‘24-hour operation to expedite IPR construction’


Members of the Commonwealth Casino Commission prepare to enter the Imperial Pacific Resort construction site for the VIP wing Friday.  (Erwin Encinares)

Commonwealth Casino Commission chair Juan Sablan suggested last Friday that Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC should look at a 24-hour construction operation in order to expedite the casino-resort’s construction in Garapan.

Minutes after visiting the VIP wing construction site of the Imperial Pacific Resort in Garapan, Sablan noted that the company should consider undergoing a 24-hour construction operation to expedite the project.

“The progress today…will pick up, but they need more manpower to continue, because I only see a few people here,” he told Saipan Tribune in an interview after visiting the site.

He noted that this was the commission’s third site visit.

“Maybe they can address this [construction slowdown] with a 24-hour operation, especially with the critical parts of the operation,” he said, noting that IPI need not seek permission from the commission, but from the Department of Public Works to operate around the clock.

IPI currently has scheduled construction operating hours, which is “okay” for safety purposes, said the chairman—“things that are very sensitive for safety”—but he pointed out that “they can do it in the night time [with fewer people on the streets]…They would have to keep up with their manpower, get more people to work on the place.”

When asked if the IPI report about a 69.5-percent completion rate was reflected in the construction site, Sablan noted that it was not but is definitely “near.”

IPI had reported at a recent casino commission meeting that the casino resort is about 69.5 percent complete. Commissioners, in previous casino commission meetings, expressed doubt about the company’s report of progress.

Sablan noted that it is in the best interest of Saipan to complete the building.

“This is going to be a first-class facility,” he said. “This is a plus to the Commonwealth. It is one edition that even Guam doesn’t have—except for Las Vegas and Macau. Saipan is going to be added to the market, especially in high-end tourism.”

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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