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Posted on Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 5:55 a.m.

Get Your Game On is moving to ex-Great Wraps space on South State in downtown Ann Arbor

By Paula Gardner


Get Your Game On owner Alex Horvath poses in the new location for the shop on South State Street on Tuesday afternoon.

Melanie Maxwell I

The newest change on South State Street involves neither a restaurant nor a chain retailer as Get Your Game On plans to move from its location on Packard Road to the higher-visibility downtown Ann Arbor location.

The store — which features video games and non-electronic games — will open at 310 S. State St. on Monday after a weekend move into the former Great Wraps restaurant.

The storefront, next to Amer's Delicatessen, will feature retail sales on the main level, and gaming events on the lower level.

“We had to convert it from restaurant to retail space,” store owner Alex Horvath said. “… And by this weekend, we’ll be moving over, bit by bit.”

The move has been in the works for some time, as Horvath sought a higher-visibility location for the 4-year-old store.

“We’re not getting the visibility and foot traffic that I’d hoped for and expect,” he said of the Packard Road location. “… People come in every day and say, ‘I didn’t know you were here.’ ”

Students at the University of Michigan make up much of his customer base, and he wants to be closer to the hub of campus. Non-students also want the vitality and parking availability of the near-campus downtown area, he said.

His search for a new location yielded few options, he said, until he learned that Great Wraps planned to close in January.

“We jumped on it, and were able to move pretty quickly,” he said.

The 1,400-square-foot space was leased by Deb Pearson of Bluestone Realty, which represented the landlord, the Oxford Co. It was listed for $40 per square foot per year.

“It has been a goal of ours to put a non-food use in the space, and we think this adds diversity to the street,” Pearson said, citing an oversupply of restaurants along the corridor.

The move by the independent retailer to the corridor — among the highest-priced areas in Ann Arbor — also comes as multiple chain stores open nearby. Both 7-Eleven and CVS now operate stores nearby.

“A lot of landlords are looking for a national chain,” Horvath said. Oxford “was willing to take a chance on us, and I think it will benefit everybody.”

The new store will be smaller, and the use of the lower level means the two functions — retail and daily events, which can draw 100 participants — will be separated.

But they’ll still fulfill the store’s goal: “To nurture and grow a great gaming community within Ann Arbor,” as Horvath describes it.

Staffing will remain at 4, Horvath said, with each employee gaining hours after the move. Eventually, he said, he hopes to add up to 3 additional employees.

Get Your Game On — known as GYGO — is rare in the gaming world because it deals in multiple formats, Horvath said. That’s also part of its appeal, and one reason why he thinks a move closer to campus will benefit the store and the students who’ve had to travel to Ann Arbor’s traditional retail centers to shop for games.

“Both of the categories are increase,” he said. “Video games grow year over year, but I also see more desire for people to disconnect and play some board games with their friends.”

Paula Gardner is Business News Director of Contact her at 734-623-2586 or by email. Sign up for the weekly Business Review newsletter, distributed every Thursday, here.


Wolf's Bane

Mon, Apr 4, 2011 : 4:49 p.m.

The corner of doom. Competing with the Fleetwood? Bad idea.


Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : noon

@Ryan Munson: GYGO predominantly sells paper board games, card games, and RPGs. They do also have computer games, but a large part of the product mix can't be effectively downloaded.

Ryan Munson

Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 1:51 a.m.

I must say good luck. With the move to digital download stores and kids as young as 6 running around with iPod Touches downloading games from different variations of The App store, I hope jewels like this stay around.

Alex Horvath

Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 12:32 a.m.

Thanks for the comments, all. We are very excited about the move, and the buzz in the store has been very positive. Free street parking will still be in place after 6 PM, which is when most of our events start. We have a street parking pay station right in front of the store, so you can "feed your meter" without walking back to your car, no matter where you parked. There's also large parking structure just around the block, which is only $1/hour. Plus, for those industrious folks, you can always look for free parking in a local neighborhood for the longer events. Pricing in the store will remain unchanged, and we're looking to grow our used video game selection, with the intent of paying more for trade-ins and selling for less than any of our competition.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 4:20 p.m.

I love GYGO and I am happy that the business is doing well enough to move into a premium space but not all the glitters is gold. The new parking situation will be a blight to some of the stores most hard core gamers. At the old location there was free street parking or free meters after 6pm. In the new location parking fees will add up when your used to gaming in store for a few hours each week. Yes, I understand it is not that costly but gamers are an odd lot who are general very frugal. I also hope this doesn't cause an unannounced bump in game and card prices for the store. Personally I am looking forward to cell phone coverage and free wifi!

Jeremy Hallum

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 2:57 p.m.

This is pretty exciting, their old location was nice, but it was pretty parking limited. Now they will have location and parking. I'm looking forward to shopping there and hopefully gaming there.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 2:52 p.m.

Great to hear that GYGO is doing well. I don't often buy games, but when I do I try to stop in and see if I can get it there, and Alex and the staff have always been very friendly and knowledgeable. Hopefully this will get them some more foot traffic.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 2:23 p.m.

Good to see a non-chain local non-food use of the space. Should bring good foot traffic too...the other store is fairly successful.

Mike Hulsebus

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 2:16 p.m.

All the best in the new space! I look forward to rolling dice there soon

Guinea Pig in a Tophat

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 1:24 p.m.

Best of luck to Alex in the new location! I'm hoping to play some games of Ascension there.

Peter Baker

Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 1:12 p.m.

Cheers to them. It'll be great to see some non-franchise retail move in to State Street. Between Five Guys, CVS, 7-11, Buffalo Wild Wings, American Apparel, Urban Outfitters, Ben & Jerry's, Potbellys and Starbucks, that corner was starting to look like every other corner in America. If anyone wants to get a game of Monopoly Deal going there, I'm in.

Peter Baker

Thu, Mar 31, 2011 : 12:09 p.m.

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Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 4:46 p.m.

&quot;every other corner in America&quot;? It isn't even starting to look like every other corner in Ann Arbor. You need to walk around more.