MiniWarGaming investing more than $1 million in new space

by Kris Dube, The Welland Tribune

Futuristic Vikings and armies from outer space are just two things coming to life through a Welland business’s plans to relocate to King Street.

Operating at the former city hall for the past 11 years, MiniWarGaming plans to host a June 22 grand opening at its new headquarters. The move marks an investment of more than $1 million that won’t just be a venue for its imaginative brand of table-top gaming.

To be located at a former flower shop in the downtown area, the award-winning business will also offer five overnight hospitality rooms for gamers who visit the city for some action — each of them with a different theme based on the lore of various games played at the hub.

“You’ll feel completely immersed because all the walls are completely decorated as if you’re in a spaceship or a realm gate,” said co-owner David Nordquist in a recent interview.

Barracks for imperial guards and officers, astro-militant soldiers, and more, will be a part of MiniWarGaming’s new location when it opens and hosts people from all over the world.

Since its establishment more than a decade ago, Nordquist said he and his business partner Matthew Glanfield have welcomed people from Australia, the United Kingdom and South America.

With 300,000 subscribers to its YouTube channel, Nordquist said MiniWarGaming is the biggest player in the game when it comes to online presence.

“It’s a very niche hobby and we’re definitely more online than we are in-person,” he said, calling the pastime “board games played on a table, for all intents and purposes.”

There are “a few million” people who include miniature war gaming in their lives around the globe.

The majority of the day-to-day operation is spent in the production of videos posted on social media of battles being fought — the biggest draw to their online presence, said Nordquist.

he new site will boast six studios for gaming and a tournament room that can hold about 50 players at once.

A retail area will face King Street. Escape rooms are part of the second phase of plans for the redeveloped building.

In 2017, MiniWarGaming was named business of the year at the Welland-Pelham Chamber of Commerce Ruby Awards.

Nordquist, 34, a longtime Welland resident, said he would be delighted to see their ambitious project become a precursor for a rejuvenation of the King Street area.

“If it happens that way, it’s fantastic,” he said.

Nordquist and Glanfield, childhood friends, started playing miniature war games in local rec rooms and decided to form their interest into a business plan.

“We had no idea it would grow into this,” he said.

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