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Prince Hotels Inc. has decided to end year-round operations at its facility in the well-known Naeba ski resort in Niigata Prefecture because of the recession, company officials said Wednesday.

The plan will convert the Naeba Prince Hotel mainly to summer and winter operations as part of cost-cutting efforts prompted by a pronounced decline in skiers and other tourists, the company said.

Prince Hotels, part of Seibu Holdings Inc., will offer early retirement packages to employees at the 1,300-room hotel and help them find new jobs, the officials said.

The hotel’s ski grounds used to attract more than 3 million holidaymakers each winter during the bubble economy in the late 1980s, but that fell to just 1.27 million last winter.

The Naeba Prince will thus operate only between July 20 and Aug. 31, and between December and early May 2010, near the end of Golden Week.

The ski grounds, which used to be open until early May, will close in early April, and its golf course will be permanently closed, the company said.

Pacific Tokyo to shut

Keihin Electric Express Railway Co. said Wednesday it will suspend operations of Hotel Pacific Tokyo, its affiliated hotel near Shinagawa Station, in September 2010, amid sharper competition from rival hotels.

The aging 30-story facility, which opened in July 1971, would also require huge renovation costs to stay open, according to the company.

The railway said it will maintain jobs for its employees at the hotel by transferring them to subsidiaries and affiliates in its group of firms.

Hotel Pacific Tokyo has 954 guest rooms.

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