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
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
email@example.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
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.
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
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
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.
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?
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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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
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