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.
Karakami Kankoh Co. Ltd announced September 27, 2011, that they will be selling Hotel Emerald in Hokkaido as well as Kawasaki Grand Hotel near Tokyo.
Hotel Emerald is located by Lake Akan in Kushiro City, Hokkaido. It is 9 stories and has 206 rooms. Tourist numbers fell sharply following the March 11 Tohoku disaster and the hotel has been closed since July. Although 6 months have passed, tourists have not returned and the hotel has not been able to re-open. The hotel is being sold to Akan Grand Hotels for 220 million Yen (2.85 million USD). The buyer plans to renovate and re-open the hotel by Spring of 2012.
Kawasaki Grand Hotel is a 11 story, 70 room business hotel in Miyamotocho, Kawasaki City. It is less than 6km west of Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. The hotel, which opened in 1982, is aging and maintenance costs have been increasing. The hotel was purchased by Sumitomo Corporation for 1.1 billion Yen (14.3 million USD). They are considering demolishing the hotel and building condominium apartments and offices.
Another hotel that may soon be put up for sale is Toyako Park Hotel Tensho located on the shore of Lake Toyako in Usu District, Hokkaido.
The website for the Toyako Park Hotel has an apology saying they have suspended operations as of May 1, 2011, due to a fall in foreign tourists to Hokkaido Prefecture. Their hotel website was only offered in Japanese, so one could imagine they had difficulty attracting non-Japanese speaking foreign tourists prior to March 11. According to Karakami Kankoh, they would like to see a return to the high foreign tourist occupancy rates they had in the past. However, a related individual said that they are considering selling the hotel to a medical treatment related company.
The Hokkaido Shimbun, September 28, 2011.