Pokemon Go Puts a Stop to Traverse City U-Pick Raspberry Farm

Saturday , 16, July 2016 43 Comments

Folks heading out to Potter Road Raspberry Farm in Traverse City this weekend will be in for an unpleasant surprise. The farm is closed all weekend long, and after they reopen on Monday, July 18, u-pick will no longer be available. The change is due to an unpleasant situation that happened on Thursday, July 14, when people arrived not to pick berries, but to play Pokemon Go, the new game that encourages people to get out of the house to find characters. Game players were not using the best judgment while out playing the game, and became a nightmare for owners Brenda and Mike Mahn.

The game was released only a week ago, but already there are stories all over the country about criminal activity and people getting hurt because they were too engrossed in the game to pay attention to their surroundings. A girl in Pennsylvania stepped into traffic while playing the game and was hit by a car. A man in New York hit a tree playing Pokemon Go while driving. There was the man who was stabbed in California, the girls in San Diego who found a dead body, and two grown men went over a bluff and had to be rescued because playing the game was more important than watching where they were going. In Quebec, Canada, two police officers were injured in their vehicle when a person playing Pokemon Go while driving crashed into them. There are reports of people being robbed while playing too.

And now, vandalism forced a raspberry farm to close to the public during the raspberry picking season.

Brenda Mahn, the owner of the Potter Road Raspberry Farm, told Up North Progressive on Friday that she had to close her farm after the damage done by the game players on Thursday. “They ran all over, throwing handfuls of berries at each other. They went through my zucchini patch and threw zucchini at each other. They threw the pails at each other and broke them. In twenty four years, I have never seen anything like this. They had their phones out and said they were playing a game.” Mahn had never heard of the game before, “I’m don’t use the computer, I don’t watch TV. I spend my days outside working.”

And adding insult to injury, people tried to drive away with the berries they picked without paying for them.

Potter Road Raspberry Farm is more than just a local u-pick berry patch. This is a major raspberry grower in the Traverse City area supplying local wineries and Cherry Capital Foods with fruit.

On Monday, when Potter Road Raspberries reopens, picked berries will be available and people can place orders. U-pick however is finished for the season. Brenda said after what happened on July 14, she can’t have more people coming to her farm to destroy property and produce just to play a game. Pokemon Go is becoming the definition of, “this is why we can’t have nice things.”

43 thoughts on “ : Pokemon Go Puts a Stop to Traverse City U-Pick Raspberry Farm”
  • Roxanna says:

    It sounds like these children (ok grown people who are acting childish) are using the game as an excuse for poor behavior. Most people I have met playing this game are being responsible and respectful, many are just out for a good time and are not purposefully doing damage to property. There is no reason these people who damaged the farm should be getting away without vandalism charges. Using a popular new game as their excuse is bull and was probably a blatant lie.

    • Up North Progressive says:

      I have people accusing me of making this story up because they checked the location and according to the game there is nothing there associated with the game such as characters or gyms. I think the owners just had some bad luck with a group of people, and like many they happen to be playing the game. I don’t play the game myself, so I am not sure if there are specific locations or the characters show up randomly based on where you go. I have heard good stories about people playing the game being respectful too, so I don’t think nor am I suggesting all game players are bad.

      • Dave says:

        I think one of the issues with believing the article is the Quebec reference. The game released in Canada on Sunday the 17th, a day after the article was written. That’s probably just an issue with fact-checking, but it makes it easier to doubt the whole piece.

        • Ryan says:

          The game may not have been available in the localized phone app stores in Canada until the 17th, but it was relatively easy for people in Canada to download the free game from American sources and be playing well before their release date.

      • Heather says:

        What solid proof do the business owners have that the people were playing this specific game? Isn’t it entirely possibly this group of idiots was simply taking pictures and video of each other being ridiculous?!

  • ButMadNNW says:

    The headline should read, “Vandals Put a Stop to Traverse City U-pick Raspberry Farm,” because the game is not at fault here. The players’ (if they *were* playing) behavior is at fault. There is nothing about the game that requires or encourages trampling or throwing crops and anyone who would behave in such a disrespectful manner on others’ property would do so with or without a game to blame. Same as with any injuries that have happened – those were caused by people exercising poor judgment, not by the game, which has a loading screen reminding players to stay safe and aware of their surroundings. You see it every time you boot up the app.

    There is no reason to have one’s eyes glued to the game screen to the point of falling off cliffs. If the phone is put in a pocket with the game running, the phone will vibrate when a Pokémon is nearby. At which point the player can stop walking (at a safe point out of the way of others), take out their phone, and attempt the capture. Likewise, there’s no reason to have the game running while driving, both for obvious safety reasons and because the game stops tracking distance when you go above a certain speed because you’re supposed to *walk* to achieve certain goals and the design short-circuits most forms of cheating that aim.

