Ready Traveler One: You’ll soon be able to stay in a video game-themed hotel

Jan 30, 2020

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Nostalgic for the good old days? If you’re a gamer, you can soon revel in days gone by in an Atari-themed hotel.

Atari no doubt is betting on its former customers, now all grown up, to make its travel industry debut a success. The iconic video game company and its signature Atari 2600 gaming console was a mainstay of entertainment culture for several decades, still alive to this day thanks to fan tributes such as 2018’s cult blockbuster, “Ready Player One.”

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The “world-class video game-themed hotels” are a collaboration with experiential agency GSD Group and developer True North Studio, with Atari earning 5% of all Atari Hotels revenue.

“Some of the rooms will have a retro style, while others could be inspired by ‘Ready Player One,'” GSD Group CEO Shelly Murphy told CNN.

Murphy and business partner Napoleon Smith III are no stranger to this sentimental era of nostalgia. Smith produced the 2014 reboot of the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie, reviving the beloved franchise for a new generation.

“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,” Smith said in a statement. “Let’s face it, how cool will it be to stay inside an Atari?”

The first property is scheduled to break ground in Phoenix sometime this year, while other locations are planned for Austin, Las Vegas, Denver, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco and San Jose, California. The prototype image included in the press release depicts the stylized Atari logo outlined in sleek red neon against the side of the otherwise ordinary facade.

For gamers, at least, the property’s true allure lies within: The hotel will integrate virtual and augmented reality experiences throughout, including state-of-the-art venues and studios for hosting electronic sports, or esport events, in some locations, as well as party rooms set up with 10 gaming consoles. The founders envision “affordably priced” rooms with premium upgrades available for travelers who may wish to host video game sleepovers. (Sign us up!)

Related: Best credit cards for entertainment spending 

Video games are big business, especially in Asia, where esports are more popular than many athletic sports. More than 2.5 billion gamers worldwide spent over $152.1 billion on games in 2019 alone, according to Atari Hotels — nearly a 10% increase year on year.

“One of the most distinctive trends in gaming is gamers gravitating toward recognizable intellectual property,” according to a statement about the forthcoming property, and “Atari Hotels will offer consumers exactly that, marrying the origins of gaming and the future of the booming industry into a fun and unique travel destination.”

Featured image courtesy of Atari Hotels.

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