Finding the best ski resort

Does the perfect ski resort exist? Of course it does!

Unfortunately, what is best for me, will probably not be what is best for you, or your mates, your partner, your family, or any other lucky person you take on your ski vacation.


After many years of research, I know the ski resorts that I love, and I have a pretty good idea of what it is about those places that make them special to me. Unfortunately everything is a trade off, and the best place to ride is often not the best place to stay, and the resort with the best snow might also be the resort with the biggest crowds, or poor layout.

Finding a resort to purchase a ski lodge needs to meet a long list of criteria, and be a great destination for a broad demographic. Choosing a resort that only caters to advanced skiers and snowboarders is going to severely limit your target market, and choosing a resort that suits the masses is also going to take the shine off why we are doing this – to have fun we need to be somewhere that we would choose to take a vacation.

Best Ski Resort Criteria
A few of the criteria

Finding the Best Ski Resort

So, I now have the criteria to find the best ski resort right? Well, yeah actually I do. Unfortunately, refer to paragraph 1 as each criteria is weighted largely on my personal preference.

Many of these resorts I know well, but a large number of them I know only from 1 or 2 days riding, or even just by reputation. The next action is get boots on the ground and visit the top resorts, this time with a different lens. Last time I visited many of these areas I was just there to ride, and weighing up what a business in that town would look like requires a step back from just the mountain.

This season will involve a lot of miles, driving in heavy snow, sleeping in Michi-no-Eki in our little Kei car, all in the search of the best place to call home for our business. It will be hard, we will have to ride many chairlifts, ski endless deep powder, eat an unhealthy amount of ramen and katsu curry, meet some amazing people, and sample the local saké. Starting a business is tough!

I plan to spend at least 6 weeks on the road all around Honshu this winter, with the plan to validate our criteria and hopefully come away with a list of ski resorts that we know would be right for our ski lodge. In an ideal world we will also view some properties to purchase, however I expect this will require a return visit in the summer to do some door knocking.

Oh yeah, and finally, the Perfect Ski Resort is actually the one that has the Perfect Ski Lodge for sale.