    First it was “video games cause violence”, which scientific research has disproved. Then it was mobile phones, texting, Facebook, and so on. Pokémon Go is just the latest scapegoat in the “technology is evil and dangerous” narrative, when the trouble isn’t the technology, it’s the way *people* behave when using the technology.

    I seem to be seeing far more negative stories and attitudes about the game online than I do positive. I know the media loves to inflate the negatives in life, but let’s talk about how playing Pokémon Go is encouraging people to explore their communities and discover landmarks and art installations they used to walk past every day without noticing (I never realized that canoe on a post by the Boardman near Front Street was supposed to be an artistic rendition of a person until it was tagged a PokéStop – the game provides identifying information about the places that are PokéStops). Or how people are getting out, walking in parks, meeting each other in real life, and talking face-to-face. Since I work from home, I’ve met more new people in the past week than I have in the entire year I’ve lived around Traverse City.

    People who suffer from depression, anxiety, and social anxiety are getting out of the house, getting the exercise we mental health professionals have always encouraged them to get (because research shows exercise is as effective as antidepressant medication, if not more so), feeling better, and interacting with others over a shared interest. Let’s mention that player communities are encouraging each other to do things like take a trash bag on their gaming walks to clean up litter. How about the fact that kids are asking their parents to take them out on walks instead of sitting in their rooms and parents and kids are playing the game together and bonding? Or that some local businesses are providing water to players so they don’t wilt in the heat we’ve had and offering special deals to take advantage of the increased foot traffic. And then there’s the animal shelter in Indiana that encouraged players to come walk their dogs so the dogs got exercise, socialization, and some of them, new homes.

    Every group is going to have its bad eggs, especially when we’re talking about an app that’s been downloaded onto MILLIONS of devices. Let’s stop giving the bad ones press and focus on the majority of positive players instead. 🙂

    (As an aside, lest anyone think an “unemployed idiot millennial” wrote this [another negative attitude I’ve seen online about the game]: I’m 37, hold a Master’s degree, telecommute for a psychology company, and play Pokémon Go.)

    • Up North Progressive says:

      Once again, not everyone who plays the game is being disruptive.

      • But you’re using a media outlet to portray the game as being troublesome and a bad influence. You don’t have a single line in your article that says “but most people playing this game are being very kind and having a fun time” so we don’t care about your little afterthought disclaimers “I acknowledge not everyone playing this game is a vandal” cool we already know that how about PUT IT IN YOUR ARTICLE so all the ignorant old conservatives will see that how kids were raised and/or chose to behave is the culprit for their crime, not a nice innocent game that millions of people are playing without causing trouble?

        Every single word in your actual article is about negative things surrounding the game and you use it all as “evidence” to try and show how the game is “the reason we can’t have nice things”

        Fix your article and your attitude, buddy. Anyone under 30 knows this game doesn’t cause harm, and everyone over 30 seems to want to think it does. I wonder why? You all might wanna see a psychiatric professional about your paranoid obsession with “terrorist implications”

        • JK Burke says:

          Hey! Nothing wrong with 30 year olds! I play. But yes, this article is heavily slanted against the game. Everyone has been telling me stories about people making bad decisions and getting robbed and I’m like “THEY MADE A BAD DECISION” that was their bad choice. People still need to practice common sense.

        • I’m 45, and don’t think the game itself is harmful. It’s the actions of some people who play the game that are causing the harm. Just like the actions of some people who text cause harm, or some people who own guns, or some people who have a mental illness. Key word there, is some. Hell, I know at least 20 people over 30 who play Pokemon go, half of whom don’t even have kids. I just find it too cutesy, or I’d play it myself.

    • Oran Kelley says:

      Thanks for saving me the trouble. And the typing.

    • Karrie says:

      YES THIS. I’m 37 and have a BSN. My 20 yo plays. I played with her a few times and walked down Main St. That they literally close down every Monday in the summer for a car show.

      I don’t know why people assume we don’t have jobs. Or any other hateful stuff. If I saw kids doing stupid things, I like to be the person to tell them to knock it off. I literally haven’t been able to do that yet.

      I see more college kids out than little ones. I see a lot of parents with kids 13 and under. I haven’t seem the potential problem kids of 13-17, where things can go bad quickly.

      We have sidewalks and that’s what we walk down. It’s SAD how mad older adults about this game. When every week we get the “remember the good ole days of playing outside when we were kids”. I’d like to pass that around and see the comments then.

      Negative people NEED hobbies and do something else than complain online. That is NOT a hobby.

    • Karrie says:

      YES. I wrote a long comment that posted below for this post. ???

    • Here here!!! The game had NOTHING TO DO WITH THEIR BEHAVIOR. The fool who wrote this should be fired. Way to try and ruin something that is actually helping kids and adults be active and social, dumb ass.

  • ButMadNNW says:

    Good to know!

  • FlintWater says:

    What an awful angle. Just another low tier reporter trying to make big bucks by using popular keywords.

