After closing the Tinian Dynasty Casino two weeks ago, owner, Hong Kong Entertainment (HKE) Chairman Wai Chan announced that due to negative cash flow and low tourist arrivals complete closure of both the casino and hotel could happen by month’s end, according to local media.
In a letter to Tinian’s mayor, Joey Patrick San Nicolas, Chan stated, “It is with great regret that we must inform you that complete closure of the Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino is imminent. Insufficient guest arrival and negative cash flow has made it impossible to keep the property operational. All of our remaining operational resources will soon be exhausted.”
According to Chan, the effect of this year’s Typhoon Soudelor that reached Category 5 status and severely impacted the Northern Mariana Islands, Taiwan, and eastern China, was not anticipated by HKE. Chan said, “We do not have necessary capital resources of business revenue to sustain the hotel. We are currently operating at a significant loss and we cannot afford to do so any longer,” and that, “Our operating funds will be exhausted in a matter of weeks. We now anticipate that the hotel will be closed before end of September.”
Evening flights to and from Saipan, the island north of Tinian, were halted due to the typhoon’s assault, which resulted in cancellation of tours to Tinian, and forced the Tinian Dynasty to temporarily suspend its casino operations on August 14. That closure laid-off 135 of its more than 600 employees, but hotel operations remained open.
Local media reports that revenue from the hotel and casino provides funding for 43 positions within the Tinian Casino Gaming Control Commission, Tinian Mayor’s Office, and the Office of the Tinian Municipal Council, so closure of the Tinian Dynasty will also have a substantial effect on the Tinian municipality. A notice to Tinian municipal employees regarding the likelihood that their contracts would not be renewed due to the casino’s closing was sent by San Nicolas last month. The closure also forced the suspension of casino revenue funded municipal programs and activities.
San Nicolas expressed concern that the government can’t afford to be the Tinian community’s only source of employment, and said, “We simply can’t afford it. That is why we as leaders need to seek ways to promote and support private sector employment.”