The Dragon’s Den brings board game options to Coachella Valley

Pristine Villarreal

In today’s digital world, many games are played on a screen with players only interacting online.

But the Dragon’s Den, a new tabletop game lounge in Palm Desert, is changing that by getting people offline and starting to play board games together in-person.

“There’s not a place with big tables like this in the desert for them to play in, so we’re the first of its kind,” said Mindy Conant who owns the Dragon’s Den with her son Jake.

The Conant’s goal: providing a safe space for people to play role-playing games.

“There’s not a lot of places to have cheap, wholesome fun and this is really a good spot,” said one customer.

From cult classics like Dungeons and Dragons to today’s newer role-playing games like Warhammer, RPG’s have gone from being played in dimly lit basements to now being showcased in the national economic spotlight.

“I’ve been following the financials since really since the COVID-era boom,” said Ilya Brookwell, a professor with the Media & Cultural Studies Department at University of California, Riverside.

Brookwell says economic experts are predicting the board game industry to increase its multi-billion-dollar global market.

“The reason why it is that large is because when you monetize and expand beyond the local and go into bigger communities you then associate with all kinds of other brands,” he said.

At the Dragon’s Den, players are investing big time and money behind these projects.

“I still have the price point in my head, it’s not good,” joked RPG player Dorian Canchola.

Despite the large financial investments and time commitments preparing their supplies, many of these gamers say the true value is more than money.

“I got all these friends, I go out more than I ever did, and I have something that I enjoy doing,” Canchola said. “Even on the roughest week of my life, I just go home, and I paint and I’m happy.”

The Dragon’s Den is located at 72221 CA-111 #101a, in Palm Desert, CA.

This story was written and reported by Kai Beech.

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