MARYLAND

Life-size chess boards installed in Downtown College Park

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College Park officials hope a big game of chess will draw big crowds Downtown.

"We've had these chess boards that have been here for a couple years, and no one has ever bought chess pieces or checker pieces. A lot of people walk by and don't know exactly what it is," Economic Development Coordinator Michael Stiefvater says.

Stiefvater adds the new chess boards are a cheap way to boost business.

"It's a college town. People have a lot of free time during the day, so we're just hoping that more people outside will create more of a buzz," Stiefvater continues.

Steven Kaatz says the boards have him intrigued, and he plans to come back for a game.

"I'm gonna bring one of my buddies down here actually tomorrow. We like to frequent a lot of the restaurants down here, so I will definitely bring him down for an outdoor chess game," Kaatz adds.

Mark Srour owns the Cornerstone Grill and Loft and has been in the area for 32 years. He's hoping the chess boards will help draw customers to his restaurant. 

"I think it's a great idea. Anything to bring people Downtown. Whether it's two people or ten. Give it a try, you know?," Srour says.

One thing's for sure. The whimsical idea has residents and students alike game for anything.

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