If the games Pong and Centipede were important parts of your childhood then you will love the new hotel slated to arrive in the Valley this spring. Beginning in March, the arcade game and video game company Atari will begin construction on a brand new video game themed hotel.
The Phoenix location is just the first of a slew of new locations planned by the video game company. Other future locations for Atari hotels are planned for Las Vegas, Chicago, Seattle, Austin, Denver, San Francisco, and San Jose.
“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, CEO of Atari while speaking on the hotel’s development “Together we’ll build a space that will be much more than just a place to stay,” he added. True North recently worked to develop the new Cambria hotel in downtown Phoenix near Roosevelt Row. This is just the latest in a flurry of projects that True North is working on in the Valley, especially in the downtown area.
The concept behind the new hotel project is to provide a ‘new meets retro’ feel for guests. Atari hopes to provide guests with a vacation experience that combines high quality lodging infused with a video game theme for games new and old. The details released thus far indicate that Atari hotels will have both virtual and augmented reality studios for streaming video games, as well as spaces set up for eSports events. Other amenities will include Atari gaming playgrounds, meet and greet spaces, working spaces, a bakery, movie theater, restaurants, and bars.
— atari (@atari) January 29, 2020
According to Shelly Murphy of the GSD group, “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.” Murphy’s group is also partnering with Napoleon Smith III on the project. Smith is a producer of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise reboot. In a recent interview, Smith divulged during an interview with National Public Radio that he first came up with the idea behind the hotel theme after watching an episode of Stranger Things.
Smith added that for the older gamers out there, “We’re going to have a speakeasy, arcade speakeasy, for guys that are 40 and older to have fun. And then we’re going to have an esports venue.”
Per a CNN report, some rooms will be decorated with a vintage arcade theme, while others will have a ‘Ready Player One’ theme. The hotels will be priced reasonably to be affordable for all, but will feature special and luxxury ‘level up’ options for those who may want to host video game slumber parties.
Construction for the new Phoenix hotel coincides with the launch of the Atari VCS, a new video game console modeled after the retro consoles but fully loaded with modern day video game and computer game technology to bring gamers the best of both worlds.
While Atari is known for its classic arcade games during the 70’s and 80’s, it is also known for its financial troubles. In 2013 the company’s US arm filed for bankruptcy, though its French counterpart remains in tact and continues to manage vintage games such as Asteroids and Centipede.
The video game industry remains strong however as last year alone 2.5 billion gamers around the world spent a total of $152.1 billion on video games. In a press release, Atari stated that, “One of the most distinctive trends in gaming is gamers gravitating toward recognizable intellectual property,” which is exactly what the company is hoping to create with their new series of hotels. THe company hopes that it can capitalize on the booming and revitalized industry and provide an ideal destination for gamers to travel to.
The hotel design will appeal to all fans of gaming and according to Murphy, the hotels with offer “gamers of all ages the ultimate in immersive entertainment and in every aspect of gaming.”
Smith also told NPR that part of making Atari hotels the ideal travel destination for gamers to convene and meet other gamers will include having the highest bandwidth possible. “We’ll have the highest bandwidth these players need. We’ll have the screens that they need. We want to be the mecca, where this whole place is designed for them to do their maximum performance and have fun with other gamers.” This way, Smith says, guests will not have to travel with their own equipment with them as Atari hotels will be fully equipped to handle all their gaming needs.
Atari is still in the planning stages for the other locations but will break ground in Phoenix this fall. Currently Atari manages over 200 different games and continues to try and expand its brand in the gaming realm.