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Pokemon Go Hot Spots Bring Increased Traffic To Some Local Businesses

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)-- While law enforcement officials might not love the idea of the new wildly popular Pokemon Go app, some local businesses do.

They're finding they can goose their profits if they play Pokemon right, CBS2's Esha Ray reported. Pier 83 in Midtown was jammed with tourists, but it's not just harbor cruises and the circle line attracting customers anymore. It's a new Pokemon Go hot spot.

"I only have 38 different kinds, I have a lot of the same ones. I'm still very new," player Erin Hess said.

"I'm here anyway, I might as well play but I am walking around so I can catch more," player Sarah Penna said.

"It's a place where players can get together and just pretty much converse and catch Pokemon all the time," player Paulie Abril added.

New York Cruise Lines CEO Danny Boockvar said it's a pleasant surprise. His business has been booming ever since the app launched, and now he's taking his sales to the next level.

"We found that we'll spend 51 cents to buy a lure and 50 people will come running to catch the Pokemon," Boockvar said.

That's right-- for just a few cents, anyone can buy a luring module that will attract Pokemon to a certain spot.

In Queens, L'Inizio's pizza bar tried it themselves a week ago. Within two hours there was a crowd and a 75 percent increase in sales.

"It's booming, it's booming. Who would've thought?" owner Tom Blaze said.

Gamers don't mind-- they say it's a brilliant advertising strategy.

"Genius. Yeah if it's like a cafe or something and I need something to drink and their place is luring Pokemon in then that's where I will be 110 percent," Hess said.

"I like it-- I've actually met a ton of people that I wouldn't normally meet and seen murals and seen street and places that I wouldn't normally go to," Hess said.

Boockvar said he's even getting in on the fun. He's only on level 2, but he's well on his way to catching them all. If you're not one of the lucky businesses that doubles as a Pokemon Go hotspot, you can now file a request online with the app developers.



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