A business opportunity for the winter sports-loving entrepreneur.

“All good things must come to an end”, says Scott Aggett, owner of Kuma Lodge, who has recently listed the top-rated 10-bedroom Madarao lodge, ready for the next winter sports-loving entrepreneur.

“We know that the next owners are going to love being the owners of one of the most memorable winter resort holiday locations across all of Japan”, he says.

Refurbished in 2017, Kuma Lodge has become the #1-ranked Madarao accommodation on TripAdvisor, thanks to its premium location, top-notch service and loyal following of international visitors.

Kuma Lodge for sale

Pictured: Kuma Lodge (red roof) – a true “ski in – ski out” experience. View more images.

The lodge has also been a beneficiary of Madarao’s sudden (but inevitable) rise in popularity. What was once as sleepy Japanese ski resort is fast becoming a bucket-list destination for some of the world’s most discerning powder-seekers, thanks to the quality and accessibility of the resort’s off-piste skiing. The powder skiing has developed such a reputation that locals have coined the term “Madapow” to describe the huge quantities of light, dry powder snow that for on the resort’s slopes.

“…we realised we were experiencing something very special, though apparently not unusual for Madarao”, wrote a Ski Asia writer in a review of the resort in 2018, after 60cm powder day on the very first morning of the visit. The last two seasons have seen the resort accumulate more than 10 metres of snowfall at village level, according to Snow Japan.

Of course, there’s more to Madarao than simply its snow. In fact, places like Kuma Lodge – independently run, with passionate management – have become a hallmark of the resort. The resort has the natural features to compete with the best winter destinations in Japan, and yet the village is quaint, full of character, but unassuming. It’s a breath of fresh air in Japan, where many resorts are purpose-built, with a big-name hotel presence and a lack of personality.

“It still retains a small local Japanese village feel unlike many of the bigger resorts heavily western influenced”, says Aggett, when we question him on the reasons for Madarao’s international appeal.

Aggett is naturally proud of his and his partner’s efforts to grow Kuma Lodge, which he acknowledges has been a complex process, citing the language barrier, the challenge finding quality construction companies, and the sheer time it took to coordinate renovation works and furnishings as major obstacles.

“The big learning curve for us was thinking we could renovate easily and cost effectively. We’re trying to find someone who doesn’t want to make those mistakes.”

“This is a genuine turnkey opportunity – we’ve done all the heavy lifting.”

Madarao's Kuma Lodge for sale

Kuma Lodge. View more images.

Aggett is bullish on the opportunities in Madarao as the world comes to terms with the pandemic and international travel resumes.

“The pandemic has reinforced demand for space, fresh air and nature. Good healthcare, winter and summer recreational activities combined with reliable cell phone networks and Wi-Fi make Madarao in the Japanese Alps a very attractive investment choice.”

“Madarao also has an enviable competitive advantage as an international ski destination due to the ease of accessibility to the mountain and shortened travel times to reach the destination. In 2015 a Shinkansen station was launched in Iiyama; with Madarao now just a 20-minute drive from the station.”

He also cites an initiative by the Japanese Tourism Agency in 2020 that will see investment into 15 key ski areas in Japan, including Madarao.

Madarao's Kuma Lodge for sale

Kuma Lodge. View more images.

“Many small ski resorts in Honshu that lack critical infrastructure and are not part of the program from the Japanese Tourism Agency are closing down which will ultimately direct traffic to Madarao and other more established resorts.”

A recent survey from on Ski Asia suggests his optimism is well-placed, with 12.1{4e908c29df01d999f087e4f922633998e2ded1c72f05851cd6252034960daee5} of readers listing Madarao as their likely next stop, behind only Niseko (29{4e908c29df01d999f087e4f922633998e2ded1c72f05851cd6252034960daee5}) and Hakuba (13{4e908c29df01d999f087e4f922633998e2ded1c72f05851cd6252034960daee5}).

So what do you with the purchase of Kuma Lodge? For the ¥110,000,000 asking price, investors get a refurbished 10-bedroom lodge in one of the best locations in the resort, plus a host of other benefits.

These include hotel licenses, an operations manual for setting up pre-winter, running and closing down lodge post season, an extensive past guest database, lodge management software, established relationships with local eateries, and a well-developed brand with a strong social media following.

In other words: an enormous head start at a resort that is readying itself for an influx of international travellers when Japan’s gates are finally re-opened.

Interested in the opportunity to run your own lodge? Or simply own a property in one of Japan’s most underrated ski resorts? View details, see more photos or submit an enquiry at this listing page.


By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *