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Level up: Phoenix to be home of 1st video game-themed Atari Hotel

(Atari Rendering)

PHOENIX – With arcade bars proliferating like space invaders, an iconic video game brand is preparing to level up the concept in Phoenix.

Atari announced plans Monday to build video game-themed hotels across the United States, with play starting in Phoenix.

“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,” Atari CEO Fred Chesnais said in a press release.

Local developer True North Studio is teaming up with GSD Group, an innovation and strategy agency, on the Phoenix project. Scouting is underway for a downtown location, and construction is expected to begin this year.

“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,” Shelly Murphy, founder of GSD Group, which acquired rights from Atari to create the concept, said in the release.

“We’re excited to be working on this project with such great partners and to bring a big win to Arizona.”

In addition to the Phoenix site, GSD Group plans to build Atari Hotels in Las Vegas, Denver, Chicago, Austin, Seattle, San Francisco and San Jose, California.

The full-service hotels will offer visitors an immersive gamer experience, with virtual reality and augmented reality technology, arcade bars and restaurants. Some locations will have venues for esports competitions.

Entrepreneur Napoleon Smith III, who produced two “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movies, is Murphy’s partner in GSD Group.

“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 the release. “Let’s face it, how cool will it be to stay inside an Atari?!”

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