a game store opens in Garden City
Garden City now has its own local game store.
Champion’s Archive, an LGS focused on play spaces and retail, opened on October 14 at 602 E. Fulton St.
Bryan Lunzmann, owner of Champion’s Archive, said the store has been in the works for years with the creation of the first business plan for the store in 2017.
“All departures lined up at the right time between COVID and family and life and work to open this place,” he said. “So I decided to step back and pull the trigger, to do it.”
Lunzmann is from Garden City and graduated from Garden City High School in 2010. After high school, he attended Garden City Community College before transferring to Washburn University in Topeka, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance and a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science.
After eight years in Topeka studying, living and working, he returned to Garden City. Lunzmann said his comeback was a variety of things, but more importantly that he no longer had any reason to stay in Topeka.
His return led to the creation of Champion’s Archive, which has been on his mind since 2017, but the timing has never been right.
“I talked about opening it to other places, as the Topeka market is quite saturated, Garden City made sense to open it as there is simply no competition for a very large shelf type. “, did he declare. “I sat on this for a long time.”
When Lunzmann returned, he began to make every effort to open the business, starting with all the “legal and bureaucratic formalities you need to do before you can open a business”.
The biggest hurdle, which took months and months, was finding a location, Lunzmann said. Garden City is a tough market.
“Even when I found this place it was actually industrial and non-commercial zoning so I had to go through a two month process to get it zoned before I could get the rest of the documents required, ”he said. “It was just kind of a month and a month and that’s what made the opening take a long time.”
Lunzmann said that local game stores are a “cultural haven” or community center as much as a retail establishment, it is a place for people who participate in trading cards, miniature games, games. board games, etc. to get together, play, meet and talk to others who play too, including traders.
Typically, they’re more common in large cities and college towns, like Wichita, Topeka, and Kansas City, which have many stores, Lunzmann said. But they also exist in smaller places like Lawrence and Manhattan, which have at least two each.
There are even stores in Hays and Great Bend, Lunzmann said. The smallest town he knows that has an LGS is Beatrice, Neb. LGS can work pretty much anywhere as there are players everywhere.
It’s not just the students who play, said Lunzmann; the demographics extend mainly from high school people up to the age of 50.
Lunzmann said it made sense to open a store in Garden City as there is no other LGS nearby and Garden City’s reach is wide.
“When I had the War Hammer guys here the other day, only half of them were from Garden City, the rest from Dodge City, Ulysses, Hugoton, anywhere,” he said. declared. “Same goes for Magic the Gathering, there are guys from Dodge and Liberal here every weekend, a guy from Scott comes here every weekend. makes it quite different from your average city of this size that might not be able to support an LGS. ”
Since opening, attendance at the store has been excellent, said Lunzmann. They have had a solid list of events and he is encouraged by the number of people coming to play. Sales were also strong.
“Personally, I’m more encouraged to see people play, which is what really keeps my morale up – seeing a room full of people playing and having fun,” he said.
At least three or four nights a week, there are 10 to 12 people in the store playing games, with Friday and Saturday being the big nights, Lunzman said.
“Local game stores are like a ’90s sitcom where your friends all show up at the same cafe,” he said. “That’s honestly what the local game stores are.”
When Lunzmann lived in Topeka, the store he frequented, as did his friends, when he went there at 3 p.m. with an hour and a half between his next classes, there was almost every time someone standing. there and who was speaking.
This is also happening in his store, Lunzmann said.
“People will meet people they haven’t seen for a long time or just by chance or people will meet someone they know but didn’t know they were playing games,” he said. .
There are no reservations at the store, Lunzman said. If the store is open, the game space is open unless an event takes up all of the table space. In addition, the gaming space is almost always free with the exception of paid tournaments.
The store is open on Sunday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday to Thursday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 12 p.m. to 12 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. It is closed on Mondays.