You read that right: Atari, the venerable gaming company, is opening a branded hotel in Phoenix targeted towards gamers and e-sports enthusiasts. Breaking ground later this year, the hotel will be the first of eight such venues opening across the country, with locations in Austin, TX, Chicago, IL, Denver, CO, Las Vegas, NV, San Francisco, CA, San Jose, CA and Seattle, WA. When completed, each hotel will feature a light up version of Atari's sweeping, three-pronged logo covering the facade of the building. The folks behind the hotel are banking on the nostalgic, retro-futuristic appeal of this iconic image to attract customers, and given that it made appearances in scenes from both the original Blade Runner and its sequel, Blade Runner 2049, they may be on to something.
Founded back in 1972, Atari was one of the first companies to operate in Silicon Valley, and pioneered the entire industry of arcade games, home video game consoles and personal computers (Atari 800 anyone?). Along the way, the company birthed such quintessential digital entertainments as Pong, Asteroids and Missile Command. (There’s actually a Pong arcade console in the collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington D.C.).
The exact location of Phoenix’s Atari Hotel is yet to be announced, but if you’re planning a visit when it does open, you’ll find that the hotel will offer first-rate dining and accommodations, along with various immersive experiences that utilize VR and augmented-reality technology. And lest you get too caught up in it all the fun, keep in mind that Phoenix also has plenty of other attractions to see and things to do.