Editor’s note: This is part of an occasional series about how locally-owned, small businesses in the Longview area are faring — and in some cases surviving — in the COVID-19 pandemic.
For seven years, Randall Mick and his wife, Christine, owners of Three Suns Unlimited, have met the needs of their game-playing customers. In 2020, they continued to do that, despite the pandemic.
Three Suns Unlimited is a retail store on Gilmer Road in Longview that offers a variety of games. Its selection includes trading card games, such as Pokemon and Magic: The Gathering, role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons, tabletop and board games as well as accessories and related gaming supplies.
The store closed for six weeks in the spring because of the pandemic, but the Micks, being the only employees, were able to keep the business afloat by using their savings.
Upon reopening, business was slow but eventually picked up.
“We used social media to let people know we were open, but the key thing was word of mouth,” Randall Mick said. “We were able to offer curbside pickup and delivery services to those who were more comfortable doing business that way.”
A large section of the store is set up exclusively for tabletop games and is used as a space for customers to play games together as well as to host events and tournaments.
“We keep hand sanitizer in the store and have kept this area as spaced out as possible, and we keep it as clean as we can,” Mick said. “If you are participating in an event in our store, you must wear a mask.”
Mick said family-oriented multiplayer games have sold extremely well throughout the pandemic.
“People get tired of video games and want to go back to playing board games with their families,” he said. “They are more family-oriented. You can get the whole family together and play a board game when oftentimes only one or two people will be interested in any given video game, which is often single player.”