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Prince Hotels Ending Year Round Operation of the 1,300 room
 Ski Resort, the Naeba Prince Hotel, Also Closing Golf Course


Kyodo News International, TokyoMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Marcg 25, 2009 --TOKYO -- Prince Hotels Inc. will operate its Naeba Prince Hotel with its well-known ski resort in Niigata Prefecture mainly in summer and winter, ending its year-round operations due to the recession, company officials said Wednesday.

The hotel firm, under the wing of Seibu Holdings Inc., which oversees transport, hotel and real estate businesses, will ask some of its employees at the 1,300-room hotel to take early retirement and will help them find new jobs, according to the officials.

The hotel's ski ground used to attract more than 3 million holidaymakers every winter in the peak years of the bubble economy in the late 1980s but the number last winter was down to 1.27 million.

Naeba Prince Hotel will this year be open between July 20 and Aug. 31 and between December and early May next year when the "Golden Week" national holidays from late April are over.

The skiing ground will cease operations in early April whereas it used to be open until early May. The company also said the hotel's golf course will be closed.

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Copyright (c) 2009, Kyodo News International, Tokyo

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