Downtown Fort Myers business owers capitalize on Pokemon Go

Posted at 7:05 PM, Jul 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-18 19:08:27-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Business owners in Downtown Fort Myers are capitalizing off the Pokemon Go app, which is now the biggest mobile game in U.S. history.

Fox 4 found dozens of people walking around downtown Monday afternoon, saying they chose to eat at certain spots because of the game. "We just found an Abra, and inside we just caught a Gastly, and she just caught a Caterpie," said Tara, a Pokemon Go player outside Ford's Garage. "We just chose to eat here because an alert was set of some rare Pokemon."

The owner of the restaurant said the app has been great for business. The influx of business has been so great, the restaurant installed charging stations for people walking around on their phones. "It's definitely impacted us as far as bringing up sales a little bit, just families walking around and kids are trying to find it and mom and dad want to come in and have something to eat," said Daniel Kearns, who owns several restaurants downtown.

Andy Morgan, owner of United Ale House, doesn't understand the game, but he does understand how money it's making him. "I don't understand it, but it's really good! Theres' been literally hundreds, if not thousands more people downtown," he said.

Now, Morgan is making promotions dedicated to Pokemon to bring gamers into his bar. The United Ale House will be selling shots representing Squirtle, Charmander and Bulbasaur for Pokemon fans of age.

Those lounging around downtown on their phones think business owners should take it a step further. "If I owned a business, I would be reaching out to Nintendo to say 'what do I have to pay you to put a Poke-stop at my business, or spawn rare Pokemon at my business."

The game has gotten so popular in Downtown Fort Myers, bars will be hosting a Pubcrawl on Saturday dedicated to the game. It will start at 7 P.M.