Unless you have been living under a rock for the last week, you have probably seen or at least heard about the Pokémon Go phenomenon that has taken the nation, and everyone’s battery life by storm. This revamped video game that first emerged in 1996 as a popular game for the Gameboy system has everyone talking and playing, and local businesses are taking note. With Pokémon Go utilizing Google Maps’ algorithm, popular locations and landmarks are seeing a lot more foot traffic due to their address being considered a hot spot to snatch up more Poké Balls.

So, how exactly are local businesses and landmarks in the Omaha and Lincoln area utilizing this new found popularity that comes with Pokémon Go? Read on to see how five areas in Nebraska are promoting their brand or increasing community engagement using Pokémon Go.

1) University of Nebraska-Omaha
With approximately 500 acres to explore and free Wifi, what more could Pokémon Go players need? The University of Nebraska-Omaha has promoted areas of their campus by telling players where to find the 35 Pokéstops and five gyms that are located throughout their three campuses. By telling players where to find these important check points, the university has in turn also promoted other fun events or displays that are going on in the Criss Library, Osborne Family Gallery and the Henningson Memorial Campanile. Not only can players enjoy an afternoon of gaming, but they can also be quickly immersed in what UNO has to offer students and alumni. The university even created a Pokémon Go map for players to review! You may even have the chance to win some Maverick merchandise at particular Pokéstops.

2) University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Much like the University of Nebraska-Omaha, UNL and Memorial Stadium are following suit when it comes to engaging with the community. The release of Pokémon Go has given the University of Nebraska-Lincoln another way to appeal to potential incoming students and welcoming alumni back for a day of fun! Not only is UNL promoting places like the International Quilt Study Center and Museum using Pokémon Go foot traffic, they even planned a special event at Memorial Stadium. The gates to this Nebraska landmark were opened for two hours on July 14th for Pokémon Go players to explore the area and add to their Pokémon collection.

3) Nebraska Humane Society
The Pokémon Go craze has given the Nebraska Humane Society a fun new way of promoting pet adoption. By referring to their canine residents that are ready for adoption as the “brand new Pokémon to catch” and editing the images on their social outlets to look similar to how the popular mobile-based game looks, even man’s best friend can get in on the fun. Be sure to check out the pup’s “Pokéstats” on their bio to learn more about their likes and dislikes.

4) Old Market and Aksarben Village
Ever since Pokémon Go was released, the Old Market and Aksarben Village in Omaha have seen a lot more foot traffic during the week due to many restaurants and shops being designated as a place to restock your Poké Balls or hatch Pokémon Eggs. With more people flooding the streets of these popular shopping centers, businesses like Voodoo Taco are joining in on the fun by hosting a Lure Party on July 26th. Voodoo Taco will be setting off two lures near the Aksarben location every 30 minutes during the event. Voodoo Taco is ensuring that you can catch them all by promoting “Pokéspecials” for food, offering free Wifi and offering random prizes to those who share on social media that they are at their party.

5) Omaha Public Library
Is your battery running low? If you have busy battling all afternoon, chances are you are at that dreaded 10% warning. The Omaha Public Library has not only been sharing confirmed Poké Stops at their different locations on social media, but they have also encouraged the public on their Facebook page to stop in to use their available phone chargers and outlets when you find yourself in a pinch.

Do you have a favorite spot to play Pokémon Go in Omaha or Lincoln?
Let us know!