest. But

seriously, there's just something about just the nature of coming together like that. But

Clint, I reached out to him and I said, hey, what are the board game communities like

and then he started introducing me to some and had me join one right on Facebook and

shout out to the Northwest Arkansas board gamers group there. They have a Facebook

page, and they are doing some really interesting things. And when I talked to them

about this particular episode that I was doing, they got really excited. Everybody was

asking questions about where is this place? What's it going to be like? Of course, one of

the questions was, is there going to be alcohol? What you know what, will there be

food? I mean, what goes better with board games and alcohol? So, you kind of have all

that and I think that not that it's uncharted territory, but it's just an opportunity that you're

filling in. So, there's a book called, The Blue Ocean Strategy, which talks about, when

you start or when you're working in a business, one of your goals really should be to

look for those blue oceans, the areas in between all of the red ocean, right? The red

ocean is where there's everybody has a business. So, there are sharks in the water,

there's blood in the water. Everybody's trying to get a piece of the pie. In a blue ocean,

there are more opportunities and fewer sharks. And so, this is an ideal blue ocean

opportunity because it's not like there's a board game shop. There may be stores that

sell board games, but there aren't a ton of formalized board game community outlets

where you can go and meet like you're meeting at Cheers or some other place and you

can have that connection.

Jesse Arburn [12:00] It's an untapped market. The closest ones to here if anybody

wants to check one out in the relatively soon future before I open there's a place called

Shuffles here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Really great place---

Randy Wilburn [12:16] ---so we got to drive to Tulsa.

Jesse Arburn [12:17] Precisely, or even go to the Branson Board Game Shopping in

Bronx, Missouri with equal distances apart.

Randy Wilburn [12:24] And we'll put some of those places in the show notes so people

can know where to go because I go to Tulsa actually quite a bit. I don't know that I

would drive to Tulsa just to play some board games. Did you really?

Jesse Arburn [12:36] Market research.

Randy Wilburn [12:36] Yeah, absolutely. So I would much rather come to Bentonville

right and I can kind of tap to maybe time it up with a quick trip over to Yey Yo's A-Street

market and get some really good food and bring--- well so you know, you get the idea

so--- but go ahead and finish what you were saying.

Jesse Arburn [12:55] ---about---

Randy Wilburn [12:56] Just about your market research and going to some of the

different places, but the bottom line was Branson, Tulsa. There was nothing in

Northwest Arkansas.

Jesse Arburn [ 13:05] Those are the closest ones to us. Now, there are a lot of great

gaming communities around here, a lot of great gaming stores that I have no intention

of impeding on. This isn't a competition by any means for these kinds of things. There

are a few other gaming stores in the area like Gear Gaming out of Fayetteville. Gamer

Utopia, I believe, is in Rogers. There are a lot of great gaming stores here but what they

primarily lean into is the trading card games like Magic the Gathering and things like

that and those are great games; I grew up playing Magic. I went to several tournaments

and those are amazing things to do. But I wanted to lean more into the community since

it's kind of a niche market. And it's not exclusive but it's not incredibly inclusive. It's hard

to get people into these games because they get a little intimidated. People can get

quickly intimidated by these board games. They're like, I have to learn all these rules.

It's not monopoly in the sense that you know, you roll a dice, you move your guy and

you do what it says. Those kinds of games are great too, like monopoly is a great game

and everything but those games--- the reason monopoly doesn't quite work as far as

what we're doing here and the kind of games we're going to have here---. So, monopoly

is an American style board game, right? The games that we're gonna have here are

called the Euro-style board game short, found in Germany. And Euro-style board games

have an in-time, so they operate for like one hour to two hours at a time. There's

typically something within the game that triggers that signifies the end of the game. So

when the box says, this is a two-hour game, it means you're probably only going to

spend two hours at most playing it as opposed to monopoly, which is an elimination-

style game, which to me doesn't seem super, super social. You start eliminating people

from your table, what are they going to do? They're going to get bored.

