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Atari Gaming System Is The Inspiration For New Hotel Chain

NOEL KING, HOST:

If you think elevator music is bad, wait until you hear this.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO GAME, "FROGGER")

KING: That's the sound of an Atari 2600 - Frogger, to be specific. And that old gaming system is the inspiration behind a new chain of hotels.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Yeah. Atari hotels are in the planning stage, according to a press release. Developers want to take advantage of the gaming community in the United States and all that nostalgia for the 1980s.

NAPOLEON SMITH III: Quite honestly, I came up with the idea when I was watching "Stranger Things" in the middle of the night.

INSKEEP: That's Napoleon Smith III, who thought of this.

SMITH: We're going to have a speakeasy, arcade speakeasy, for guys that are 40 and older to have fun. And then we're going to have an esports venue.

KING: That, of course, is to attract the more modern gamer. And even the rooms will be sensitive to their needs. Napoleon Smith says no other hotel chain really caters to the video game enthusiast on the road.

SMITH: A lot of gamers, I've learned, they have to bring their gear with them. You know, no place is suited for that. So we'll have the highest bandwidth these players need. We'll have the screens that they need. We want to be the mecca, where this whole place is designed for them to do their maximum performance and have fun with other gamers.

KING: Smith says they'll break ground on the very first Atari hotel this year in Phoenix. Seven other locations are in the works.

INSKEEP: No word yet on whether a giant gorilla will be throwing barrels at guests from the roof, which is a Donkey Kong reference for those who don't know.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO GAME, "DONKEY KONG")

INSKEEP: Now you know. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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