More than a week after its U.S. launch, the Pokemon Go craze is bringing a spike in sales to some Knoxville businesses.
The game encourages users to catch Pokemon by traveling through their homes and neighborhoods.
“At one point, the entire side of my bar was loaded full of people with their phones out hunting Pokemon," said Dan Goss, who manages the Downtown Grill and Brewery.
He says it’s still too soon to measure the exact bump in sales, but has noticed a definite increase so far.
Goss plays the game himself, and in order to attract even more gamers to the restaurant, he places hot-spots called “lure modules” nearby.
"What that does is for a 30 minute window, it draws different Pokemon to the area,” he said. “And people are able to stay in here and not travel too far, because basically all the Pokemon are coming to them."
The Downtown Grill is even naming some of their drinks after popular Pokemon. Other stores are also tailoring their products to the recent craze, including West Town Mall’s Hot Topic, which is offering a 25 percent discount for all Pokemon products until Sunday.
It's a tactic that's working for Poke-fans like Devin Stevens and Kevin Bass.
"We've been out sometimes in the middle of the night, one time until 4 in the morning,” Bass said.
He and Stevens created a Facebook group with more than 2,000 Knoxville players so far.
For them and many others who have been waiting since childhood for a virtual Pokemon game, the excitement is just beginning.
And Goss is just fine with that.
"It's the fad right now. If you're ignoring it, you're losing out,” he said.
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