Pokemon Go boosting local business with parties and pub crawls

Confederation Park might be ground zero for Ottawa Pokemon Go trainers but a swath of other events – including two pub crawls – are luring them into the city’s business areas.

Last week the Sparks Street Authority combined a Pokemon Go "lure party" with their toonie fundraiser for the Food Bank and were joined by hundreds of game players looking for rare virtual beasts.

On Saturday Bank Street BIA is hosting their own event after Comic Book Shop owner Rob Spittall pitched the idea to the association to help liven up the street on the weekend.

"I think it’s going to be huge," said Mr. Spittall, who came up with the idea after seeing hundreds of people gathering in Confederation Park last week for a similar event.

The game features numerous special landmarks called pokestops, which allow players to collect items. Pokestops can also be equipped with "lure" items that will attract rarer creatures for 30 minutes.

Bank Street has 25 pokestops and two gyms – and Spittall and the BIA intend to set a lure at each one of the course of the event on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event is pure fun for kids and adults, but Pokemon has also been good for businesses.

"We have lots of restaurants where you can sit and play Pokemon while enjoying your meal," said Mr. Spittall. Some local shops have even agreed to offer special discounts.

For the evening crowd event promoter Matthew Ward is planning the event in the Byward Market on Aug. 19. The event will include themed T-shirts and Pokemon-themed drinks and will bring a different crowd to four bars and clubs in the Byward Market.

This article originally appeared on metronews.ca on July 27.