Rusutsu outlines plans for new hotel, nightlife and shopping facilities ... and maybe even a casino.

Rusutsu Resort is set to undergo a 700 million dollar (USD) facelift, following a landmark partnership announcement between award-winning developer NISADE and Kamori Kanko, the resort’s current operator.

Rusutsu’s accommodation offering will be bolstered by the addition of The Vale Rusutsu, a luxury hotel whose sister property, The Vale Niseko, has just been recognised as the world’s best ski boutique hotel for the fourth year running.

There are also plans for the opening of a bespoke onsen and spa facility and, for release in 2018, new shopping, dining and nightlife venues.

In a move that is already generating buzz within Asia’s lucrative gambling industry, NISADE Chairman Jonathan Martin also revealed plans to make Rusutsu one of the country’s first integrated casino resorts – made possible by Japan’s lift on its casino ban late last year.

“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.

The planned developments are likely to make Rusutsu Resort more competitive with its larger and more popular neighbour, Niseko United, which has comparable skiing and resort facilities, but a much broader selection of dining, nightlife and English-language services.

A press release issued by Kamori Kanko and NISADE identified the potential for “The combined resorts of Niseko, Kiroro and the new-look Rusutsu … to become the most desirable ski region in Asia, rivalling the multi-resort destinations of North America.”