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Everything posted by Blair

  1. Hello everyone Thanks for all of your posts - I'm looking forward to reading them at a more leisurely pace (joke intended)! Presently the English Web is being taken down, & ads and the like pulled. Work finished for everyone yesterday. From today a skeleton staff is shutting things down. I have until 17 July to wrap things up, so am presently contacting guests and the like with reservations as well as seasonal part-time workers. Although I will do my best to get in touch with everyone that has reservations etc, if you know of anybody that has plans to visit the re
  2. griller Grass is always greener on the other side. The work at the Guide Center is definitely different from English teacher work. While both involve a service devoted tomaking kids happy, cold outdoor weather (& the responsibility it brings) involves many issues not normally found in a classroom.
  3. Hi rach Yes, no interviews. I do often end up speaking over the telephone with new employees prior to their arrival at the resort though. Of course it would be ideal to conduct interviews and the like if time permitted. The other thing is that the work is seasonal, so in some cases the employeee is at the resort for as little as two months (by choice). Blair.
  4. Hi rach Good to hear from you. In my mind the process of getting a job at the resort is the interview. I still remember all the red tape I had to go through to get a working holiday visa for Japan. If you look again at what the couple had to go through to get to the resort: ============================================== 22 October Initial E-mail enquiring about work arrived at the resort 24 October Reply forwarded requesting further details 26 October Resume arrives & is circulated internally 29 October Further det
  5. Hello 97 The lifts are to open an hour earlier April 10 - 16, so try to make the most of it. brit-gob Glad that you remember December 2005 too! I wonder for how many years it will be talked about. People in the area still talk about Winter of 1986...
  6. A few years back two boarders were reported missing on a Friday. Given that there was new snow at the time, regular grooming could not be done that night to avoid risking running over a body. The next morning the entire mountain was closed while the search continued. Fortunately the boarders were rescued via helicopter (out of bounds) early on the Saturday afternoon, but the day for everyone else was not what they had planned/worked for. My question is: How would you feel if you had come to the resort that day but could not ski/board (despite prime conditions) due to t
  7. Thanks for all the posts, it always amazes me concerning the depth and width of the Snow Japan community. I'm not the person with all the answers concerning this issue. I have however witnessed from start to finish the impact that somebody dying out of bounds has on both the staff at the resort as well as their families. At Arai it is black and white in my mind as to where skiers and boarders can and cannot go. I realize that other resorts may have some grey areas. Again, thank you very much for the words of encouragement/constructive criticism concerning this issue. Maybe
  8. Hello I've spoken with Snow Japan about the following & have received permission to go ahead. I've been very quiet over the past several months & this has been in part because the season has been exceptionally busy. While I was not intending to post again until late March/early April, there have been some unfortunate incidents at the resort I want to tell people about. Arai was a difficult mountain to bring to the public from a safety point of view, but in the end it became possible given that strict boundaries were established between safe areas and dangerous ones. Su
  9. Hi cal Not sure if harvesting is the correct terminology or not. Essentially, the pisten bullys gather snow from areas no longer in use and take it to areas that are. Then staff gather to pat down the snow on th runs. Ocean11 The mountainboard park was a late development at the resort this summer, so I imagine that it will be promoted more fully next season - sorry to disappoint you! No photos, but I did see some wicked spills with riders getting up very slowly after them! Only for the hard skinned that sport I say!
  10. Hey Fattwins Been awhile - good to hear from you. No, snow is not made at the resort. What is done during the latter part of the season however is to "harvest snow" from unused areas for use on runs that are still open.
  11. Hi montoya That is about 12 days earlier than last year (when the resort opened late due to lack of snow at the start of the season).
  12. Hello I've just been told that opening day is to be Friday, 9th of December!
  13. Hello xxx Thanks for the comment, it's the first time I've heard something like it. In my mind if I was to take up your suggestion, it would take several years to get to the point I'm at now in my present work; That is, from my experience working in Japan to date it takes a long time to first establish yourself and even longer to get colleagues to give you the time of day. Wow, this is the first time I have posted on the new site - I'm very impressed with the improvements.
  14. Hello V Yeah, it is tough not having "Nays" around. He was always good for a laugh, and made many people happy through his music. I understand however that this is not the end of Trio Latino. The two other members along with their production company are holding auditioning presently for a new singer. Although one never knows for sure, my guess is that this is what Nays would have wanted. Let the music play...
  15. Relatively no - given that the resort is not situated close to a bullet train line, the crowds of such resorts are not present here. Despite the above, the priority pass is handy for the weekend mornings when guests queue to board the Gondola in the village prior to opening. It also lets staff of the resort know that holders of these passes are staying at The Club.
  16. Priority Boarding on the lifts are linked to "priority passes" issued to all fully registered guests staying at The Club when they check-in. These passes are included within the accommodation rates paid by Club guests. A priority pass is good for the entire stay at the resort (Yes, it is possible to use this passes for two full days, if you sandwich one night of accommodation between them). They enable guests to bypass any line ups for either the Gondola or chairlifts. Other services linked to these passes include complimentary access to the Aqua Park Pool & Yu, as well as the
  17. The policy changed for the season just finishing. Inn guests received passes for the Japanese baths & could enter the pool at a discount. Lodge guests received passes for both the baths & pool. Club guests receive a prioriy pass good for the pool, baths as well as priority boarding on the lifts.
  18. frannyo There are a couple of small lounges where guests can enjoy an intimate drink. If dinner is early, then it is also possible to go on a snowmobile night tour. The indoor/all season Pool and Japanese baths are also open. On the weekends, one can also visit the Spa for a massage... Spending time within a guest room is also attractive to some following a day out on the slopes and the like... Yes, I do hope to cover this more in the next volume of the setting journals.
  19. Hello Apres Ski is always a tough one in my mind at a seasonal village like Arai. Given that there are only 250 guest rooms at the resort, night services to date have been difficult to provide. With tough drinking and driving laws also now in place in Japan, liability concerns also come into the picture. The Micro Brewery at the resort has not closed, but is presently not actively brewing. While there is a chance that brewing will resume for the summer, this has yet to be confirmed.
  20. Looking forward to chatting with all on the afternoon of January 26 from 1 - 2 PM Japan time. Cheers Blair.
  21. Hi joshnii Thanks for posting. Only senior members of patrol that have been trained in avalanche control can make such decisions.
  22. The people in the photo are all staff members of ARAI. Every year in the run-up to the season, emergency response drills are practised. The hotels also practise emergency response drills with all staff not directly involved in evacuation procedures playing the role of guests. I participated in this particular emergency response drill on a cold day a few years back. Presently the resort is focussing more on carrying out such drills in both English and Japanese. Blair.
  23. And there have been some cancellations. In my mind the guests that cancelled are those who have never visited the resort before. While the repeaters appear to have few qualms about returning, new guests - especially those from overses - sometimes fail to understand that Chuetsu and Joetsu are different areas.
  24. Hello Fattwins - Yes, the resort has been getting calls, e-mails etc. and the like concerning the Chuetsu quakes. sanjo - preparations for the coming season are proceeding as planned. To be clear, with every successive day that Chuetsu does not experience aftershocks the situation improves. Also for guests that have visited the resort before, their local knowledge of the resorts geography/access points has helped to dissipate concerns. Concerning bookings, both the Japanese and English websites post updated availability online. Presently - despite some cancellations
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