Horace 2009-10-29 08:34:27
What's everyone think about the ever increasing blow in winter businesses? Some of these claim to be "local" and have "Local knowledge"...think everyone knows the type. Anyone have thoughts on: What do they really contribute to the resort and community? Are they legal? Do they pay taxes? Should the NPB attempt to influence the authorities in the Niseko area to check into these "businesses" and their practices? With economic strains on the year round businesses who operate in the Niseko area is it fair that the blow ins can operate? Are these businesses in direct competition to those who are here ALL YEAR?
taco con queso (2009-10-29 21:00:13)
Horace, interesting thought. I'd like to see it all on the table. are you proposing a list of year-round operators who support and give back to the local community, and a "black list" of blow-ins who take their money and run...?

Where would such a list start? Any punters wish to get the ball rolling...?
Tika Tika (2009-10-30 09:48:49)
Yeah I'll start. Let's get rid of those damn ski schools. Never see them around in summer. Local my arse! Bunch of blow-ins just for the winter.
And that crew who run Moiwa, didn't see any lifts operating this summer not like Hirafu and Annupuri who DID keep their lifts running.
Pow!!! (2009-10-30 12:07:21)
if it snowed all year we wouldn't be having this conversation, but you know what really gets on my nerves? having to pay winter rent ALL F***ING YEAR.
Chishiki (2009-11-01 23:40:26)
Healthy competition is a good thing for the resort, even if it comes from carpetbaggers. I reckon we should be happy that we got here first and live here all year, two things that should actually give us an advantage. Japan is not the easiest place in the world to start and run a business, if they want to fly in and give it a go each winter, by all means. I think that contributes to the resort by making us up our game a little.

I agree that falsely claiming local knowledge probably deserves a look, a trusting punter could end up with a "local" guide who just got off the plane yesterday, only to end up leaving Hokkaido in a body bag because their guide got lost or took them off a cliff or something. I don't personally know how guides and instructors are regulated in Japan, or even if they are, but I'm all for enforcement of some base standards. Bringing the bureacracy into it might not work out as planned though. Imagine if suddenly the pool for winter staff was limited to people who could pass a written test in Japanese for example. Not ideal.

If they're big enough, aren't legal, and don't pay taxes, chances are they'll run into trouble eventually. Small operators and one-man operations could probably fly under the radar for a bit longer. I agree with Powzel, it'd be nice to be able to rent a shop in Niseko and not have to pay winter rates all year. Makes it hard to establish a new bar, restaurant, or shop in this market. That's why all the newbies work out of superhouses.

If we're going to petition the NPB, let's start with the sidewalks :angry: Then we can move onto JD's [url=http://niseko.kutchannel.net/en/forum?func=view&catid=2&id=96&limit=10&start=10#134]Listen up fool![/url] wish list from last year.
digglar (2009-11-04 16:30:25)
Jesus Christ now we are talking ! thats Just what this town needs- bit of a bar up front, cute girls and in the back a bit of a blow i...


Never mind.

Horace (2009-11-04 21:22:44)
I got me some questions and answers

TikaTika - why would Moiwa keep their lifts a runnin' in summer?

Chishiki/Powzel - cheap rent in Hirafu! are you craaaaazy...this hasn't existed since I was bustin moves on the parapara dance scene back in the day.
Agree though, why should Hirafu's foreign owned property demand the same rent as asked in Sapp...fault of the real estate companies in town? Woops is that going to stir something?

Chishiki while I do agree with some of your thoughts on blow ins to some degree, the average punter who makes use of their services really doesn't give a toss-so it's up to us "locals" to make it known to the authorities and other locals(who should be collectively ignoring these "businesses", i.e don't help em, don't give em business). as you wrote -one day(maybe) they'll be nabbed, but in the meantime they do have some effect on those who are trying to run legit biz.

Powzel - again to some degree you're right-if it did snow all year we mightn't have this conversation BUT we might also complain more as they'd be more of the stinky blow ins.
kate1980 (2009-11-09 15:13:21)
TikaTika - what would you suggest the ski schools do here year round? I have helped run a small ski school here for the past 3 seasons and I have been in Hirafu for the bulk of those summers, Year round in this town is not easy, I cant get work for the summer because i only need short term and business are always scaled back for the summer so no one is hiring.

I dont disagree with the concept though, however I think blacklisting non-year round business is taking it a bit to far, Staff do need to be trained and TRUE "local knowledge" should be regulated or a least rewarded. Companies that retain staff year after year should be rewarded, maybe some sort of "Local Knowledge Network" could be established?

