Best Sunshine International, Ltd. officials said that Mariana Resort & Spa employees will have enough time to make plans once the company takes over the lease of the close to 161-hectare land north of the island of Saipan.
Mariana Resort’s lease will expire in 2018 and the Department of Public Lands put out a request for proposal in 2015, with BSI as the lone bidder. BSI is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based conglomerate Imperial Pacific International.
BSI is developing a casino hotel, the Imperial Pacific Resort & Hotel Saipan (formerly Grand Mariana Casino & Hotel Resort) in Garapan for Phase 1 of its multi-billion dollar project on the island. IPI changed the hotel resort’s name for name recall of the Imperial Pacific brand.
Phase 2 involves acquiring the lease of the Marpi land that has the hotel, cottages, villas, a go-kart racetrack—Mariana Seaside Circuit—mini golf courses, maintenance, sports facilities—Kan Pacific swimming pool, baseball field, and Mariana Country Club—and other vacant spaces under Kan Pacific Saipan.
BSI, in an email to Saipan Tribune, said Mariana Resort employees could plan their future since the hotel’s lease expires in 2018 while Imperial Pacific Resort is set to open in early 2017.
“Marianas Resort is still open for operations and they have a valid lease until February 2018.”
“IPI’s hotel would open in 2017. There is an overlap in time, so the Marianas Resort employees will have ample time to plan what they want to do,” BSI added in the statement.
There were reports that BSI would absorb some of Mariana Resort’s employees while the others would continue to work with the Japanese company, which operates the more than 30-year-old hotel in Marpi.
BSI is also encouraging Mariana Resort employees to apply for positions once Imperial Pacific Resort opens in Garapan. “They [Mariana Resort employees] will be encouraged to apply for positions with IPI”…“most especially since they have experience in the hotel industry, a skill IPI will need once the casino in Garapan opens.”
DPL and Labor updates
DPL has already issued a conditional letter of award to IPI with negotiations still ongoing to make sure they meet all conditions set by the government agency. BSI said they are confident that they would meet all conditions set by DPL and its secretary, Marianne Teregeyo.
Teregeyo said that is so far the update she could give in BSI’s takeover of the land lease by Mariana Resort. She added that there are no other hotels that would have expiring leases in 2017 while there are some in 2018 and 2019. She did not name these hotels with expiring leases.
Department of Labor Secretary Edith Deleon Guerrero, meanwhile, said BSI is following all requirements under U.S. and local labor laws. BSI is working closely with Labor and the Commonwealth Casino Commission when it comes to their hiring practices.
“With respect to the requirements of [Labor] and the submission of the workforce plan, we have that on record. It is a work in progress with the company. You can say that they are in compliance,” added Deleon Guerrero.
“We are continuously meeting with them to address the other issues. I may not aware of other [CCC] requirements that they are subject to but with what we are expected with the department and what are expected of them, they are working closely with us.”