Atari pioneered the video game industry in the 1970s and 1980s. Now the iconic brand behind games like Pong, Centipede and Asteroids is naming a chain of next-level hotels in the US – including one slated for Austin.
Paris-based interactive games company Atari has licensed its name to Phoenix-based strategy agency GSD Group for hotels with the Atari logo on video games in Austin and seven other US cities. The GSD Group is a member of the Woz Innovation Foundation, which was founded by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.
“Together we will build a space that is much more than just a place to stay,” said Fred Chesnais, CEO of Atari, in a press release on January 27th. “Atari is a global cult brand that resonates with people of all ages, countries, cultures and ethnic backgrounds. We can’t wait for our fans and their families to enjoy this new hotel concept.”
The first Atari property is being built in Phoenix by real estate developer True North Studio. The groundbreaking is planned for mid-2020.
A schedule and location for the proposed Austin property were not disclosed. “We are in a very early planning stage and don’t have many more details to share at the moment,” a representative from Atari Hotels told CultureMap.
Each hotel has an Atari playground with virtual reality and augmented reality functions, meeting and event rooms, coworking rooms, restaurants, bars, a bakery, a cinema and a fitness studio. Certain Atari hotels will also host studios and sporting event venues.
Shelly Murphy, founder of the GSD Group, and Napoleon Smith III, partner of the GSD Group and producer of the film franchise Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, control the design and development of the Atari hotels. Aside from Austin and Phoenix, hotels are planned for Chicago. Denver; Las Vegas; San Francisco; Seattle; and San Jose, California.
“Atari Hotels will be the first of their kind in the US, offering gamers of all ages the ultimate in immersive entertainment and in all aspects of gaming,” Murphy said in the press release.
Smith adds, “In developing this brand new hotel concept, we knew Atari was the perfect way to give guests the“ nostalgic and retro meets modern ”look we wanted. Let’s face it, how cool will it be to stay in an Atari ?! “
Atari reserves the right to develop similar properties in other cities in the US and elsewhere in the world.