Best Sunshine International, a subsidiary of Hong Kong based Imperial Pacific is responsible for running the Best Sunshine Live on Saipan, which is a part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). Best Sunshine International currently operates a temporary casino on the island and if everything goes as per plan, the full-time casino resort will open in 2017 with an eye toward greeting guests during Chinese New Year (CNY) celebrations. The full time resort will be opened to the public in different phases.
One of the biggest concerns for the Best Sunshine International going forward has been the cap imposed by the US federal government on the number of foreign workers that the company can hire, while hiring all they can locally. Best Sunshine International employs around 1,000 workers and will have to increase its workforce to around 4,000 workers by the time the Imperial Pacific Resort, once billed as Grand Mariana opens full time.
The company is doing its part to get the US federal government to change its cap on foreign workers. Current law requires the company to hire 65 percent of their workforce locally but Best Sunshine is struggling to hit those numbers as the company has a huge foreign workforce in Saipan with a number of employees being from the Philippines.
In a statement, found on Marianas Variety, Mark Brown, chief executive officer of Best Sunshine International said “We’re at 57 percent with our U.S. workers, but the best effort is 65 percent. It’s unrealistic to say we have to have 65 percent now when will need 4,000 employees for our investment. As soon as we get into the non-gaming operations when [Imperial Pacific Resort] opens, we will be needing local workers for our hotel, food and beverage outlets, security and other positions. While we may be already striving to meet the 65 percent mandate, we will continue to recruit locally.”
The company is currently in the construction phase of its six star casino hotel and nearly 1,200 construction workers are working on the project. An additional 1,800 construction workers need to be hired to start work on phase two of the project in Marpi. Brown had earlier called for a stronger push to educate legislators in Washington D.C in order to get them to realize that the construction and tourism industries in Saipan require a massive workforce to complete projects on time.
The temporary casino which opened in June 2015 has turned out to be a very successful venture for Best Sunshine International who reported a rolling chip increase of 155 percent in September 2016 when compared to the last month. Imperial Pacific reported that the temporary casino took bets on about $3.95 billion in VIP chips in September. The company has invested $600 million into Saipan in the last twelve months and is now collaborating with international creditors to float bonds and bring in even more foreign investment into Saipan.