Pokémon Geau Claire: 7 Things About Pokémon Go in Eau Claire

James Johonnott

Venonat on S. Barstow Street.
Venonat on S. Barstow Street.

Pokémon Go has hit America like a storm, and Eau Claire is no exception. Sizable crowds of phone-wielding Pokémon Trainers can be regularly seen from the mall to downtown. 

As a brief recap, Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game in the two decades old franchise of everyone’s favorite magical, highly destructive creatures. In this latest take on the series, the game informs players of nearby Pokémon. Looking through the smartphone will then reveal a Pokémon digitally placed in the real world, which the player then can attempt to catch and collect. After all, you gotta catch’em all.

The game is a mixture of wish fulfillment and nostalgia for generations of Pokéfans across the world and in the Chippewa Valley. But let’s take a look at seven facts about Eau Claire's Pokémon Go scene. 

Local Squirtle
Local Squirtle

1. In a city of rivers, water-type Pokémon abound.

With how significant the rivers are to the identify of Eau Claire, it’s cool to see that reflected in what Pokémon are available. Even the relatively uncommon Squirtle pops up pretty frequently here. Try the UWEC campus, North River Street, and Oak Pointe Plaza for the fan-favorite water shooting turtle.

2. The Sculpture Tour and parks are keys to success.

If you haven’t noticed already, each sculpture on the Eau Claire Sculpture Tour is a feature in the game. Planning a walk along Water Street, Downtown, or through Phoenix Park is a surefire way to stock up on Poké Balls, but also to see some amazing artwork!

3. Meet your fellow Pokémon trainers.

Chances are that while you’re outside, you’re going to see lots of fellow trainers scanning their surroundings for that rare catch. It isn't often (outside of festivals) that hundreds of people walking around town are all doing the same thing – so see who you can meet and what you can learn about your town.

4. Catch Eau Claire. 

Pokémon Go is an amazing opportunity to go explore that part of Eau Claire you’ve never been to. You know which one I mean. There might be a Vulpix hiding there, or in your new favorite park or coffee shop. See what's happening in other cities!

Pokémon Go players on Barstow Street, downtrown Eau Claire. Photo: Tyler Moen
Pokémon Go players on Barstow Street in downtown Eau Claire. Photo: Tyler Moen

5. The game is bringing people together in amazing ways. 

On the Sunday night of the first weekend with Pokémon Go, over 100 people were clustered around the intersection of N. Barstow and Wisconsin streets. How did this happen? In the game, you can use a special item called a lure to attract Pokémon to a specific location in the real world. Someone had set up four of them at that intersection, and the rest was magic.

6. Local businesses can benefit from the PokéCraze, too. 

Businesses around the country are offering discounts to Pokémon Go players, or even using the lures themselves to attract potential customers to their business. Exploring for Pokémon is hungry work, and trainers I've talked to are more than willing to engage a business that engages them back. 

Spearow
Angry Spearow downtown

7. The Volume One World Headquarters? 'Tis no exception.

Here at the Volume One World Headquarters & Local Store, you might just see a Drowzee, Krabby, Kingler, Bellsprout, Magnemite, Eevee, or Magikarp. Maybe even a Gastly or Porygon too, if you’re lucky!

What are your crazy Pokémon Go stories? Have you seen any small businesses engaging with players? What have you found roaming around in Eau Claire? Let us know in the comments ...