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Pokestops draw mixed reactions from businesses

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Dylan Foy and Jason Coyle play the popular Pokémon Go app on their mobile phones on First Avenue downtown Monday.
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With the influx of Pokemon Go users around Rochester, local businesses are starting to notice.

Pokemon lovers of all ages are trekking around the city to capture the little anime characters while exploring the community.

The app is designed to gather people at popular local landmarks, such as restaurants, businesses, art installments and sculptures — otherwise known as Pokestops — where players of the game will collect Pokeballs, snacks for Pokemon and medicines for battle-worn Pokemon.

There are more than 50 Pokestops in downtown Rochester, and each site seems to increase in popularity day by day.

One of the mostpopular Pokestops can be found on First Avenue Southwest where Newt's and Hefe Rojo are located. There is even a sign that says "Pokemon Go Hotspot, and tacos and tequila."


"We advertise the hot spot, which brings in lots of extra business. They come in to catch Pokemon and end up checking the restaurants out. It's a lot of fun!," said an employee from Newts.

Other local landmarks have also noticed their sidewalks being a bit more crowded.

"We have seen a couple people stop by, but nothing huge," said an employee at KROC.

"We have seen some but not many," said an administrator at the Olmsted County Government Center.

Even the historic Heritage House is a Pokéstop and the employees there didn't even realize it.

"We have noticed a few more people that come by that look like they want a tour, but then they walk away," said the docents of the Heritage House. "We didn't know that's why they were standing there."

A frequent number of Pokestops around the city are art installments put on by the Rochester Downtown Alliance's program "ArtWalk."

"We definitely have been noticing more people on the streets and noticing the art that we feature downtown — specifically the painted power boxes," said Jenna Bowman, the executive directer of Rochester Downtown Alliance.


"It's an all-around win for us and for users," Bowman said.

Although Rochester's Pokémon scene is fairly business friendly, other places in Rochester and the United States aren't so fortunate.

One organization, the Mayo Clinic, is unsure about this new interactive game.

There are multiple Pokestops within Mayo Clinic Buildings, including the Plummer Building, Gonda Building and the Charlton Building. There has been a lot of extra traffic coming through the medical buildings that could potentially be a risk.

"We are aware of the new augmented reality game Pokemon Go, and staff and security personnel at our facilities are being updated on potential patient privacy and security issues that could arise," said Joe Dangor, of Mayo Clinic public affairs.

In New York City, Pokemon users, in search of Pokestops, are invading the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Even worse, Pokemon players are invading the Auschwitz Memorial in Poland.

The staff at the memorial are calling the game "disrespectful to the memory of the victims", according the the official Auschwitz Memorial Twitter account.

It is possible for the game-makers to remove Pokestops, however nothing has been removed in Rochester or New York at this time.

Related Topics: MAYO CLINIC
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