Going green! Niseko Village reveals plans to extend beginner terrain and launch two all-season lifts.
Niseko Village has unveiled plans for a major overhaul that makes this week’s lift upgrade announcement from Niseko Grand Hirafu resort look tame in comparison. In what appears to be a significant push for a year-round market, the YTL Hotels-managed resort – one of four that make up the ski area known internationally as Niseko – will launch two all-season lifts and a new 1.2 km beginner run that runs along-side the central village.
The expansion will make Niseko Village a very attractive choice for those new to skiing or snowboarding.
A state-of-the-art “Village Express” – a high speed detachable lift, comprising six-person chairs and eight-person gondolas – will service the new beginner course, which will run from the Green Leaf Hotel and Kasara Village Townhouse past the central village retail and dining area and over the main access road for Hilton Niseko Village.
The lift will have a midstation half way up to allow easy access to the central village, and will feature a single glass-bottomed gondola. Two magic carpets will operate in the area between the bottom lift station and the Niseko Kids beginner area, serving as a perfect training ground for those not quite ready for the full 1.3 km course.
Niseko Village has also approved the construction of the Upper Village Gondola, which will link guests of The Green Leaf Hotel and Kasara Townhouse to a newly improved beginner area on the mountain-side of The Green Leaf Hotel.
Both new lifts will be operational until 10 pm each night, extending night skiing hours by 90 minutes and allowing convenient evening transportation between the village center and all three major accommodations.
There’s no doubt that the benefit to new skiers and snowboarders will be immediate. What’s yet to be seen is whether these new developments and extended hours will breathe life into Niseko Village’s après ski scene which, until now, has not warranted a comparison with the more lively and vibrant Hirafu Village (which sits at the base of Niseko Grand Hirafu – the most popular of the four Niseko resorts).
Shiau Wee Long, Chief Executive Officer for Niseko Village was rightfully optimistic. “This investment represents the next step within the master plan to develop Niseko Village into one of the world’s greatest all-season resorts. Niseko has fast gained worldwide acknowledgement as the premier ski resort in Asia and this enhanced lift infrastructure will continue to grow the destination’s popularity and keep us top of mind. As an integrated all-season resort, Niseko Village is committed to provide all the existing accommodations, shopping, entertainment and dining facilities including future developments within the resort with the ultimate ski-in ski-out accessibility, day and night during winter. The new lift infrastructure will run throughout the year giving travellers added reasons to return during summer for sightseeing and activity offerings within Pure at Niseko Village, our nature and adventure park, from 2017 onwards.”