Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Daily Lobo The Independent Voice of UNM since 1895
Latest Issue
Read our print edition on Issuu
Mathew Bacon, right and Kevin Smith play Pokémon Go at UNM  in front of Zimmerman Library on Thursday, July 21, 2016. Main Campus is a popular spot for players to come and increase their rank in the game.

Mathew Bacon, right and Kevin Smith play Pokémon Go at UNM in front of Zimmerman Library on Thursday, July 21, 2016. Main Campus is a popular spot for players to come and increase their rank in the game.

Albuquerque businesses embracing Pokémon Go craze

Pokémon Go encourages players to visit local landmarks to complete in-game activities like stocking up on pokeballs or battling to claim a gym, and some businesses are using discounts or in-app features to bring the visitors in their parking lot and the building.

“It kind of shocked me to see how this blew up overnight. I think it kind of shocked everybody, but we knew we had to capitalize on it right away,” said Colten Hudson, general manager of Gravity Park.

The trampoline park has been designated a PokeStop in Pokémon Go, so players can go to the physical location to collect digital items in the game, like pokeballs, revive potions and the occasional egg incubator.

“We get at least a hundred people driving up every day or driving past. It’s the oddest thing, they’ll park in front of our business and then take off. So now we’re doing things to incentivize people to come in,” Hudson said. “It’s turned out great.”

Gravity Park already markets to a similar age group as Pokémon Go users, sixteen to twenty-one, Hudson said. This means social media marketing related to Pokémon Go works well for them.

They’ve offered discounts for showing a Pokémon trainer avatar, for showing that you’ve downloaded the app and discounts related to specific teams in the game, he said. One Pokémon Go discount they offered last week through Snapchat brought in 100 customers.

Lures are a device in the game that can be installed at PokeStops to attract more Pokémon to the area, Hudson said. Gravity Park spends about $1.19 to drop twelve lures a day, significantly less than the advertising money they spend to boost social media posts.

Fans of Film is a UNM community local coffee shop that has been designated a Pokémon Gym, a location where players can battle to take ownership of the gym or train Pokémon.

“I think we’ve seen a slight increase in business, but I also think that it’s helped our visibility. A lot more people know about the coffee shop. They may not come in because we’re closed, we see a lot of activity after hours, but they may come back at some point because they know we’re here. So I think over time it’s going to be very helpful,” said Lloyd Thrap, a co-owner at Fans of Film.

Co-owner Michael Palombo said originally those at Fans of Film had no idea what a Pokémon Gym was.

“At first I thought it was a jewel,” he said, but they have since embraced their role.

“We’re so far off the path as it is, it’s been hard holding our own over here, these three years"

Enjoy what you're reading?
Get content from The Daily Lobo delivered to your inbox

"If it wasn’t for the fact that we roast our own coffee, being versatile with the mobile unit and the cold brew that I’m now delivering to a handful of other cafes, those are things that are building our business and making it possible for us to survive over here," Palombo said. “The Pokémon thing is only gonna help that.”

Fans of Film is offering a 10 percent discount to all Pokémon trainers. They also offer a phone charging station in the café, with chargers available for a wide range of devices, something that may prove useful to players since the app is known to quickly sap battery life.

Poki Poki Cevicheria, a sushi restaurant on Central Avenue, is also taking advantage of the Pokémon Go craze, owner Robert Punya said. The business has been dropping lure modules twice a day on the PokeStop next door to draw in customers.

They also offer a discount to players who catch Pokémon in their restaurant, Punya said. Along with using the game to pull in new customers, he said the game has helped his staff bond.

“Yesterday we had a Snorlax pop up over at Frontier. It was right as we opened the restaurant. We had a few customers in here, we all kept taking turns. We all went out there and caught our Pokémon together,” Punya said.

Poki Poki is working to get its octopus mural designated as a PokeStop in the game, he said. They’ve only received two emails in response, but are hopeful that they will receive the designation.

Punya said he has seen a decline in customers coming in for the discount since last week, but isn’t sure if that has to do with interest in the app declining, or the difficulties people are having connecting to the game’s servers.

“I’ve heard that the craze will last through summer. I wonder if people go back to school, if they’ll still be playing as heavy," Hudson said. "I’d assume not, but I think that summer’s kind of the perfect time for businesses to really capitalize on this. We’re certainly going to do so."

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2023 The Daily Lobo