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Resort Development Notes in Yuzawa, Japan

Posted by denmor on May 24, 2019
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A Snow Resort an hour and a half away from Tokyo Station!

In a previous video, we defined what a resort is, and have listed down factors on how it can be successful.

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Destination Resort

In this video, we’ll classify resorts into two. One is Destination Resort, which has the following characteristics:

  • It requires long travel as it is far from one’s home
  • The visitors come from all over the nation or even the world. It has a bigger market base.
  • It is not visited often. Frequency can even be less than once a year; and even, perhaps just once in their life.
  • Guests tend to stay more days in the resort.
  • Prices for accommodations, food and most everything else are higher.
  • It has features that are exceptional in beauty, natural or otherwise, that are rarely seen and experienced anywhere else.

Non-Destination Resort

The other type of resort is the opposite, Non-Destination Resort. Some call such resorts “regional resorts”. As expected, much of what they offer is the flipside of its counterpart.

  • It’s closer to home. Many are just 2 to 3 hours drive away; with some even closer.
  • Travel is convenient. One can drive their cars or take public transportation to the resorts. For Destination Resorts, one usually has to take a plane or travel over the seas.
  • The patrons are from the nearby cities, seeking respite from the week’s hectic work schedule.
  • Guest, thus, stay just a day or 2.
  • These guests, though, can visit again and again, because of the proximity, ease and cost-friendliness.
  • Prices are more affordable. This is because of the following reasons:
    • logistics are easier to handle because of the proximity and available infrastructure
    • availability or supply of similar accommodations and food outlets is higher. Competition helps bring prices low and within reach.
  • It has amenities and features that provide the “escape” experience: more quiet, slower paced, and still, more visually appealing than the regular city life.

Gala Yuzawa

In this article and video, as a case study, we’ll feature Gala Yuzawa in Japan. It is located in the town of Yuzawa in the Niigata Prefecture. It is just an hour and a half train ride away from the Tokyo Grand Station. In terms of distance, the resort development is just 200 kilometers north west of Tokyo.

There are 20 ski resorts in the general vicinity, including the JR-owned (Japan Railways) Gala Yuzawa Snow Resort. Ski lifts take guests up the mountains. Ski lifts take guests hundreds of meters up the mountains. Many resorts linked up to share lifts and other amenities and services.

There are activities and trails for various ages, skill levels and affordability. Most resorts provide training for beginners. Some resorts rent out snow sport equipment (skis, sleds, snowboards, etc.) and even winter sport clothing (gloves, boots, waterproof jackets and pants).

Yuzawa is known for its deep and fine powder. The ski resort season there starts in mid-November and lasts until end of May.

The Japanese and tourists maybe enjoying Hanami (Sakura and Cherry Blossom appreciation gatherings) all over Japan; but here it’s not too late to enjoy some snow activities.

References and Links for More Information

Gala Yuzawa Resort

Snow Japan

Japan Guide

Book on Resort Development 2nd edition by ULI

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