Video-Game Properties: A New Player in the Hotel Industry

Author: David McMillin       

Atari Hotels

Gaming giant Atari is working with GSD Group and True North Studio to create Atari Hotels. (Courtesy Atari Inc.)

When our editorial team predicted how the lodging landscape might change in 2020, hotels tying their identity to video games were not on our radar. And yet, just a month into the new year, comes the announcement that Atari — a pioneer which laid a foundation for gaming with a home console and a series of low-resolution games in the late 1970s — will launch a new line of Atari Hotels. The brand is working with GSD Group and True North Studio to give travelers a place to continue playing Asteroids Gunner, Star Raiders, and other iconic games. The experience won’t simply be rooted in old-school video games, though. The website promises “fully immersive experiences for every age and gaming ability, including the latest in virtual and augmented reality.” Some of them will aim to attract interest from event organizers with “state-of-the-art venues and studios to accommodate esports events.”

“Together we’ll build a space that will be much more than just a place to stay,” Fred Chesnais, CEO of Atari, said in a press release. “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.”

The first property will be in Phoenix, and construction is expected to begin in the spring. Plans are in the works for additional hotels in seven other destinations: Austin, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle. There are plenty of gaming enthusiasts who might jump at the chance to book a room at Atari Hotels: According to a report from the Entertainment Software Association, more than 164 million U.S. adults play video games, and they are willing to spend on their habit. The gaming industry was valued at more than $43 billion in 2018.

There is no word on when any of the properties will open their doors. If you’re looking for a different kind of hotel experience in the near future, check out “3 Surprising Places Where Hotels Will Pop Up in 2020.”

David McMillin is a Convene associate editor.