Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC says it will announce the opening of its $500 million Imperial Pacific Resort as soon as it’s given the green light.

During the monthly meeting of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday at the Kanoa Resort’s Seaside Hall, David Largent, marketing and public affairs director for Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC, said the company would announce the much-anticipated opening of its Phase I casino when it has all of the necessary clearance certificates in hand. SCC officials and members were also invited by Largent to tour the casino, according to the Saipan Tribune.

The latest statement by the company comes on the heels of a similar one on March 31, when casino table games director Scott Morrow reportedly told local media that the company was waiting for final permits and that their team was excited to get things started.

The company, which is based on Saipan, the largest of the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. commonwealth in the Western Pacific, has been plagued by a myriad of major and minor setbacks including Typhoon Soudelor in 2015, a construction fatality, and federal charges being filed against contractors at its Imperial Pacific Resort, all which have kept the company racing to meet opening deadlines and avoid costly fines if the casino resort doesn’t open on time.

Imperial Pacific International, which operates as a subsidiary of Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited (HKG:1076), submitted a request to amend their casino license agreement towards the middle of March in the hope of extending the deadline to complete construction of its hotels and casinos.

What will be the first to open of the company envisioned 20, six-star hotels and 11 casinos at a cost of $7 billion, the approximately 151,000 square foot casino floor will feature 48 baccarat tables, most of which are intended for their VIP clients. Part of the mass gaming floor, the company is trying to complete construction of Phase II, which will include the VIP tables in a separate area catering to high rollers.

Morrow said the gaming floor of the casino would feature six blackjack tables, two for live Texas Hold ‘Em Poker, which can be expanded to eight depending on demand, along with areas for VIP’s, Imperial Pacific International’s core target market. There will be 48 tables for baccarat alone, which will include a pair of VIP salons and the option for 12 additional VIP tables sometime in the future. Other gaming amenities include two roulette tables, eight sic bo, or tai sai, dice game positions, three card poker, Fortune Pai Gow, and Caribbean Stud, which will soon be known locally as Saipan Stud.

Phases II & III will open at a different location, the site of the current Mariana Resort and Spa on the other side of the island (pending RFP and approvals). The much larger resort development will be built and refurbished incrementally through 2019 adding 1,200 rooms, 400 tables, and 1,000 slots in Phase III, with more additions possible in further phases.

The final phase of construction, due to open by 2020 will see an additional 800 rooms, 500 tables, and 1,000 more slot machines.

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