Like a lot of Japanese bubble development, what was the world’s largest indoor ski center SSAWS has now gone. Summer, Spring, Autumn, Winter, Skiing (pronounced ‘zows’) cost USD400 million to make.
Vertical Drop: 80 m. Two quad chairs, plus an escalator for the bunny-slope. The longest trail was 500m. Lift tickets were 4,300 yen for 2 hours.
The slope needed to generate an average of $70 (US) each from the 1,300,000 visitors it needs to attract each year to make its target annual revenue of $104 million. At this revenue level, it was to meet its $40 million annual operating costs and break even by 2011, 18 years after opening. I love Japan. Whoever lent the money for this obviously had rocks in their head, was yakuza controlled, or probably both.
Opened 1993 it closed in 2002, The site is now being prepared for Japan’s first Ikea store. Progress…