Pokemon Go craze reaches Eustis, drawing hundreds
EUSTIS, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - More than 1,000 people gathered in Ferran Park in Eustis on Tuesday to play Pokémon Go.
"I was amazed," said Mayor Michael Holland.
So what's all the hype about? There are 20 so-called "PokeStops" in downtown Eustis. The city bought "lures" in the park, to help gamers catch a Pokémon.
Mayor Holland says, "We're not only seeing young kids, we're seeing high school students, we're seeing parents, college students, but we're seeing families."
Taylor Sichko decided to come out with his baby daughter Ray Lynn. "We're both getting some exercise, having fun catching some Pokémon."
Gail Carlson decided to bring her grandchildren. "It's actually gotten the kids outside and walking around and doing things," she says.
Emma Boreske says, "It's fun to catch it."
The mayor says Pokémon Go is helping him catch customers in Eustis. "It brings people out to enjoy our restaurants, our ice cream shops, just our businesses downtown."
The city partnered with merchants to pay for the lures. Store owners are even giving discounts to the gamers. Gamers lined up at Strawberries Ice Cream and Treats shop. "I think we're seeing a difference tonight because the city's putting on this huge event. It's been crazy," says owner Lori Pittsley.
Mayor Holland adds, "This whole event cost the city $100 dollars, so what a small investment to bring the community out."
For people like Gail and her grandchildren, Pokémon Go has hatched a very healthy way to play.
"I saw a little meme on Facebook. It said, 'It took Michelle Obama seven years to get kids outside to play, and it took Nintendo 24 hours."