Atari Plans to Launch Hotels That Will Use Its Brand Name

Atari Plans to Launch Hotels That Will Use Its Brand Name

The Mercury News

Atari Plans to Launch Hotels That Will Use Its Brand Name
Video game icon Atari eyes hotels in San Jose, San Francisco
By George Avalos

SAN JOSE — Atari is planning a series of hotels that will sport the name of the videogame icon, with hotel sites slated to include San Jose.

The gaming trailblazer vows that the hotels will meld its legendary brand with a unique destination that has a videogame theme.

Paris-based Atari is teaming up with developer True North Group and branding expert GSD Group to develop and launch the hotel chain.

“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, Atari’s chief executive officer. “Together we’ll build a space that will be much more than just a place to stay.”

The hotels will feature immersive gaming and entertainment experiences for all ages and game expertise, including the latest offerings in virtual reality and augmented reality, Atari said.

“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 Napoleon Smith III, a branding expert and Hollywood producer.

Yet the venture could face plenty of challenges in the dynamic hotel market in the United States, opined Alan Reay, president of Irvine-based Atlas Hospitality Group, which tracks the California lodging market.

“This is going to be a challenge,” Reay said. “We’ll see if anything actually gets built. You are putting the newest technology in a hotel with one of the oldest technology names.”

Atari was a videogame rocket that flared but eventually sputtered amid the collapse of that gaming sector in 1983, just 11 years after the company was founded in 1972.

Yet through layoffs, bankruptcy, litigation, mergers, divestitures, restructurings, and buyouts, a string of owners have successively decided to preserve the Atari name and its intellectual property. The France-based company called Atari Inc. is the latest to bear the moniker and attempt to make a go of it in the gaming industry.

Through the latest deal, Atari has granted a license to GSD Group to bolster the quest to develop a string of hotels that would bear the tech legend’s name.

The first hotel is slated to break ground in Phoenix sometime during 2020, Atari and GSD said.

San Jose, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Denver, Chicago, Seattle, and Austin, Texas will also land Atari hotels. However, the sites and timing for these cities outside of Arizona weren’t immediately known.

Along with cutting-edge technologies, selected hotels in the Atari lodging chain will contain modern venues with state-of-the-art games, including esports events.

“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 Shelly Murphy, a principal executive with GSD Group.

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