Atari may have been a trailblazer in the world of video games, but the brand will now pioneer what it believes will be a new concept in the hotel industry—a themed hotel that aims to offer entertainment for all age groups and serve as a potential venue for esports events.
Atari has announced a deal with GSD Group—an innovation and strategy agency led by founder Shelly Murphy and partner Napoleon Smith III—to acquire the rights to build video game-themed Atari Hotels across the United States. The first location is expected to break ground in Phoenix in late 2020, with future sites planned for Las Vegas, Denver, Chicago, Austin, Seattle, San Francisco and San Jose.
The hotels are expected to include immersive experiences for every age and gaming ability, including the latest in VR and AR (virtual reality and augmented reality). Select hotels will also feature state-of-the-art venues and studios to accommodate esports events.
“When creating this brand-new hotel concept, we knew that Atari would be the perfect way to give guests the ‘nostalgic and retro meets modern’ look and feel we were going for,” said Smith. “Let’s face it, how cool will it be to stay inside an Atari?!”
Hotel development and design will be led by GSD Group, which produced the recent reboot of the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” film franchise. True North Studio, a Phoenix-based real estate developer, will work with GSD Group and Steve Wozniak’s Woz Innovation Foundation to develop the first Atari-branded hotel.
“We are thrilled to partner with GSD Group and True North Studio to build the first-ever Atari branded hotels across the United States,” said Fred Chesnais, chief executive officer of Atari. “Together we’ll build a space that will be much more than just a place to stay. Atari is an iconic global brand that resonates with people of all ages, countries, cultures and ethnic backgrounds and we cannot wait for our fans and their families to enjoy this new hotel concept.”
“Atari Hotels will be the first of their kind in the U.S., offering gamers of all ages the ultimate in immersive entertainment and in every aspect of gaming,” said Murphy. “We’re excited to be working on this project with such great partners and to bring a big win to Arizona.”