By Steve Burks | AZRE | AZBigMedia
For months, Shelly Murphy, CEO of GSD Group, and her business partner and producer of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Napoleon Smith III, worked quietly on bringing the Atari Hotels concept to life. So, in January, when their PR firm sent out the first press release about the hotel, she wasn’t sure what kind of response it would provoke.
It was clear immediately that this wasn’t the kind of response a simple press release normally gets. This was going to be a big deal.
“The first hour that the press release went out, our website was up, but it crashed because we had 20,000 hits in less than an hour,” Murphy said. “We knew that we had a really amazing opportunity and idea and we knew that the market was there for something like this. But it’s been received so well from everywhere. We’ve had inquiries internationally, all over the world, and the press that’s come in embracing it with excitement has been really exciting.”
Phoenix-based GSD Group is leading the design and development of the hotel, which will break ground sometime in 2020 at a site along Central Avenue in Roosevelt Row. After the Phoenix location, seven more hotels are planned for Austin, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle.