Iizuna-kogen Ski Area, one of the host resorts of the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, has been listed for sale at “zero yen or more” by Nagano City, its current owner. The city will continue to operate the resort for the impending 2019/20 season, but has been forced to seek private sector buyers due to mounting debt and a decline in visitors.

The resort’s assets, which include seven lifts, a management building and a restaurant, have been valued at 350 million yen. A new owner would hold the land under a free leasehold agreement as long as the resort continued to operate.

Iizuna-kogen Ski Area is a relatively small resort even by Japanese standards, with five chairlifts (a quad and four pair lifts) servicing 10 marked runs. It was constructed for the 1990 Ski World Cup as was subsequently used a venue for the freestlye skiing events at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olypics. The bobsleigh and luge events were held at a purpose-built “spiral facility” roughly 3km to the southeast of the resort.

To this day, the resort maintains an FIS-approved moguls course, and has a couple of steeper runs that will appeal to more advanced skiers and snowboards. For the most part, though, it suited to beginner and intermediate visitors and families.

Getting to the resort is relatively easy and just a 30-minute taxi ride from Nagano Station. It currently also has one of the cheapest lift tickets in the business, with a single day ticket sold for just 3,100 yen (~US$28).


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