Randy Wilburn [15:11] --- and walk away.

Jesse Arburn [15:12] Right and walk away. So, elimination-style games aren't what

we're trying to do here. We're trying to keep people at the table; everybody stays at the

table till the end of the game. The competition is kind of hidden scores are kind of

hidden throughout these games so that somebody who seems to be doing poorly at the

beginning of the game, versus somebody who's doing really well can make a comeback

at the end of the game, and end up winning. So, there are a lot of things about Euro-

style games that set it apart from traditional American style games. And that kind of

community is the kind that I want to gather and I want to get to sit at a table and stuff

but you have to get them to the table.

You have to get them not to be afraid to try the game. Now there was a recent poll

done on board game geek; I believe the website boardgamegeek.com. They ask

people what your favorite ways to learn board games are? And number three on their

list from three to one so number three was watch a YouTube video explaining how to

play the game. Number two was read the rule book and number one was have a friend

explain it to you. So, having somebody explained it to you trumps all because you're in

front of it. You can look at the pieces you can look at the book you can ask questions,

you know, YouTube videos quite disconnected. It can be streamlined but it's quite

disconnected and you can't really put those pieces together yourself. You have to just

hope that they do it for you [inaudible 16:52] video. Reading a rule book same thing

and reading comprehension for board game jargon can get you like what's a [inaudible

16:59] I don't even know what that is It can get confusing quickly and you spend more

time googling the dichotomy of the language more than you do the actual rules of the

game. But having somebody explained it to you is the best way to do it. So, our slogan

is we read the rule, so you don't have to.

Randy Wilburn [17:18] Okay, I like that.

Jesse Arburn [17:20] We have played every game that we have, and we will continue

to play games and learn the mechanics of these games. So, when somebody comes in,

even if I'm not a huge, huge fan of the game, somebody comes in and wants to play the

game, I will gladly sit down and walk them through the game. That's the whole point of

this place is to--- I want more people to play these games; I think they're amazing. And I

think that other people will think they're amazing too. But there has to be some give and

take here. I have to be willing to sit down with them and talk with them and figure out

what kind of games they like. I know that you've played Ticket to Ride. I know you like

monopoly so what other kinds of games would you like? [Inaudible 17:59] would be a

great start for you if you were somebody walking in. And that's [inaudible 18:06]

completely excluding, like, in this scenario, the board game community that already

knows all these games. And for them, it could be they come in, and there's an amazing

game that I kick-started, that maybe they don't have because they didn't get it on the

Kickstarter, and they can play that game here without having to go spend $90 and

decide that they don't like it. That happens a lot. These games are pretty expensive, you

know, run the gamut of $20 to $200. So---

Randy Wilburn [18:35] And you're gonna have a huge selection.

Jesse Arburn [18:36] Over 200 to start.

Randy Wilburn [18:39] Yeah, okay. Wow, that's amazing. 200 games. So, there's

going to be something for everyone?

Jesse Arburn [. Precisely.

Randy Wilburn [18:44] So, tell me this will you have, and I don't know what the

ultimate strategy would be that but are you going to have like themed nights for

different types of games or---

Jesse Arburn [18:54] Absolutely. So, I already have a science fiction night set up

where we're going to play games like Star Realms, which is a very picture-based

fantasy Sci-Fi themed card game. So, and what I mean by picture-based is that it's

limited reading. So, a lot of these games, their age range is eight and up. So an 8-year

old or a 7-year old may not have a great reading comprehension just yet when it comes

to these card games and stuff doesn't have to because they can just look at the pictures

these things have very limited text on the cards. So that it's really easy to learn how to

play the game. So games like Star Realms, and Terraforming Mars, where you're all

working kind of collectively to terraform Mars, and it's all science-based as far as how

much oxygen you need on the planet? What kind of liquid and atmosphere do you need on

the planet and stuff so kids can learn something about outer space at the same time?

