Casino awaits clearance to open doors

The grand entrance of Imperial Pacific Resort is all set to welcome its guests as soon as the company gets the necessary clearance from the agencies that would issue certificates of compliance and safety. (Jon Perez)

The grand entrance of Imperial Pacific Resort is all set to welcome its guests as soon as the company gets the necessary clearance from the agencies that would issue certificates of compliance and safety. (Jon Perez)

The casino floor of Imperial Pacific Resort is all set to open to the gaming public. The final clearances and permits from the Department of Public Works are the only things its officials are waiting for.

The casino hotel is Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC’s multi-million-dollar project on Saipan. They hope to attract high rollers from the Asia-Pacific region with world-class gaming facilities.

The Department of Public Works is one of the agencies that are expected to issue clearance and compliance certificates—whether full or partial occupancy—before the casino can begin operations.

Scott Morrow, the Casino Table Games director, said they have been putting the finishing touches to their mass gaming floor, all 140,000 square meters of it. The floor would feature a total of 72 tables—38 for VIP and 34 mass tables—and 198 slot machines.

“We’re excited to get things started. We’re waiting for the final permits and as soon as we receive it, we’re going to make an announcement,” Morrow told reporters on a tour of the facility on Friday night. “Our team is excited and ready. We’re excited to get things started and welcome our guests at the front door.”

Morrow is making his fourth stop in heading the table games division of his 35-year gaming career. He previously worked in New Jersey, Las Vegas, and Macau.

Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC, which owns and operates the gaming facility, will have the mass gaming floor as its phase I of the casino. The second phase is expected to open within the next two to three months once they are given the green light.

The VIP level is part of IPI’s Phase II expansion project that also includes a Sky Casino up on the 14th floor and the beach club casino lounge. As of now, VIP sections are in place and share space with their mass gaming floor.

“Phase II, level II is going to be our VIP area that is the core of our business. In the future, [Phase I] will be for our mass gaming floor only,” added Morrow.

He said the ongoing construction of the hotel rooms won’t be a problem once they open the casino floor. “We don’t anticipate any problem. We’re going to work through those phases and we’re going to make sure our guests have a world-class experience every step of the way.”

Morrow said the entire operations team has been trained and everything—the card cabinets, storage, chips, and other materials to be used by casino personnel—are all in place. They also have a membership team; guests can sign up for exclusive privileges for a more personal touch with their Imperial Pacific Resort experience.
Grand design

A spacious hotel lobby would greet guests at the soon-to-be-opened hotel. A grand staircase, similar to European palaces, would lead to a ballroom that could fit more then 1,000 guests and is ideal for weddings and other events.

“We’re going to have one of the most impressive casino lobbies in the world. Our staircase would lead up to the Grand Ballroom. We will have a lobby bar at the back and it will also be our entrance to our VIP villas. Were going to have two crystal dragons that are over 60 feet in the atrium area,” said Morrow.

He said that he is honored to come to Saipan and work with the IPI team. “Coming to Saipan has been one of the best career decision I’ve made. It is an honor to be a member of [IPI’s] leadership team and to work in this world-class resort.”

Morrow added that he has embraced the local community since arriving on Saipan in August 2016. “I’m excited to be here and I’m all fired up. I want to be part of something that makes difference, and I believe this project will make a difference.”

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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