Another long-time media brand is getting into the themed resort business. But this time, it isn’t a movie studio, video game, or TV network.
Sports Illustrated is branching out from magazines and publishing and lending its name and spirit to a new line of resort hotels. California-based Storyland Studios will master plan and design the immersive experiences, which will be called Sports Illustrated Hotels and Resorts.
“We’re honored to be a part of bringing our team’s concepts for this resort to life,” Storyland Studios Founder & Chief Creative Officer Mel McGowan said. “Sports Illustrated is known worldwide for its enduring influence in the sports world. Transforming the brand from page to themed environment, then inviting sports enthusiasts, families, and adults of all ages to immerse themselves in that space, is going to be an incredibly exciting journey.”
The resorts promise “active, participatory visitor attractions, high-quality dining, lifestyle and wellness experiences, and celebrating some of the most iconic moments and athletes in sports history,” according to Storyland’s press release.
The first SI hotel resort will open next year in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. A resort in Orlando is slated to follow after that. Other locations in the United States, including Hawaii, are being considered for additional resorts.
Sports Illustrated began publishing in 1954, becoming the authoritative voice of sports journalism for a generation of fans. Like many magazines, SI struggled with the transition to online publishing, but Sports Illustrated retained strong brand value, largely driven by its annual swimsuit issue. Today, Sports Illustrated reaches more than 70 million consumers a year, according to the company.
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