Pokemon Go gamers impacting local businesses in Rockford - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Pokemon Go gamers impacting local businesses in Rockford

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

One digital game sweeping the country is actually making a major impact in Rockford.

Local businesses say Pokemon Go is bringing more people downtown - and they're not just playing games.

If you've noticed some people wandering around looking at their phones in Rockford lately, they're not lost - they're playing Pokemon Go.

"All I know is someone caught a little guy on my counter a couple days ago," said Stephanie Caltagerone, owner of Magpie Restaurant.

Caltagerone says she was a little skeptical at first, but she thinks Pokemon Go could really impact her business.

"There's definitely an increase in foot traffic," Caltagerone said.

Players send something called lures to different locations and businesses all throughout Rockford to attract Pokemon there - and then the objective, is to catch them.

Locations like the Nordlof Theater and the Main Street arches are Pokestops - so many nearby businesses are getting on board in hopes of attracting those passing by, like Elysse Bennett.

"There's two major Pokestops in the parking lot across the street," said Bennett, a Pokemon Go player. "So I always say let's go to Rockford Roasting Company, we'll lay a lure, and get a cup of coffee and just hang out there."

Also nearby is Octane, where not only do they encourage people to play, they play themselves.

"He sat up at the bar, he got coffee he would not have come here had he not see those moments downtown where he was like oh I can stop and play this game here," said Bekkie Roman, a server at Octane.

Something they hope will keep customers coming back for more.

"It's getting people to actually see that downtown has a lot going on, they just don't normally go out of their way to come here," Roman said.

Many of the business owners say they're looking into more ways they can incorporate Pokemon Go into their experience.

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