When we published our in-depth study of out-of-category brands investing in hospitality venues last autumn in Frame 129, we noted how there was a shift from those in adjacent sectors – namely luxury – opening hotels, to developments by more tangental companies, such as drinks manufacturers, food retailers and gym chains.
Now that spectrum has a new extreme, namely legacy gaming brand Atari. In partnership with developer True North Studio, Atari plan to build eight hotels across the US, with the first destination, Phoenix, slated to open in mid-2020. This will be followed by Austin, Las Vegas, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle.
Alongside expected amenities such as meeting rooms, co-working spaces, restaurants, bars and gyms, each hotel will also feature gaming centres equipped with VR and AR experiences, as well as the ability to host eSports tournaments. Despite the somewhat niche offer, the brand suggests that the chain will appeal not only to hardcore gamers, but also their wider families.
As we’ve previously discussed, finding ways to elevate the VR experience though proper integration with the hospitality sector could prove key to the technology’s success.