On the Pacific Ocean island of Saipan and casino operator, Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited, has reportedly announced the signing of a deal that is to see it take over the lease for the shuttered Mariana Resort and Spa.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the Hong Kong-listed firm is currently in the process of building the $650 million Imperial Palace Saipan integrated casino resort in the nearby community of Garapan and earlier detailed that it hopes to have some of this giant gambling facility’s hotel rooms open in around five month’s time.
The Mariana Resort and Spa reportedly closed its doors in September after over 40 years in business and Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited had initially envisaged taking over the entire site with a view to future expansion. However, it was unable to reach a satisfactory arrangement with the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands’ Department of Public Lands and saw its official request-for-proposal (RFP) expire in December.
Inside Asian Gaming reported that the casino operator’s hopes of taking over the Mariana Resort and Spa were reportedly further dashed earlier this year when the local government launched distinct RFP processes for the land once occupied by each of the closed venue’s hotel, golf course and racetrack.
But, Thursday reportedly saw Mark Brown, Chairman for Imperial Pacific, state that his firm has now secured temporary leases for all three of these plots as part of a long-term plan that he hopes will result in his firm being granted permanent ownership.
“We are helping the island. Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited is now jumping in to say ‘yes, we will’. It is going to cost us a couple of hundred thousand dollars a month just to maintain the property. We will do that until an agreement can be reached and hopefully one day, we’ll get the land.”
He also proclaimed that his firm had signed a deal in 2015 with the former owner of the Mariana Resort and Spa, Kan Pacific Limited, that was to involve his firm taking over the site of the large Saipan seaside resort.
“Our goal wasn’t just to build a casino in the middle of Garapan. Our whole goal is to get this piece of land so we can move forward. Our investors and partners have been waiting for that for more than two years now.”