National Park Service embracing Pokémon Go hunters on National Mall

- The National Park Service is capitalizing on the Pokémon Go craze. The app has people flooding to memorials and monuments in the nation’s capital.

This app has taken over people's lives and they are getting people outside and moving around while playing the augmented reality game. A lot of the Poké Stops and Pokémon can be found around the National Mall and the National Park Service sees this as a gift to their cause.

Rangers are seeing tourists and even locals coming to the National Mall to collect Pokémons as well as meet up with fellow players.

Bryan Hadley is from Warrenton, Virginia, but he has not been down to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in three years. That is until Pokémon Go popped onto the national stage.

“Here we have thousands of people who love a game and they are going out into the world to play it, and this is our chance to help them to not only continue to love their game, but to fall in love with the places they are playing in,” said Paul Ollig of the National Park Service.

Starting this weekend, the National Park Service will debut the first ranger-led “Catch the Mall Pokémon Hunt." The app-savvy rangers will lead tours in different areas allowing Pokémon hunters to capture what they need.

“While you are going around, you can collect any Jugglypuffs, Zubats and Charizards you might encounter along the way,” said Ollig.

As the National Park Service seizes the opportunity, they realize Pokémon is now a game-changer in their quest to captivate a younger audience. They already have rangers roaming around the National Mall engaging with people playing Pokémon Go.

They also said they were already in the process of developing their own augmented reality game. Now, they are really taking a good look at Pokémon Go to learn all they can from it before they launch their game. The National Park Service hopes it will be released around the presidential inauguration.

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