A Tokyo-based company established just a month ago with capital of 50,000 Yen was the winning bidder for the former Arai Mountain & Spa Resort in Niigata Prefecture. The overgrown hotel was put up for public auction in early June with a minimum bid set at 884 million Yen. Three companies submitted offers, with “Hotel and Resort Joetsu Myoko” making the highest bid of 1.8 billion Yen (14.6 million USD).
The resort closed down in 2006 and was eventually seized by Myoko City for non-payment of taxes. The property includes 200 hectares of land, and 22 buildings including a hotel and restaurant.
According to the company register, the winning bidder was a company established in Minato-ku, Tokyo, on May 1, 2015. The city will make the final decision regarding the sale on June 26, with the buyer to pay the remaining amount on the same day. Stakeholders have objected to the sale and it is possible that the transaction could be delayed.
The resort had been previously put up for public auction in November 2014 with a minimum bid starting from 916.4 million Yen. It was reported to have sold to a golf course developer for 1.3 billion Yen who planned to market the resort towards wealthy tourists from China and Asia, but later reports suggest that the sale was postponed due to an insufficient explanation of the sale notice.
Over 50 billion Yen was spent developing the resort, which opened in 1993. After experiencing management difficulties in the first year of operations, an additional 23 billion Yen was invested to prop up the company. However, low tourist numbers and ongoing management issues saw the eventual closure of the ski resort in 2006.
Joetsu Town Journal, June 16, 2015.
The Niigata Nippo, June 15, 2015.