SAPPORO (Kyodo) Seibu Holdings Inc. intends to sell off 11 money-losing resort and other facilities out of 24 it owns in Hokkaido by the end of next March as part of restructuring efforts, a senior official of the struggling group said Thursday.

Seibu has yet to find buyers for those assets, said Toshiyuki Ono, chairman of key Seibu group firm Prince Hotels, who informed Hokkaido Gov. Harumi Takahashi about the plan the same day.

At a press conference following his meeting with Takahashi, Ono expressed regret about the decision but said the Seibu group will try to sell the properties to companies that will maintain their business and retain their staff.

While jettisoning the 11 facilities, including Niseko Higashiyama Prince Hotel, located in a well-known mountain resort, Prince Hotels hopes to focus on managing the remaining 13 properties, including major Hokkaido tourist spots as Sapporo, Furano, Hakodate and Kushiro.

Ono is reported to have proposed to Takahashi that Prince Hotels assets that remain unsold after being put on the market be operated as ski resorts or other facilities by local authorities.

The governor reportedly said all facilities being sold by Prince Hotels are of great importance to their communities and the loss of the Prince name would be damaging. He promised financial and other cooperation from the prefecture to ensure the properties find takers.

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