by Caitlin Christiana
Executive Director, Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce
SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – “Reconnecting people through face to face social interaction” – a slogan that demonstrates a genuine concern for the well-being of people in the Springfield area and a desire to stimulate positive change in our community. The Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to welcome Dark Mountain Games to their new location at 27 Main Street in downtown Springfield. The Chamber performed a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, June 16 that was attended by an impressive number of loyal patrons. “The amount of support we have received has been enormous,” says Kevin Kello, founder of the local business.
Established just over a year ago, Dark Mountain Games is a family-owned hobby store that sells board games, trading card games, tabletop miniatures, roleplaying books and accessories. Co-owners Kevin and his father-in-law, Scott Cleveland, jointly operate the business with help from Kevin’s daughter, Taitum, and brother-in-law, Richard. The company got its start at the Springfield Farmer’s Market. As sales and enthusiasm grew, it became clear that a space for customers and friends to play the games was needed. A brick and mortar shop was opened on Valley Street, and the store encountered such success that, within six months, they had outgrown the location and decided to make the move to a larger site on Main Street.
“We want to get people around a table and interacting,” Kevin explains. His optimism is uplifting and his fond regard for the neighborhood is infectious. Even the name of the business indicates an interest in our local region. The brand “Dark Mountain Games” was inspired by a fictional mountain in the novella “Whisperer in the Darkness” by H.P. Lovecraft, a horror story set in the hills of Southern Vermont, circa the 1920’s. The image of the mountain in their logo was modeled after Mount Ascutney and the Gear represents Springfield’s industrial heritage.
It is a remarkable accomplishment of Dark Mountain Games that, while the majority of their regular customers generally consider themselves to be introverted, a drive past the shop at any hour of the evening demonstrates otherwise as crowds of local game enthusiasts can be seen gathered together, talking, laughing and playing. The average age for gamers is 24 to 35, although Kevin cites that they routinely serve customers ranging from teens all the way to folks in their 40’s and 50’s. The shop offers a variety of regularly scheduled activities including Open Board Game Nights, Open Role Playing sessions, Game Tournaments and Learn to Play events. Dark Mountain Games is open seven days a week. Check out their website, www.darkmountaingames.com, and Like their Facebook Page to stay informed! #shoplocal