OWNERSHIP of Niseko-Moiwa changed hands last season, and already we’re seeing signs of a more progressive and successful future for the resort.
Although Moiwa has been bought and sold several times in recent years, it has for the most part never really taken off.
However, this season it seems ‘Niseko’s younger brother’ is out to claim a bigger piece of the Niseko pie, which consists of ‘elder siblings’ Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village, Annupuri and Hanazono.
Moiwa is on the skier’s right of Annupuri, separated by a valley, and about 1km by road from Annupuri.
Since changing ownership, it has already experienced its best percentage increase on lift usage in years, said Eyal Agmoni, fund representative for Moria Mountain Holding GK, which purchased the resort last year.
He said that, along with more people on the mountain, visitor traffic and general interest on Moiwa’s website has even increased dramatically.
Additionally, there’s a certain buzz and interest about town from tourists and locals alike when it comes to Moiwa – something that hasn’t existed in past years.
This is certainly a plus for the resort… but a little bit of a minus for locals, who have long enjoyed Moiwa’s uncrowded, untracked, locals-only status.
Agmoni said the positive results could be linked to several new strategies, including cross promotions and free passes for Hokkaido Tracks guests, children riding for free or ¥500, and ‘First Pow’, which allows a maximum of 30 skiers and boarders early access to the resort on weekends and public holidays.
Besides strategies from the resort this season, medium-and-long-term visions are also in the pipeline.
Medium-term, Agmoni would like to see a connection between Moiwa and other resorts on the mountain, and also outside Niseko United.
“We have launched a joint pass between us and Annupuri this season, so skiers and boarders can cross between the sites and ski both of them with attractive ski lift rates,” he said.
"What it means is that holders of a valid ski pass for any of the two resorts can show their pass and purchase at the other resort for a discount so they can ski both sites. Final rates will be published on our website shortly."
In the long term, Agmoni hinted at a first-class resort status with ski-in-ski-out facilities.
All you need to know about Moiwa
Open: Daily, 8.30am-4pm
Lift pass: 1 day (¥4200); 4 hours (¥2800); 12 point (¥3500); 1 point (¥350); 60 years + (¥2500); season pass (adult – ¥38,000, u15 ¥35,000, u12 ¥30,000).
‘First Pow’ Promo: Sat, Sun, public holidays, 7.30am-11.30am; ¥3500 (¥700 for season pass holders); limited to first 30 customers.
‘Kids Run’ Promo: Free child’s pass (middle school age or younger) with every Adult 1-day/4-hour/12-point pass. ¥500 for each additional child.
Transport: Free Hirafu shuttle. Timetable online.
Web: www.niseko-moiwa.jp Tel: 0136 59 251