    • Up North Progressive says:

      Yes, making huge bank here with my completely non-monetized blog. I do accept paypal and bitcoin donations however!

  • Renee says:

    When playing this game the gamers should respect the surroundings. Gamers you are going on other people property please remember that the area does not belong to you. Next thing that is going to happen is that these types of people are going to ruin it for those that don’t go stampeding on property that doesn’t belong to them. The game is not really a competition, it is design to have fun and get out and enjoy the area and people within it.

  • Cheri Lewis says:

    I’m 46 years old and I play Polemon Go! I like the game and what it should do like getting people active, talking to each other when you see other players and such. It’s fun! My son and I were playing it downtown we had a blast seeing all the people playing it. But come on people. You have to use common sense and respect other people’s property. I am saddened by this story of disrespect!

  • Courtiney says:

    I was a witness to this event and it was as what the article says.

    • Up North Progressive says:

      Thank you, I’ve been accused of lying and writing a fake article. People are very attached to their video games!

    • Karrie says:

      Have you played the game? Because the game has nothing to do with picking berries. It’s 100% on the phone. That may have been the reason that brought them there, but they are responsible for their behavior.

      The company that makes that app has VERY clear terms and conditions. And being responsible, and paying for damages you create is one of them.

  • lori porter says:

    adults and children need to play with respect and you just dont need to walk around i catch in my house

  • Tess says:

    This is so upsetting, the lack of respect makes me sick. What is wrong with people!! We were just there last week and loved it. The owner is a very sweet woman and surely didn’t deserve this to happen. Shame on these kids.

    • Up North Progressive says:

      Fortunately the owners announced on their facebook page last night that when they open today u pick will be available again.

  • So by this logic, a few murders have happened in Traverse City, so, by default, the writer of this article is a murderer for living here. Here, I’ll make my slanderous headline: “Up North Progressive Writer: Murderer at Large?”
    If this headline unjustly damages your reputation, don’t worry, I just really needed those clicks on my crappy news site. It’s worth it.

    Dear “Up North Progressive” – Just stop. Your reporting here is uninformed and naive and relies on negativity to fuel any interest in it.

    Nothing in the game requires you to disrespect your surroundings and throw produce at other people. The problem here was the people, not the game they happened to be playing. Stop trying to make everyone over 35 hate everyone for playing a game that is harmless for anyone with common sense to play. It’s literally just walking around. If people get hurt or hurt others or produce it’s because they’re bad people, the game has nothing to do with that.

    Your skewed, fear-mongering reporting is why we can’t have nice things: you’re convincing clueless adults who don’t know any better that “throwing produce” and “stealing it” are apparently part of playing Pokémon Go?

    Learn how to exist properly, oh, and quit causing all of the murders in Traverse City by living in the same town they happened in.

  • Fuck You says:

    get the fuck outta here

    • Up North Progressive says:

      Thank you, Kyle David of 11002 Craig Rd Traverse City MI 49686 for your well thought out and carefully composed response.

      • hsmith0930 says:

        That’s just unprofessional. It makes you look like a petty jealous person who can’t handle criticism. If you don’t want “anonymous” comments, don’t turn on the comment section. And if you don’t want feedback, don’t post something on the internet. Your little opinion post was not informative, was not journalistic, and was not news-worthy. Some kids performed vandalism. That’s not really news. That’s life.

        You posting the full name and physical address of a person who was trying to maintain anonymity online is beyond rude and borders on harassment.

      • You just doxxed a dude?

      • Karrie says:

        people have killed people over less than that. You need to remove this immediately. For YOUR safety, not mine.

      • You are scum says:

        Holy shit, you call yourself a “progressive” and you sit here and dox people? You, my friend, are literal SCUM. I hope you are never hired by any journalistic outlet.

  • Abe says:

    Where did you get the info that the location is a Pokestop? The sad truth is the U-Pick raspberry patch is not a pokestop. This article is false. I checked for myself this afternoon, 7-18-16, verified that the location is not a pokestop, also there are no stops within a mile.

  • Cam says:

    Get a hold of the game developers they can give you phone numbers of all the people using the game that day. Bring justice to these people. It only takes one moron to ruined it for everyone.

    • Karrie says:

      Why? Because they couldn’t do their job and tell them to leave? The game has literally nothing to do with berry picking. That’s an activity that they chose to do separately.

      Plus there are privacy laws. They aren’t going to release private info to speculate who was doing that damage. Plus you can’t prove it, bc they could share phones. Unless they have pics or called the cops, it’s over.

  • Tim Donovan says:

    Yes, only focus on the negatives. That sells stories doesn’t it.

  • Chris says:

    I can confirm that there is no such location or incentive for players to be at that location. Please be mature enough to admit when you are wrong and remove/edit this post.

  • […] The Up North Progressive of Michigan, Up North Progressive writes- Pokemon Go puts an end to Traverse City U-Pick Raspberry Farm […]

  • Leave a Reply