We're gonna have like medieval-themed nights obviously because that's kind of our

niche with more game nights. We're going to have, like social date nights where there

are games like--- there's a game called The Fox in the Forest Duet. And it's just a two-

player, really simple game, that can get two people communicating and playing and

working together. It's not a competition, you're both trying to work to get the fox out of

the forest and you have to collect gems to do it. And you're just playing this basically like

poker style cards. They're numbered and you're moving the fox back and forth and if

they get lost in the woods, you lose some gems and really, really pretty artwork like

pastel watercolor artwork and stuff and really simple to pick up. So, two people can

come and or you have these singles nights where people can come and maybe meet

people that may have the same interest as them. But we're definitely going to do

themes. There's going to be themes nonstop. We're going to work with local, as many

local businesses as possible. That's just good hospitality. I have local artists building

things for me here. I have a local artist out of Fayetteville, Tiger Sasha who's going to

be painting a mural on my wall for me.

Randy Wilburn [21:14] And you had this young guy an 18-year old designer and folks

you have to see this. If nothing else, we have to come and look at the entry table that

greets you, and they're a pair of--- a set of ---3

Jesse Arburn [21:26] So, it is a giant slab of very nice maple wood with two D12s,

which is a 12-sided dice stacked on top of each other. And on the opposite side are two

D6s stacked on top of each other. This is a reception desk that just looks like huge dice.

If you go to our Instagram or Facebook, you can see pictures of the dice next to my

three-year-old just to get a good perspective on how big they are.

Randy Wilburn [21:52] I love that. And I will put a picture in the show notes so that

you can see it yourself. And I think it'll be really good to share for people so they can

kind of check it out and I think that'll be a worthy endeavor to do if nothing else just to

come see that. But everything here, I mean, you're using natural wood on most of the

surfaces, I mean, it's a wide-open space. I mean, you've got a lot of room to play

with. So, did you have any fear of starting this business at this time?

Jesse Arburn [22:24] Oh well, well. So, like, I think most people in this difficult time I

was ignorant to just the scope of how it was going to be. How it was going to---

Randy Wilburn [22:37] I don't think anybody--- you're not alone I think most of society--

- we kept saying, oh, this is just like the flu. It's just like the flu; this will pass by. It's not

quite; it's not quite the same. So---

Jesse Arburn [22:52] I was not prepared for that at all. But you have to be flexible

when you're opening a business when you're doing any kind of business. So, I signed

my lease two days before they shut everything down. So, I was like well I'm in it to win it

at this point, right. So, I'm gonna slow down on some stuff, and you know, really, really,

really take my time and make sure that I reach out to as many local people as possible.

Maybe do a little more advertising, you know, it gave me an opportunity. I tried to turn it

when you know something is bad and find a way to make it good. So, I'm trying to make

this opportunity, the best I can for the business. And you know, we'll see how that turns

out but I'm pretty confident in the way it's turning out. So---

Randy Wilburn [23:38] Well. Yeah. And like I said, I mean, you need to--- we're doing

this podcast, and we'll put that out, and people will hear it. And certainly, the gaming

community is a lot larger than people think. Yeah, I mean, it's huge. And people take

their game seriously. You have some that are very exclusive. You know, its model think

when it comes to games, they only play a certain game, and that's what they love to

play. But, folks, there are so many great games out there. I know a lot of you're thinking

I don't have time for this. I've got to raise some kids. I've got to do the adulting thing.

But the reality is, is that not that gaming is an escape from reality, but it is a chance for

you to reconnect with other individuals in a way that is unique to board games that you

just can't get through an app. You can't get it through all the different programs that are

accessible and available on your TV. You can't get it through playing Xbox or Play

Station or anything like that. Those are great. And they have their place but there's

something about the board game that creates a collaborative approach to working

together. And I think now more than ever before we need that type of release. We need

to kind of reconnect with each other. And that's just me on my soapbox. So just take

that for what it's worth.

