Hong Kong based Imperial Pacific International is the parent company of Best Sunshine International, Ltd which runs the Best Sunshine Live temporary casino on the Saipan Island in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). Imperial Pacific had responded to a request for proposal (RFP) issued by the Department of Public Lands (DPL) in October 2015 to lease the land held by Japanese company Kan Pacific Saipan.
Based on the RFP, the land to be leased measured around 1.61 million square meters and had been used by Kan Pacific in the past as mini golf courses, race-car tracks and sports facilities. It was also home to the Marpi hotel and the Mariana Resort and Spa which houses a number of villas and cottages. Kan Pacific had operated facilities in this lot for over 37 years but decided to sell its property and diversify into other industries while remaining in Saipan.
There were rumours last year that trouble was brewing between the DPL and Kan Pacific due to the fact that the DPL had supposedly violated contractual agreements with Kan Pacific in issuing an RFP. However both parties managed to work out their differences without having to take legal recourse and reached a mutual agreement in May 2016. The DPL confirmed that only Imperial Pacific had responded to its RFP and confirmed that a ‘notice of intent’ had been issued.
The DPL sent Imperial Pacific a letter on July 15 stipulating a few conditions that must be met before a final decision was made to award them with the lease. While the DPI has not been willing to reveal all the stipulations at this point of time due to on-going negotiations, sources have suggested that some of the points highlighted by the DPL include providing a project timetable and submitting financial information for the casino project so that the DPL could be certain that would be no delays with the project due to a lack of funds.
The DPL and Imperial Pacific executives are expected to meet within the next couple of weeks to work out a final agreement. Gloria Cavangh, the general manager for the Marianas Resort stated that Kan Pacific Saipan employees were sad to see their company windup operations at the resort but wished Imperial Pacific well with their new project.
In a statement, Cavangh said “We have to keep in mind that their success is the CNMI’s success. IPI has expressed their willingness to absorb our valued employees. I hope for a smooth transition of that. There are very good people who have worked for us for many years with KPS. We are hopeful that this would benefit the whole of the CNMI.”
Imperial Pacific are yet to release an official statement regarding the Kan Pacific lease but back in 2015 had expressed interest in constructing the biggest water park in the world, develop multiple hotels and building a shopping strip spread over one kilometre.