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If you were a resort manager, what would you do?

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For a start, here's a thought. Let's say each person in Japan carries 20,000 yen in their wallet. That's 24 billion dollars not in the banking system, prob more money than the personal savings of some western countries. Now how much money is under the beds (futons) of the GP! Japan isn't necessarily in crisis. More like no-one knows what anyone's doing with their money. It's all hidden.


Get the money back in the banks (eeer, but would you give yer yen to those guys?)

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I don't think I can run the Japanese economy but here's what I'd try if I were a resort manager.


Given the logo obsessed nature of modern society, I would throw away my Naomi Klein (*) books and try to brand the resort as much as possible. You know, Starbucks restaurants and all that. I would set up an "outlet" for Forum snowboards (including exclusive graphics for that resort) at the bottom, have test sessions running all season, and sell at close to US prices. I'd bribe the Forum team into shooting some footage at the resort for next years vid (with Forum, all you need is a couple of wacky rails) and have signing sessions, etc., with the pros. Like some hills do now, I'd throw in a free onsen at one of the local places. I'd also look at ways of further pampering "parasite" OLs with free pocket warmers, foot massages, beauty treatments and other poncey activities that have nothing to do with skiing or snowboarding but should appease some sad excuses for grown adults. If you can convince the ladies, the blokes will follow.


If all that fails, I'd give half the resort to Disney and set up "Disney Snow". I f#$#()#$g hate Disney, btw. I'd also sink a well and start selling mineral water in flash bottles designed by Philippe Starck or Alessi, another example of where you can profit from style over substance.


To appeal to boarders like myself, I suppose we could watch how the public reacts to the out-of-bounds rules at Hirafu. If there's a marked increase in numbers there, esp. compared to Higashiyama and Annupuri where there's been no change, we could open up more terrain and provide better snowboarding and skiing. However I don't think that's the main problem.


The thing I would blame is the falling cost of air travel. Compared to 10 years ago, tickets are so cheap that it's hard for any remote Japanese leisure facility to compete. The yen has also appreciated markedly so everyone going overseas is getting a better deal than they used to. Airlines don't pay any tax on fuel, so the prices of air tickets are completely artificial. In terms of pollution, a trip on a plane equals a LOT of mileage in cars, commonly seen as the major cause of unnecessary enviromental damage.


(*) Canadian activist, author of "No Logo"

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Let's face it, winter sports are dropping off because they're not so trendy any more. Like real estate in the bubble, skiing popularity was artificially high, and now we're seeing a more realisic representation of the sport's popularity. There are just too many resorts. Until they merge/downsize, the quality and range of services at individual resorts are unlikely to increase.


The other problem has to be the nature of holidaying in Japan. Must be hard for resorts to be large enough to accomodate long weekenders, but small enough to survive the periods in between.

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Exactly as you say miyatek-merge the freakin resorts as much as possible. The best contenders I can think of are Takasu snow park and Dynaland in Gifu whose lift systems and slopes compliment each other perfectly. I think both of them are doing fairly well anyway but I can't see how they would lose customers by becoming a large resort instead of 2 half decent medium sized ones.

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If I am a resort manager....


A) Gonna put chair-lift-with under bar(for resting feet.)

B) Set chair lift as quick as possible.

C) Set up Lift pass cheap as possible.

D) Make good & big Terrian park.

E) Encourage local people to make backpackers or reasonable condos for sell.


Then I gonna open a lot of Bars etc around Slopes. Then wait until drunken people will drop a lot of moneys at Bar.

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If I wanted to fix the Japanese economy,


First thing I would do is enact legislation

ending the stranglehold the top 3 or 4

banks have on the industry - the Japanese

banks are crooked and unreliable. Also

encourage foreign banks to set up shop,

foreign banks with good reputations.


Second thing I would do would be do get

someone with a) integrity, and B) a spine to

manage the Japanese banking system on the

government level, someone like Japan's

answer to Alan Greenspan.


Third thing I would do is streamline

liscencing and beurocracy, and set up Federal

loan programs, making it easier

for small busniesspeople with good ideas to

put them into action.


Fourth thing I would do would be to

streamline import and export markets, get

rid of all the red-tape, making it easier for

Japanese to trade with businesspeople from

other nations.


but since I don't give a damn about fixing

the Japanese economy, and since that was not

the question asked, If I were a resort



1) I'd follow NoFakie's lead and focus on

brand management and promotion, make your

resort an idea - ideas are contagious.


2) And again I'd follow NoFakie's lead and

do whatever it takes to get celebrities

jumping around at your resort - anything

from offering them free packages, to setting

up film festivals, music festivals, and

of course, snowboard, ski, tele, cross

country competitions.


3) I'd focus on the corporate dollar and

build a convention center - perfect for

trade shows and meetings.


4) I'd make the resort more interesting,

keep it at the forefront of worldwide

progression - set up a skatepark,

trampolines, top-notch terrain park (I'm

talking Whistler caliber), open up some

backcountry, extreme terrain, buy more



5) make it a good summer place as well,

maybe set up something like a waterpark,

or paintball.


6) tell all the damn grizzly bears to take

a hike, they're eating all the profits.


yep, that's what I'd do.

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I would bring down prices for a start and let people know about it. Bound to get more punters coming in, esp in this economic environment.


Cut back on the not-needed staff employed to cut costs as well would make a big difference.

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I believe the only reason it may be seen as declining is cost and the economy. Let's face it, it's expensive.


Some radical costing might go down well and bring in some surprising results for resorts willing to take the risk.

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If you watch Japanese TV a lot, you will find quite a lot of Japanese celebs at resorts, dramas taking place there, and talento being associated with them. Look at London Hearts and Alts Bandai - on their TV programs, on the resorts poster, very close association. Wonder if it's done Alts any good?

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