Hoshino Resorts Nekoma Mountain Special Feature <XNUMX> Connected backstage and what Nekoma Mountain is aiming for

Hoshino Resorts Arutsu Bandai and Nekoma Ski Resort are connected

Enjoy FUN RIDE on one of the largest scales in Japan
Hoshino Resorts Nekoma Mountain is born

The biggest news this season is the birth of Hoshino Resorts Nekoma Mountain.The Mt. Bandai area A popular large resort located on the southern slopes of Mt. Nekomagatake, ``Arutsu Bandai (formerly)'' and the powder resort ``Nekoma Ski Resort (formerly)'' on the northern slopes of Urabandai, which boasts the highest quality snow, are accessible by lift. Linking.It has been reborn as one ski resort with 33 courses and 13 lifts. "FUN RIDE FOR ALL" A snow resort where everyone can experience all kinds of fun.Let's take a look at the full story and how to play it.

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What the connected backstage and Nekoma Mountain aim for

Hoshino Resorts began operating Arutsu Bandai in 2003. Nekoma Ski Resort, located behind Alts Bandai, was operated by Hoshino Resorts in 2008 as its popularity rapidly increased due to innovative park development and world-class big events as a "snowboarder's sacred place". start.Since then, there has been a plan to ``connect the ski resorts and create a more competitive ski resort,'' and the connection project was officially announced in 2009.And this season is finally starting. We spoke to the resort's directors, Tsuyoshi Morimoto and Takuma Kudo, about the story behind its creation and what kind of mountain Nekoma's Mountain is aiming for.

The resort's two directors were originally strong snowboarders, so they understand the problems on site from a snowboarder's perspective and are working to improve them.

In terms of field, variations have expanded.
In terms of international competitiveness, we still need to evolve.

When you announced it, how many years later did you have a goal of consolidating it?

森 本
"As soon as possible" was in mind.However, it required a lot of preparation time, as it required various approval procedures including the understanding of related ministries, local governments, and the local community, as well as huge costs.It's not a matter of specific years or years, but rather we have been working hard to clear the necessary tasks and agreements as early as possible, and it feels like we have finally been able to accomplish this.

What difficulties did you face in connecting the two mountains?

森 本
The goal was to efficiently manage each ski resort while increasing the value of the customer experience.Since we operate a vast area, we will strive to improve the efficiency of both ski resorts while increasing value to maximize the satisfaction of everyone.Improving efficiency was a very difficult plan because it would also lead to an increase or decrease in the number of lifts.

The former Nekoma Ski Resort on the north slope and the former Alts Bandai Ski Resort on the south slope.Each customer's character is different, and the qualities required are also different.It is also proportional to the nature of the mountain.Although each of the mountains had potential, they had to be promoted individually, and the PR costs could not be consolidated into one, making it difficult to promote their latent potential.

森 本
However, it was a ski resort with a very different character, so it was easy to fit in with it in some ways.For example, Nekoma has a Nekoma atmosphere.It is said to be a favorite among experts because it is compact but has a smooth feel.We have been able to consistently find a target audience that likes it and how to promote it to that audience.On the other hand, now that we have connected and become one, we will have to make sure that what we have promoted as our strengths so far does not disappear, which will be a challenge going forward.

Cruising Nekoma Mountain comfortably while looking at Mt. Bandai and Lake Inawashiro.The upper area with a spectacular view is less crowded and offers a refreshing feeling.

The areas have been connected to form a vast area, and customer expectations have increased significantly.What kind of mountain is Nekoma Mountain aiming for?

森 本
In terms of the field, there has been more variation, but from an international competitiveness perspective, I still think there is an absolute lack of variation in skating.After all, there are ways to enjoy things other than cruising on the slopes, such as tree runs, backcountry fields, and cat rides, which are becoming commonplace these days.This time, we have made a connection and are now able to easily go to the north area from the old Altz side in the south, but it's not just the ability to go, it's the software and environment that allows you to enjoy the field to the fullest when you go there. I think we have to reinvent the art of manufacturing.

As one of the first measures, there is a lift called ``Deep Cat Chair'' which is very valuable especially when the snow is deep on the north side.Until last year, the lift operated normally, but this season I'm thinking of making it a limited lift that only operates when the snow is ideally deep.This is a measure that guarantees deep powder only when it accumulates.We will continue to promote the appeal of mountains by capturing their characteristics and aspects.

森 本
This project was made possible because the two areas were connected.The ski area has expanded, and the options for operating each lift have expanded.How to manage it, how to have people play with it.I think the current issue, challenge, and goal is to expand the scope of activities such as tree running and backcountry activities at an accelerating rate over the years.

The north area offers a world of light, high-quality micro-fine snow that is not found in the south area.The scenery unique to the north slope is also attractive.

We can also expect excitement in the area.

森 本
It is a great honor to have been selected as a support region for the Japan Tourism Agency's snow resort formation promotion project this year, and we hope to work together with the local community, including Aizuwakamatsu City, to strengthen the tourism business as a "ski trip". I think.I'd like people to know more about the fact that it's a very rewarding area to slide on, and at the same time, it's also a place where you can stay overnight and have fun.We hope you will enjoy the charms of the Aizu area, such as Tsuruga Castle, Ouchi-juku, delicious sake, and Kitakata ramen.At Bandaiyama Onsen Hotel, we have partnered with an izakaya in Aizuwakamatsu City, so you can have dinner at either the hotel or the izakaya, and we also have a free shuttle bus that runs all the time, so you can come home after a drink.Additionally, the Urabandai area adjacent to the north area has unique hotels and pensions, giving it a different atmosphere than the south area.It's good to stay there, and you can change your accommodations to expand your enjoyment.

What other developments are you considering?

We are considering a riding tour that would be fun to go by helicopter, which would be like a luxury version of a cat ride.

森 本
The helicopter project is being promoted as an attraction for aerial tourism throughout the region.One example of this is the field of a ski resort, but we are currently preparing a program that will allow participants to ski off-piste on courses that are not currently used.

The two snow resorts will be connected to form Nekoma Mountain, aiming to more than double the fun.What used to take more than an hour by car can now be done in about 2 and a half minutes with a lift connection.It's a great attraction to be able to explore areas with completely different characters, but it's also a new pleasure. There seems to be great hope for further development.

Tsuyoshi Morimoto, General Manager of the Bandai Office, will promote the resort project, mainly coordinating with the local community and government.Nekoma: He told us a lot about his plans for the evolution of Mountain.
Ski resort manager Takuma Kudo himself skis the courses during the season, keeping a close eye on what the people who enjoy the resort are looking for.Interesting projects can be realized quickly because these real snowboarders are watching the scene.

In Nekoma Mountain Special Feature <XNUMX>, we will deliver “The charm and expectations of Nekoma Mountain as told by Fukushima locals”!
Futa Antachi and Hiroki Matsuura teach us how to enjoy big mountains

Nekoma Mountain Special Feature <XNUMX>here
Nekoma Mountain Special Feature <3>here

>>Hoshino Resorts Nekoma Mountain information cornerhere

>>Hoshino Resorts information cornerhere