It scarcely seems believable that five years ago today, we opened our doors to the public. After spending four months with business plans, loan applications, stubborn wallpaper, and a litany of other start-up issues, we had no idea what to expect. We were aware of a certain amount of buzz in the gaming community, and we had scheduled some gaming to occur on the opening day, but there was no guarantee of shoppers beyond that.
On June 16th, 2012 we were blown away. When we opened our doors, we were astounded to see that people were forming queues—long ones! People poured in, and not just to play games or grab the free stuff. Everyone seemed to be shopping with excitement. Some twelve hours later, we locked the doors and called Day 1 in the bag, wondering how many more we may count. I turned around and find myself five years later opening the same doors, stunned.
Tired of places that merely sold games and environments that rebuffed those outside its established cliques, we set out to build something different. We wanted to build a game store that encouraged players, invited newcomers, spread the hobby, and responded to its community. We knew that's what we wanted, and we counted on others out there wanting the same thing.
Before we opened, many people reached out to us expressing their enthusiasm for a game store with a vision like ours, and promises to support us. We were and are grateful for those outpourings, but we knew they were always tempered with whispers of "Will they last?", and rightly so. We hardly knew the answer to that question ourselves. I dare not tempt fate by suggesting the question is now emphatically answered, but I think it is safe to say that on this side of five years, the gaming community of Asheville has decided their own answer.
And that is the answer that matters, for it is because of this community—your community—that any of this can happen. We run a game store not because we like seeing games walk out the door but because we like seeing gamers walk in it. We believe a community gaming space is important to keeping the hobby alive and allowing it to thrive. We do it for you, and we couldn't do it without you, and I will always count myself lucky that I have been able to be a part of this.
The above video, like the community, may have be curated by us but we didn't create it, not really. They are both created by all the amazing people that come through our doors everyday. It is a tribute not to The Wyvern's Tale, but to the people who have made it possible—the astounding community that has embraced us so wonderfully.
With greatest sincerity, I thank you, and I look forward to building our community for many years to come.
Deklan Green is the proprietor of The Wyvern's Tale.
Photo Credits: Lane Montgomery, Steve Johnson, Steven Anthony, Myriah Wood, Michael Tracey, Kyle Hood