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Jesse Arburn [24:56] Fun fact about that, you know, the puzzles in the last two months

have been sold out. There's this company called Ravensburger, Ravensburg; I'm sorry,

Ravensburg. They make puzzles so. So, if you've ever gone to Walmart, look at their

puzzle section, you've probably seen Ravensburg. Broom Service or one that people

might be really really familiar with is a game called Disney's Villainous, where everybody

takes on the role of a Disney villain, and you're all trying to accomplish your tasks within

your Disney World before the other people. So, it's a great game for kids. I take this to

my family when I go to visit my family in Oklahoma. I take this game and play with my

niece and nephew. And we always pick a different Disney villain. There are several

direct expansions that add new villains and you're just trying to---

Randy Wilburn [25:48] Is Cruella De Vil there?

Jesse Arburn [25:50] Yes, she's in the latest expansion. So, there's some really, really

fun stuff and the heroes are trying to stop you, but you don't control when the heroes

come into play, your opponents do. So, your opponents are just trying to slow you down

long enough so that they can finish their tasks. Like Little John from Robin Hood. He's

the main villain and his goal is just to acquire a huge amount of money. And that's really

easy to do with what he does. But you know, Robin and Fire Talk and all these other

heroes can step in and stop him or take his money and give it to other people. And it

makes it you know, a really interesting dynamic and every time you play, you play a new

villain and it's a completely different experience every time. Kids love it because the

artwork is just so thematic to Disney and really, really fun game but I got loose. I'm

sorry, I got a little side-tracked there.

Randy Wilburn [26:48] No, it's fine. I mean, I wish people could see Jesse's

excitement because his eyes are just wide open talking about this and it's just nice

because I think when people find their passion something that they would you know

they would do for no money at all, then it gets a lot easier. It's nice to have the money

but I mean certainly that actually that passion is needed. Yeah, but no, go ahead and

continue.

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Jesse Arburn [ 27:10] But Ravensburg is a company that makes that game, but they

do a lot of puzzles. They make a lot of puzzles and they are sold out their factories are

backlogged because of Covid-19; everybody's purchasing puzzles and doing puzzles at

home. So we can just look at that as a kind of test subject as to what people can do

together as a family when sitting around a table and board games are just that medium

there, a great medium for it. I really can't stress enough how amazing it feels to get my

15-year old niece away from her texting or my 13-year old nephew away from Fortnight

long enough to sit down with me because I only come down once a year, I don't see him

very often. I love Fortnight, it's a great game, but I want him to come to visit with me you

know and getting him to come sit down and play a game like that or you know like One

Night Ultimate Werewolf where everybody's trying to hide from the werewolf in a card

game and you know, those kinds of things they're really really fun, they make memories

that I can't replace, I couldn't replace. So, I really like the Ravensburg it's a really fun

company and if you guys get a chance, you know, look them up because---

Randy Wilburn [28:28] Yeah, I will definitely do that. I like puzzles personally. So I

mean, certainly I need to--- I've blown through a couple of them recently, but a good

puzzle is a lot of fun. Yeah, and there's something about just that tactile nature of

putting the puzzles together really helps you know, keeps your brain healthy and

stimulated.

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Speaker 3 [28:50] So, there are some studies that my wife has found because she has

probably taken six semesters of research methods at this point in her career. So, she

found these articles that suggest that there are a lot of educational benefits baked into

board games for children, adolescents, and adults, things like for kids practicing turn-

taking. It's a really, really big developmental behavior that board games really help with.

And they've shown studies that things like proper planning and making sure that you

have, you know what you're going to do on your turn, not just this turn, but next turn

when it comes back around to you. What are you going to do? It helps with reading

comprehension. It can help with communication. But what they've seen in adults that

people who play board games as adults are financially more responsible with their

money. Now I'm specifically talking about Euro-style games here because Euro-style

games typically deal with resource gathering and terrain production. So, you could

combine those and you've got an adult life, right? You're just acquiring resources and

attempting to, you know, pay your rent---and then a plan

Randy Wilburn [30:07] You've got to plan for a rainy day. So, that's what we're dealing

with right now.

