Quick real estate news summary for the week

Wynn Resorts backs out of Yokohama casino bid, Imperial Hotel to offer serviced apartments, and Niigata ski field closes permanently. Below is a quick weekly summary of some of the recent goings-on in the Japanese real estate market.

Wynn Resorts backs out of Yokohama casino bid

On January 28, several parties disclosed to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper that Wynn Resorts has withdrawn its bid for an integrated resort and casino in Yokohama. The casino operator closed its Yokohama office in August 2020, six months after opening, after the Japanese government announced plans to delay IR approvals. In May 2020, Las Vegas Sands dropped their bid for a Yokohama casino. The current selection is now down to Galaxy Entertainment Japan, Genting Singapore, Shotoku, Sega Sammy Holdings, and Melco Resorts & Entertainment.

Imperial Hotel to offer serviced apartments

On February 1, the Imperial Hotel announced that 99 rooms in their Tokyo hotel will be available for longer-term stays. Furnished, serviced apartments for stays of 30 days or more will be available from 360,000 Yen (approx. US$3,400) a month for a 30 sqm (323 sq.ft) studio, or 600,000 Yen (approx. US$5,700) a month for a 50 sqm (538 sq.ft) premier studio. Reservations started on February 1, with occupancy to start from March 15 until July 15, 2021. Linen changing and housekeeping are included, but residents can add optional extras such as dry cleaning (30,000 Yen/month) and room service (60,000 Yen/month). The Apartment Floor will include a resident lounge with free morning toast, along with a clothes dryer and microwave. Residents will also be able to enjoy coffee and tea in the hotel lounge and use the hotel’s pool, sauna, fitness center, meeting rooms, and car parking.

Niigata ski field closes permanently

The Wakabuna Kogen Ski Resort in Sekikawa Village, Niigata, will permanently close ending 30 years of operations. The declining popularity of winter sports and a few seasons of poor snowfall have made it untenable from a business standpoint. Sekikawa Village plans to end the lease agreement with the landowners in mid-2022 and will remove the ski lifts. Wakabuna opened in 1987 and was originally operated by Sumiko Resort, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Mitsui Construction. Sumiko ended their operation agreement in 2004. It attracted 88,000 visitors at its peak in 1996 but had dropped to 40,000 ~ 50,000 in recent years. Annual maintenance and land rent added up to around 41 million Yen.  

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