E Land’s Micronesia Resort Inc. will unveil today its renovation plans for the former The Palms Resort, two weeks after telling Gov. Eloy S. Inos that they are trying to bring in a “global brand” for the hotel.
MRI chief operating officer Taeho Kim, through his office, invited the media to a 10am briefing today at the chapel area “on the upcoming renovation plans for Palms Resort Saipan site.”
This comes at a time when the CNMI needs more hotel rooms to accommodate a growing number of tourists.
Sen. Paul Manglona (Ind-Rota) said yesterday he’s hoping that E Land/MRI will announce “specific” rather than general plans and timelines, not only for the renovation of the former The Palms Resort but also Coral Ocean Point, which sits on public land.
“If that’s the case, we appreciate their willingness to be partners in the CNMI’s economic recovery. We need more hotel rooms, more airline seats that will go a long way in helping our tourism industry, and the government is standing by to help,” he told Saipan Tribune.
Manglona and Sen. Pete Reyes (Ind-Saipan) earlier asked the Department of Public Lands to look at the track record of E Land before DPL decides to negotiate either with E Land/MRI or the Hong Kong-based Honest Profit Corp. for the lease of a San Antonio public land to develop a new hotel with at least 200 rooms.
The senators are doubting the investor’s ability to move forward with what the investor group earlier claimed is an initial $4 million renovation of Coral Ocean Point as part of an estimated $40 million, multi-year investment plan.
Reyes and Manglona said the government need not lease more lands to E Land if it is not going to use the property anyway.
Seong Min Kang, chief executive officer and president of E Land’s Suwaso Corp./MRI met with the governor on Feb. 12 about their ongoing renovation of Coral Ocean Point and plans for reopening the former Palms Resort Saipan. But he declined to reveal those plans to the media at the time.
E Land/MRI also acquired Pacific Islands Club in San Antonio.