Local businesses join in on Pokemon Go as thousands gather Uptown

The Pokemon Go craze continues to take over the Queen City. Saturday night thousands were expected at Romare Bearden Park to play the game.

While the official event at the park didn’t start until 9:00 p.m., hundreds started playing the game earlier in the afternoon after showers moved through the area. Close to 3,000 people accepted an invitation to play on Facebook. Local business owners say the interest in the game has then tinkering with their business plans.

“Anything that gets you outside and talking to people and having a good time it’s great,” said Andrew Nome of Toppers Pizza.

There is a good chance you or someone you know plays the newest craze, Pokemon Go. In the Queen City there are unsuspecting businesses are reaping the benefits.

A shopping center in South Charlotte was made a Pokestop by the game creator. Employees at FABO Coffee say they’ve already noticed an increase in business.

“I have been playing Pokemon since I was young and I started on Emerald which when I was like 6 or 7,” said Liam Roeth, who was playing the game inside the coffee shop.

He was born after the original Pokemon craze and is now joining in on the latest. The Pokestop inside the coffee shop can even be affected by players in the area.

“Someone bought a module for the Pokestop and what that does is everyone who is near the Pokestop get more Pokemon. So I was just catching them here. I didn’t have to move around because someone did that,” said Roeth.

Of course not all businesses are Pokestops. Toppers pizza on University City Boulevard didn’t let it stop them from cashing in. They offer deep discounts for local players.

“The guy who was just leaving right now got a pizza with it. This is with very limited marketing. We just put this up 2 or 3 days ago,” said Andrew Noem.

The pizza shop is in a small shopping center across from UNC Charlotte. Players say the campus is hidden with more than 70 Pokestops which makes it a popular area to play.

“If we are going to have people at all hours of the day and night wandering around campus you mind as well just be a part of that and cash in.”

As of now only the game creators are allowed to add Pokestops but it is rumored in the future that businesses can sponsor and include themselves.

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