RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – A Rio Rancho business is taking a new approach to clear unwanted visitors out of its parking lot. Managers at a local counseling and therapy office say it’s a designated hot spot for Pokémon Go players. After reaching out to the company with no luck, they made an investment that’s gotten a lot of attention.
If you swing by the Colores de Cabezon office and medical park in Rio Rancho, you’ll see an interesting sort of “get off my lawn” sign — complete with a big red circle and cross with it and Pikachu inside. That’s because hoards of Pokémon Go players were affecting businesses.
“This whole parking lot used to be full with people coming in to do the Pokémon battles,” said Sandra Rivera with The Family Connection LLC. “They were along the streets and it was affecting our business as far as our patients being able to come and park.”
The Family Connection, which provides counseling and therapy, says some players were even alongside counseling rooms, impacting clients’ privacy. Businesses say the signs are a fun and entertaining add to the complex, while still helping curb the unwanted traffic.
“Day and the evening, Saturdays were really bad. Unfortunately, we had players alongside our counseling rooms, so because of clients’ privacy, it became a major issue. We wanted to be able to work with the community but at the same time, respect our clients’ privacy,” said Rivera. “It’s entertaining and I see people from my office taking pictures of it because they think it’s funny, but really it’s helped our business and helped the businesses around us.”
The Family Connection says it’s fine if players want to swing by after hours. They’re just trying to keep things professional during the day.
“The Pokémon players still come out at the end of the evening, which is fine because we’re closed at that moment, but as far as right now, it’s definitely helped our business,” said Rivera.
Pokémon Go’s parent company Niantic just recently released an interactive Harry Potter game, Wizards Unite. It too directs players to get out and explore, casting spells and battling “creatures.” There’s no word yet if the Cabezon complex will need to add “no spells” signs.