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Jesse Arburn [30:11] So, there is an element of life brought into a board game that is

really beneficial for adults. And, you know, teenagers, if you've got teenagers that you

want to help learn the value of the currency and things like that board games are a great

opportunity, a great opening to help with that.

Randy Wilburn [30:29] ---or just learning to be social offline, right. Yeah. I mean, that's

the key thing. Yeah. Because of one thing, these kids know how to be social and on

Instagram, but it's one thing to be social that way. And then I'm always explaining to my

15-year old how you got to look a person in the eye; you got to talk to them, ask them

how they're doing a check-in with them. It's those relationships that are hugely important

and board gaming specifically gives you a chance to build and develop those

relationships. Even if you're, what a lot of people consider themselves to be introvert. I

wouldn't say anti-social, I would say more introverted, right? Because you have people

that skewed towards that side. So, you have introversion; you have ambiversion and

extraversion. So, you have people that are way out there, you know, and I'm more on

the extroverted side, but then you have some people that are kind of like in the middle.

There have been studies that have shown and I could go down a rabbit hole talking

about extraversion and introversion, but that may be for another podcast, but anyway,

that you bring up a good point. Before we close, I want to talk just a little bit about your

hopes and goals with if I'm a parent, as I am a parent with a ten-year-old and a 13-year-

old and a 15-year-old, what is board game nights going to be able to do for me?

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Jesse Arburn [31:43] So, a board game nights for you is going to provide you with a

source of entertainment and help you create memories with your kids. So, coming here

on the weekends or the reason I took the name Board Game Knights is because it's a

popular trope to have a board game night with the family, and I want to be a part of that

or I want to help parents succeed in having that. You know home life can get hectic by

the time you get off work, you get home, you got to cook dinner. You gotta take baths;

you got to get to bed, right? Like a lot is going on. But who's to say that one of those

nights can't be, let's go to Board Game Knights. Let's eat a food truck out front. Let's

drink some kombucha. Let's play some board games. Right and then let's, let's wind

down and go home for the night. I just had a great experience with my kids. I had a fun

night. Everybody ate. I didn't spend a whole lot of money because I didn't have to go out

and buy these board games. They were just provided to me. And all you had to do was

just show up, right. And that's the goal. That's what I'm trying to provide for parents is

the ability to create memories for the kids. What I'm trying to provide for kids is a source

of entertainment that is not technology. We have a lot of that and it's that again, that's

great. That's an amazing thing. I love my technology. It's my background and my career

but we need all things in moderation, right. So, this is one of those things that can you

know, provide an outlet for kids to have fun outside of that and they may not even know

that they love it yet. Yeah. And again, my wife having a background in education and

stuff, she's creating educational curriculums. Her very first one was created around

Ticket to Ride. It's on Teachers Pay teacher's which is a website where teachers can

create curriculum and right so it's on there; she published it there. But she created a

curriculum around it to help with navigation, United States territories, how we operate

things, how we color code and design things. So that's her background, that's her

specialty. That's what you know. I mean, she brings so much more to my family than

that, right. But to the business, that's what she's bringing in spades. So that's, um, so

she's gonna be creating curriculum around that we're gonna have after school programs

for kids. We're going to have summer camps and other camps and special events for

kids and competitions, we're probably going to do some kind of bracket for March

Madness. That's what we were going to do this year but then this happened.

Randy Wilburn [34:14] Yeah. So, you got some very big plans.

Jesse Arburn [34:16] We do. We have some very big plans.

Randy Wilburn [34:17] That's awesome. Well, I'm glad to be at the forefront of this an

early adopter of what you guys are planning to do here. So that everybody knows how

to connect with you. What's the best way for them? What's your website address?

