Sitting down with family and friends for an evening of conquering empires and outsmarting opponents is a popular pastime and it is well-represented in Bellingham.
Earlier this month Pair O' Dice Games had its grand opening at 4152 Meridian, Suite 113., near the Car Wash King. The company sells a variety of products for a fun evening, including Magic cards and Star Wars board games. The store also regularly hosts game nights where anyone can bring their games into the store and play with whoever else is there.
Pair O' Dice Games is the latest store using this format of selling games and hosting game nights. Most of the Bellingham stores are in the downtown and Fairhaven area; Pair O' Dice tends to draw people from the north part of town, county residents and some Canadians, said Doff Visser, who owns the business with Aaron Wallace and Brad McArtor.
With the addition of Pair O' Dice, there are now more than a half dozen stores in Bellingham that have game rooms set aside for customers to play.
Visser believes the increased popularity is because the industry has so many new products that are a nice alternative to computer games. Not only is it something to do with friends each week, but it's a different kind of challenge.
"There is a certain amount of creative freedom you don't get from computer games," Visser said.
Django Bohren, who operates The Comics Place and Moon Base Games & Comics in Bellingham, agreed that an increasing number of people want to play games face-to-face rather than on screens.
"I think it was smart of Pair O' Dice to go into that north Bellingham market," he said, adding there are other neighborhoods like Sunset that could also use them.
While the game nights and sales at the store are doing well at Pair O' Dice, Visser said online sales remains its biggest source of revenue.
The Pair O' Dice name is part of a promotion for the company. When purchasing games at the store, customers can roll dice to win gifts or store credit.