LATE sunsets, sundowner barbecues and minimal attire are just distant memories.
Now, you’ll find locals in lockdown mode, hunched over their computers, interviewing new staff, confirming deals, testing menus and discussing the lack of time they have.
The excitement (or panic) is everywhere and you can really feel the town preparing for a great season.
Business owners project a sense of renewed optimism and seemed to have left the economic woes of seasons 08/09 and 09/10 behind them.
Bookings are up and there is a steady interest in ski holidays to Niseko. If only we had Paul the psychic German octopus to tell us what this season will bring.
Will there be more snow this season? That’s if you can top last year’s epic 15–20 metres.
And will we see a steady increase of Malaysian, Singaporean and Hong Kong nationals visiting Niseko? Probably – particularly now that Japan has opened up to budget airline Air Asia.
Australians, with the incredibly strong Aussie dollar and cheap flight paths, won’t be deterred by the yen, like in recent years.
Couple this with cheap Jetstar flights and a new Air Asia route, and the Australians will certainly trade in their surfboards for snowboards during their upcoming summer holidays.
At Powderlife, we think this winter will be bigger and better than ever – here’s hoping.
We honestly can’t wait to get in those first turns down the mountain and have people in the village again.