The governor for the Commonwealth Of The Northern Mariana Islands, Ralph Torres, has reportedly revealed that his administration will likely grant casino operator Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited permission to keep its temporary Best Sunshine Live facility open beyond an April 30 deadline.
According to a report from the local Saipan Tribune newspaper, Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited, which runs the casino in a former upscale Garapan shopping mall via its Best Sunshine International Limited subsidiary, requested official authorization last month to operate the interim venue at its present site until October 31.
Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited secured the exclusive casino license for the island of Saipan in August of 2015 before spending around $25 million to open the temporary Best Sunshine Live casino two months later. This facility has since been utilized as a live training venue for the under-construction and much larger Imperial Pacific Resort And Hotel Saipan, which was due to have its “soft opening” by March 31, and ended its first year in operation by reporting annual VIP table games rolling chip turnover of nearly $32.37 billion.
Set to feature 200 to 300 gaming tables along with 300 to 400 slots, the $500 million Imperial Pacific Resort And Hotel Saipan was designed by architectural practice Steelman Partners and had originally been due to open “by 2017 Chinese New Year”, which began on January 28, using the Best Sunshine Live license but Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited was subsequently forced to move this inauguration date following a series of delays.
Mark Brown, Chairman for Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited, earlier explained that these setbacks were due to the construction site being extensively damaged by 2015’s Typhoon Saudelor along with problems in securing enough cement. He reportedly also blamed a lack of available skilled labor, unpredictable ground conditions, drainage issues, inclement weather and rights matters concerning construction tower cranes.
Torres reportedly declared that the reasons behind the extension request were justifiable as the delays in completing work on the Imperial Pacific Resort And Hotel Saipan had been caused by factors beyond anyone’s control. The Republican moreover proclaimed that he had instructed the Commonwealth Of The Northern Mariana Islands Lottery Commission to meet with representatives of Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited to discuss the six-month extension request.
“We want to grant and extend Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited’s request for reasons that they cannot avoid,” Torres told the newspaper. “I already asked the [Commonwealth Of The Northern Mariana Islands] Lottery Commission to give [Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited] the extension it needed and it is going to meet to look into the request. The [Commonwealth Of The Northern Mariana Islands] Lottery Commission will look into the extension request and what are the requirements that need to be made. It was unfortunate that a typhoon hit us in 2015.”
Torres reportedly additionally told the Saipan Tribune that Hong Kong-listed Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited had been working hard to meet some of its previous deadlines but that construction on its Imperial Pacific Resort And Hotel Saipan had been hindered due to unavoidable circumstances.
“It is a project that you see is progressing every day,” Torres told the Saipan Tribune. “You can see construction activity and they have been working extremely hard. They are trying to work 24 hours to meet the deadline.”