Japanese ski resort enters race for IR license

Japanese tourism company Kamori Kanko and developer Niseko Alpine Developments has announced a partnership to redevelop its flagship property in Hokkaido into an integrated resort.

The first phase of development is valued at US$200 million, which will include luxury hotel The Vale Rusutsu and an onsen and spa facility. Later phases will include new retail and entertainment developments and further hotel facilities, estimated at circa US$500 million.

Kamori Kanko President Kimihito Kamori said Rusutsu Resort's unique operation necessitated long-term planning for redevelopment.

"Unlike the structure of other Hokkaido resorts, we own Rusutsu in its entirety, including the resort, ski lifts, golf courses and theme park," said Kamori.

"Subsequently, Rusutsu's redevelopment requires a highly strategic approach and we found the perfect partner in NISADE, who have been instrumental in identifying the path to executing Rusutsu's long-term growth plan."

NISADE Chairman Jonathan Martin said the plans for the future of Rusutsu Resort will potentially allow for a casino to be developed there.

"The plan includes a strong bid platform for one of the upcoming Integrated Resort Licenses for Japan - possibly one of the first casinos in the country," said Mr. Martin.

"We're also excited to offer private ownership within Rusutsu Resort; a new way for property owners to partner directly with the resort operator."

Rusutsu Resort remains Hokkaido's largest all season resort, comprised of four golf courses, a theme park and extensive ski areas.

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