Pokémon Go Literally Saved This Small-Town Ice Cream Shop

Pokémon Go and its rabid userbase saved a small-town ice cream shop in Anacortes, Washington.

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Complex Original

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Pokémon Go has been blamed for countless problems, including causing car accidents, getting people shot, and ruining concerts––but for one business in Anacortes, Washington, it was a life saver. 

Gary Dear, the owner of Mad Hatter's Ice Cream in the town of a population of 10,000 people, is thanking the game for reviving his struggling business. Since he started the shop, he has struggled to keep the doors open and even took a short leave for health reasons in June. But recently, after a Poké-stop was added across the street, he saw players begin to travel to the area in hundreds and his business triple​. 

"Never in my wildest dreams did I ever expected it to end up like this," Dear told local news station KSDK. "I've never seen anything take off like this."

With the boost in business, he has had to take on more employees and extend the shop's hours. The shop owner is not the only one to see positive economic effects of Pokémon Go. Businesses with nearby Poké-stops have reported an increase in traffic and have used in-game "lures" to get users to come to their stores. The app Yelp has even added a "Pokéstop Nearby" filter so users can plan their lunch with catching a few Pokémon in mind. Not all businesses are loving the influx of traffic: signs reading, "Pokémon for paying customers only," have been posted in some stores. As for Dear, he seems to be counting his blessings and selling more ice cream than ever.

"The Pokey light shines down on me!" he said.

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