The overgrown and abandoned former Arai Mountain & Spa Resort in Niigata Prefecture has been purchased by Tokyo-based A. C Holdings for 1.3 billion Yen. The company, which is involved in construction and golf course development, plans to re-open the ski resort and target wealthy tourists from China and across Asia.
The Arai Resort was developed by Hideo Morita, eldest son of Akio Morita( the co-founder of Sony) and opened in 1993. Over 50 billion Yen was invested in creating a world-class health resort. In its first year, however, the resort ran into management difficulties and Morita’s relatives provided an additional investment of 23 billion Yen to prop up the company. Eventually the over-investment, poor management and low tourist numbers led to the closure of the resort in 2006.
At its peak it received over 210,000 visitors and guests in the 1998 ~ 1999 ski season.
The resort is located on a 2 million sqm (200 hectare) site which includes ski runs and a ski lift. Myoko City seized the resort (which is currently called Myoko Resort) due to a non-payment in property taxes and put it up for public auction in November. The minimum bid was set at 916.4 million Yen.
DMM News, December 10, 2014.
Joetsu Times, November 20, 2014.