New brand moves into historic hotel in Otaru

Boutique ryokan developer and operator Hoshino Resorts has taken over a bankrupt hotel in Otaru, Hokkaido, with plans to re-open it this winter under their OMO brand.

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Foreign developers caught by zoning regulations in Niseko

Niseko Grand HirafuDevelopment in parts of Niseko's ski fields is being stalled due to inconsistencies between national and prefectural government building approvals.

In recent years, a number of hotels in Niseko have been purchased by foreign funds, closed down and in many cases demolished. The foreign developers acquired the hotels with the aim of building condominium-type hotels and resort apartments which would then be sold to wealthy foreigners.

However, a number of these sites have been sitting vacant without any signs of construction.

Why the hold up?Read more

Thai property developer buys Hokkaido ski resort

Thai property developer Property Perfect has invested 770 million baht (approximately 1.9 billion Yen, or 24 million USD) in the takeover of the relatively unknown Kiroro Ski Resort, 43km west of Sapporo, from Mitsui Real Estate.Read more

Niseko Kogen Hotel sold

Niseko Kogen Kanko, a subsidiary of Tokyu Land, announced that they will be selling the Niseko Kogen Hotel to an undisclosed buyer for just over 1 billion Yen. The buyer is said to be a fund based in Asia.

The Niseko Kogen Hotel will remain open until March, 2012, at which time the new buyer will take over the property. The hotel is aging, so it is expected that the new buyer will demolish and rebuild a high class international hotel on the site. The current 59 room, 4-storey hotel was built in 1975, and room rates start from 7,000 Yen/night (90 USD). In recent years, construction of new condominiums in the area have had a negative impact on the hotel's profitability. Read more

Japanese hotels being sold off due to lack of tourists

Emerald Hotel (left) and Kawasaki Grand Hotel (right)

The effects of the March 11 Tohoku disaster have had wide-reaching consequences with hotels as far away as Hokkaido being forced to close their doors and sell due to a faltering tourism industry.Read more