Jesse Arburn 34:29] So my website address is www.boardgameknight.com.

Randy Wilburn [34:33] And that's knight with a K. Knights of the round table. Okay. And

then what's the address here?

Jesse Arburn [34:40] The address is 1400 Southwest Susanna Street.

Randy Wilburn [34:43] Yep. And that's like right down from--- what this main drag is?

Jesse Arburn [34:48] 14.

Randy Wilburn [34:49] It's right down from Climb Bentonville so like if you make that

left-hand turn, so like if you were going towards the Walmart Headquarters, it's right

before you get to that main section there, you make that left-hand turn on 14th and

come on down. Bentonville Climb is on your left and you go down a little bit further and

next where Susanna is. And there is a strip mall. And you guys as soon as you pull in,

you're right there.

Jesse Arburn [35:13] Yes, Exactly. We don't have an official grand opening date set.

Obviously, we do plan on working in the near future with doing a soft opening, where

maybe getting people can reserve tables, and we can keep tables 12 feet apart or short

15 feet apart so that people who want to come play games can keep everything clean,

disinfected, and allow people to maybe get out and play some board games to their

friends that they haven't seen in two months.

Randy Wilburn [35:41] Yeah, exactly.

Jesse Arburn [35:43] And give them an area to do it. It's not their house that they've

been cooped up hot and holding for a little while. So, we plan on doing that in the near

future. But we are definitely hoping for the beginning of June, being grand up by then.

Randy Wilburn [36:01] All right. So, what we'll do is we'll coordinate with you and

figure out when your soft opening is and then also to find out when the grand opening

is, and we'll try to coincide what will come out with this like a week or two before that

stuff starts to happen. So that way, we can kind of figure out what's going on and let

people know, and then we'll push some other stuff out so that you guys can get the

word out. So great. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Well, Jesse, thank you so much for

connecting with me. And as I said, it was really good just to be in front of a live human

being and not on a zoom call doing an interview. This is a lot of fun, and I appreciate it.

Folks, you guys have to come down here to Board Game Knights in Bentonville. Check

out Jesse and his wife--- what's your wife's name?

Jesse Arburn [36:46] Catherine.

Randy Wilburn [36:47] Catherine. Check out what Jessie and Catherine are doing. I'd

really like to see Northwest Arkansas support these guys, but this is what their

endeavors because I would imagine that if this goes off well, there may be room for a

board game nights down in Fayetteville.

Jesse Arburn [37:00] That was the plan.

Raney Wilburn [37:02] That's the plan. I don't want to steal your thunder. But you guys

have to come out and support it. And I would imagine that there's going to be some

gamers that are going to come up from Fayetteville because it's really not that far away

anyway. And because Northwest Arkansas is all one community, so we like to support

each other so, so certainly come out and check out board game nights up here in

Bentonville. If you do come in here and you've heard about it because you've heard or

heard about it on the podcast. Let Jesse and his team know about that. And you know,

we would appreciate you doing that. So, thank you very much.

Jesse Arburn [37:34] Thank you so much for having me again.

Randy Wilburn 37:36] Well, there you have it, folks. Another episode of I am Northwest

Arkansas. Board Game Knights is definitely the place to be if you are a gamer if you like

to play board games if you like to do puzzles, you need to come up here and check out

Jesse. That's all we have for you this week. We really appreciate it. I want to remind

you, please visit our website at iamnnorthwestarkansas.com. And please sign up for our

newsletter. It comes out every Friday. We have a new newsletter that talks about the

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from our audience, which is you. So that's all I have for today. And I will see you with a

brand-new episode next week. Remember, we release new episodes every Monday.

And that's it for that for today. So, I'm your host Randy Wilburn and I will connect with

you soon. Stay safe. Peace. 3-2-1. Alright. Perfect. That's good, man. That's really

good. So,

Show Notes to follow soon.