Just a few days ago, the Best Sunshine International, Ltd. confirmed plans to pursue land that is currently held in Marpi by the Mariana Resort & Spa. Based in Hong Kong, Best Sunshine plans on outbidding the Mariana Resort and turning the land into a multi-billion casino resort. The project would convert the area of Marpi, creating an area that would include the largest water park in the world, hotel rooms in the thousands and top quality shopping facilities.
Pete A. Tenorio, the Secretary of the Department of Public Lands, made a decision to bid out the lease of the lands, which is held by the Mariana Resort till 2018. Tenorio stated this is a business and he had a job to do, having the responsibility to benefit the public interests of the area. The resort was not happy on putting out the lease to bid which they consider to be a breach of their lease agreement that was signed with the government.
Mark Brown, the Chief Executive Officer of Best Sunshine was asked by the Saipan Tribune if Best Sunshine would be competing for the bid to lease the property and Brown responded with ‘of course’. He was also asked how competitive the bid is and he stated that there is no bid yet.
According to Brown, Phase 1 of their $7 billion casino project, the Grand Mariana Resort of Garapan, a project that is currently under construction. This area would be the first location, plus a gaming training facility, which would have a cost of $2 billion. The Garapan site is now the only land that has been leased to Best Sunshine.
Phase II would consider of the Marpi site, according to Brown, rather than using ‘piecemeal’ locations that are set across the island. Brown stated the company has been searching everywhere along the entire island. Offers have been made in other areas and the company has not just focused on Marpi. Brown describes that the design, site and multiple properties that the company would like to build on Marpi would be incredible for Saipan and would help the people in the process.
Brown believes the beauty of Marpi would help the Best Sunshine project be successful. When the land goes to bid, the company plans on being aggressive to try and gain access to the site.