Some call it a time-wasting fad. Others can it a cultural phenomenon. Some hate it. Others love it. Some think it’s downright stupid. Others think that it’s the solution to the laziness that has swept across America in recent years.
No matter which side of the coin you’re on with each of these, there is one simple truth you cannot escape — Pokemon Go is a popular gaming app that has gripped millions of people… for better or worse.
What does that mean to your hotel? Or what could it mean? Well, if your hotel has already been designated as a Pokestop, then you’ve probably already had a taste of the whole thing. And, if not, then you may want to consider becoming a Pokestop, which the creators of the game, Niantic, are now taking requests for.
What is a Pokestop?
A few years back, Niantic created a game called Ingress, a sci-fi game for smartphones where players utilized augmented reality — images and whatnot that are overlaid onto the real world — to compete against each other. These players would mark certain areas, most often locations with specific landmarks (murals, plaques, statues, local businesses, etc.), that would act as an element of the game. Pokemon Go utilizes a lot of these locations as Pokestops, which are places where players can go to collect items that they’ll need to capture Pokemon and do battle against other players.
The Pros of Being a Pokestop
Pokestops have had an interesting effect on many local businesses. Those that have been designated as a Pokestop have often enjoyed an uptick — and sometimes an influx — in visitors. If you decide to designate your hotel as a Pokestop, it’s basically like getting access to free marketing. People visiting your area will be shown on their game’s map that your facility is a Pokestop, which will help them get items and maybe even catch a Pokemon or two. You can also use this to your advantage in unique ways. For example, you could offer a discount or free upgrade to anyone who takes a picture of a Pokemon (which is one of the game’s functionalities) in your hotel’s lobby, or even with your hotel’s name in the background somewhere, and then posts the picture on Facebook.
The Cons of Being a Pokestop
There is really only one negative element of being a Pokestop, and most businesses don’t see it as a negative at all. We’re referring to the fact that crowds of teens are common at these locations. This means that you may see small groups of young people (and some adults, of course) gathered outside of your hotel. In rare instances, you may have to ask them to disperse if they’re interfering with guests or take it upon themselves to come inside your lobby. These issues, though, haven’t gotten much notice in the media at all, and given the reaction of most businesses, it’s not likely to be a problem. We would typically ignore it, but it’s only fair that you be given all of the available information.
How Your Hotel Can Become a Pokestop
When Pokemon Go launched in early July, the Pokestops were mostly determined by active components in the creator’s previous game. Businesses that had no idea they were a part of that game were immediately aware of their inclusion once the concept switched to Pokemon, thanks to that brand’s popularity. Thanks to input from many businesses that were left out in the cold, Niantic decided to allow businesses to submit an “application” to become a Pokestop. If you’re interested in doing so, simply click on this link: ____________________________________________
Ready for your hotel to be a part of the Pokemon Go phenomenon? Want free advertising and opportunities for Facebook exposure? We may not be experts in “catching them all”, but the staff at Mars Hospitality can help take your hotel to the next level in all sorts of ways. Contact us today and we’ll get you started!