Provo City Council urges “Pokemon Go” users to attend more council meetings

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Provo City Council tweeted a photo of a Pokemon during their Policy Discussion Lunch on Monday (Karen Tapahe).
Provo City Council tweeted a photo of a Pokemon during their Policy Discussion Lunch on Monday (Karen Tapahe).

Provo City Council is trying to bring in a new crowd to their Policy Discussion Lunches by inviting “Pokemon Go” users with lure modules at parks.

Provo City Council member Dave Sewell brought up the idea to the City Council community relations coordinator Karen Tapahe when he noticed how popular “Pokemon Go” is within the community.

“We meet at the park every Monday before the council meetings (on Tuesday evenings),” Sewell said.

Sewell thought inviting “Pokemon Go” players would increase traffic and bring in new faces to their Policy Discussion Lunch.

Both Sewell and Tapahe play “Pokemon Go” with their families.

“Mr. Sewell asked me to place the lures,” Tapahe said. “We want to break the ice with the (“Pokemon Go”) crowd.”

On Monday, the Provo City Council held their lunch at Lakeview Park. Around 20 people were present, which is a big crowd, according to Tapahe.

Both Sewell and Tapahe love the walking aspect of “Pokemon Go” because it encourages players to go outside and meet new people. Sewell and Tapahe see Pokemon Go as a reason to go out, exercise and spend time with family.

Tapahe is an avid player and regularly takes her family to various Pokestops around Utah. Utah Lake was recently closed due to algae blooms, but that did not stop “Pokemon Go” players from stopping by to catch water-type Pokemon.

“Utah Lake charges people for parking, so it is good that “Pokemon Go” players are going there to catch Pokemon,” Tapahe said. “It’s like everybody is going fishing without the fishing poles.”

Utah Lake is only one of the few popular spots for “Pokemon Go” players. The Provo Library became a notorious hub for “Pokemon Go” players to visit. Hundreds of players go at night in order to catch rare Pokemon.

The Provo Library posted about “Pokemon Go” etiquette on Facebook. The post informs players that the parking garage closes at 9 p.m., no smoking, alcohol, or food or water sales are allowed on the library premises, and that they should respect neighbors at night.

“The Provo Library recently put up signs and more trash bins outside to accommodate the large crowds,” Tapahe said. “It’s good to see the Provo Library is embracing the app.”

The Shops at Riverwoods has also embraced the “Pokemon Go” app because it has brought business for local shops. Tapahe has seen the Riverwoods security golf cart giving rides to players so they can visit Pokestops.

The Provo City Council has not decided whether they want to set up lures at their Tuesday meetings yet, but they hope more people continue to show up for the lunch meetings.

“It’s fun to try something new,” Tapahe said regarding “Pokemon Go.” “(Players) might not have questions about council meetings, but at least they will be aware of current issues.”

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