I think it need to apply to staff as well as businesses, i.e. some sort of "number of seasons" identifier. I find it interesting that so many Guest Services staff, who are supposed to know the resort inside and out, arrive in December each year to show the guests around.

Interesting discussion, would love to know the NPBS thoughts.
Tika Tika (2009-11-09 15:21:35)
It was a sarcastic reply to a ridiculous topic.
digglar (2009-11-09 15:53:11)
Ideally a balance should be found . There is not enough summer trade to warrant year round staffing etc and wont be until infrastructre reaches certain levels. This is common in the business cycles of most resort towns.

Also, new blood, new ideas and new business models are good for the area. A little bit of ignorance and elbow grease can go a long way in battling the Japanese bureacracy I have found.


businesses that cut corners- not getting visas, registering, fly by night- are bad for the area and Nisekos image a s a whole.
Ski school and lesson operators that offer local knowledge based upon two vacations three years ago are dangeroous and take away clients from those taht have invested time and money here. If their lesson go bad or they get in trouble, the disappear and it is the locals left to deal with the image and governmental nightmares

The easiest solution is an umbrella body like the NWGA that can regulate , register and educate all instructors guides in the area. Not a member- cant operate. Get caught in the BC without a patch- you and all the custies passes get pulled. Problem solved. However the NWGA "selective membership policies" (coughcough) make the viability of their organization a problem. OPening it up ( or starting anew) would clear up the on mountain guide problem over night and raise the level of instruction guiding to where it should be.

as for other businesses - if you can make a model work based on 90 days of business and 365 days of rent. more power to ya.
hopefully the swaths of empty commercial space around town will encourage rate reductions which with lead to more business in the area, leading to more opportunities and vibrancy in the resort. This is how all resort towns grow basically.

in short,
Vote for Begley.
coach (2009-11-09 20:11:29)
good points begley.

also, in the long term, people will know the businesses that are open 365 days and will continue to support them. these are the businesses that are key to keeping the area going. the niseko 343s, downtown cafes, paddys, black diamond lodges, en fine dinings, etc. are the ones who are maybe even operating at losses (but don't quote me on that!) in the short-term but are slowly building a product over the years and continuing to offer services to the relatively few holiday-makers in the off-season. when the off-seasons pick up, esp summer, these will be the local businesses that will become the most successful. so support those that are giving it there all year-round, and use the blow-ins for the needed overflow in the 60-day cash-in period.

retirement is sweet.
Horace (2009-11-09 21:47:11)
come tikatika lighten up grumpy guts-you ask a dumb question expect to be asked to clarify it.
Pow!!! (2009-11-10 16:36:57)
niseko landlord math quiz:
1) 3 x 200,000 = 600,000
2) 12 x 100,000 = 1,200,000
which is preferable?

the correct answer is apparently 1 :blink:
taco con queso (2009-11-17 15:17:25)
noticed more and more new faces around lately. are the blow-ins descending to make their money and run? this observation doesn't apply to all I'm sure, but time will tell...
smguides (2009-11-18 19:46:29)
good subject and not sure if I am a blow in or not? I have been in small ski towns for the past 15 year and have heard the same things about blowing. The funny thing is it usually come from people that came the year before and think they are a local with an opinion. What we do need to look at is how the visitors see Niseko and the people that are here with passion about the place , try and keep it as it was and look to the future regarding year round employment. Bed tax is the way to go, with around 700,000 visitors per season and 1000 yen each this would pay for some great summer activities or infrastructure for the locals.
digglar (2009-11-18 21:34:25)
awesome comments above
ill take passion over geography anyday.

we all gotta make a crust
digglar (2009-11-19 08:18:48)
Horace (2009-11-19 08:32:03)
Sherrif Diggla you on the wrong page man
digglar (2009-11-19 08:51:04)
story of my life.:blink:
allriot (2009-11-19 11:55:32)
Diggs - what page were you meant to be on?
digglar (2009-11-20 09:05:06)
this one


Horace (2009-11-20 09:11:59)
that kind of blow in is always welcome -think I saw TikaTika wearing something like that back in the Sapp days
Tika Tika (2009-11-20 10:22:56)
SSShhhh, I thought "what happens in Sapp, stays in Sapp", wouldn't you agree Diggs?

First rule of the Snakes....we don't talk about the.....

S & H
digglar (2009-11-20 12:15:35)
I wish that happened when I went to Sapporo- instead of what usually occurs...

S and mofo H