Back in 1977, Atari changed video game culture forever when they introduced the Atari 2600 - the home console that popularized the use of ROM cartridges allowing players to enjoy hundreds of different video games in the comfort of their own home.

They were pioneers in the home video game market, and now they're paving the way for a new revolution in gaming - immersive video game themed hotels.

The first Atari Hotel is scheduled to be built in Phoenix, Arizona. KPRC-TV reports that Austin is their next stop.

According to the Atari Hotels website, the lodging experience will combine the iconic brand with a one-of-a-kind video game-themed destination. The hotel will include the latest in VR and AR (Virtual and Augmented Reality) in every room as well as other high tech rooms for events like esports. There'll be gaming features for all ages and skill levels, so the whole family will be able to enjoy their stay.

Atari entertainment group is partnering with GSD Group, Truth North Studio, and Steve Wozniak's Woz Innovation Foundation to build the first Atari-branded hotel. You probably recognize Wozniak as a co-founder of Apple, but did you know he and Steve Jobs worked together at Atari in the 70's?

There are plans to build at least eight destinations in the next couple of years. As of now, the sole Texas location will be in Austin.

Las Vegas, Denver, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, and San Jose sites are in the works after the developers of the Phoenix hotel break ground this year.

With South by Southwest less than two months away, it's unlikely the Austin location will be open for the festival unless they get some speedsters to build it. I can only imagine how well the Atari hotel will do when thousands of folks flock to the Capital City in coming years, especially if they host video game specific events.

If you're feeling a little nostalgic and want to play some old Atari games, you don't have to wait for the hotel chain to open or even travel far! Our own Aaron Savage got a sneak peek at the new BitBar that will be opening here in Temple in just a few weeks. Click here to watch the video.

BitBar Temple will include classic Atari games along with over two dozen other arcade favorites from our childhoods, and it's sure to be a great hangout destination here in Central Texas.

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Atari Inc.
Atari Inc.

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