Plans announced for all-new Sports Illustrated Resorts

by Samantha Davis-Friedman

Storyland Studios has been selected to master plan and design Sports Illustrated Hotels and Resorts, which will debut worldwide as early as 2023.

Sports Illustrated Resorts
Images courtesy of Storyland Studios

Sports Illustrated has been the most trusted and impactful sports media outlet since 1954, thanks to engaging storytelling and photography. With an annual reach of more than 70 million consumers, Sports Illustrated is uniquely positioned to expand beyond publications and multimedia into real-life experiences.

“To appear in Sports Illustrated is one of the greatest and most recognizable honors in popular culture,” said Storyland Studios Chief Innovation Officer Matt Ferguson, “It’s truly one of the most coveted pieces of real estate in sports media.”

Sports illustrated resorts - Arena

The new immersive Sports Illustrated Resorts will feature attractions for sports fans of all ages created by Storyland’s experience-design experts, who will employ the company’s three-dimensional storytelling approach to the project. Leading the team is the Founder & Chief Creative Officer at Storyland Studios, Mel McGowan, who spent ten years with the Walt Disney Company, where he was involved in a variety of master planning and design projects.

“We’re honored to be a part of bringing our team’s concepts for this resort to life,” 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 first Sports Illustrated Resort will be located in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, with an expected opening date in 2023. Following that, a resort in Orlando, Fla., will highlight some of the most iconic sports moments and celebrated athletes through interactive visitor attractions, high-quality dining, and lifestyle and wellness experiences. Additional U.S. locations are also being considered for future Sports Illustrated Resorts, including Hawaii.

“Storyland is thrilled to begin the design and master planning processes for the global family of Sports Illustrated resorts,” said Storyland Studios Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Global Clients, Ben Thompson. “Our incredibly talented and diverse team of artists and artisans is well-equipped to deliver unforgettable experiences for guests of all ages and backgrounds.”

Click here for more information about Storyland Studios.


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1 comment

William Kuhn April 13, 2022 - 9:49 am

Interesting concept that I think will be a home run with sports fans – IF they can dodge the political minefields that have plagued the NFL, the NBA, & MLB. I have no interest in paying to watch cry baby multi-millionaires who claim “discrimination.” Or attending games of a League that boycotts a state requiring a picture I.D. to vote. As you probably tell, I don’t patronize any if the above franchises anymore. I thought at the time, how could I ever live without them. Trust me, it turned out to be easier than you think.


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