Saving the Tinian Dynasty

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Posted on Dec 14 1998

It would be a mistake to allow the Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino to go down in history as a failed investment. It would give the NMI the biggest economic black eye we’ve ever seen on this side of the Pacific since the end of the war.

How unfortunate that the biggest and grandest hotel facility was completed just as the Asian crisis started assaulting the local economy. It is heavily tourist related. The company went out of its way to ensure that sea transportation is available to ferry customers to and from Tinian. But even with all its dedicated efforts, the Asian crisis has finally taken its toll.

I’ve advocated the emplacement of basic infrastructure to support such a huge investment. But even if such facility were emplaced on a timely basis, it’ll take some time before high rollers start heading into our southern neighbor. The effect of the Asian crisis has even forced the plunge in real estate properties by as much as 80 percent throughout the NMI. Often I wonder if the worse has yet to come.

Despite the financial straits of the Tinian Dynasty, I still hope for the best as management and owners converge to save a huge investment from turning into waste. I’m troubled by it from an investment standpoint. Let’s hope that by some grand design, a miracle descends upon Tinian to resuscitate a worthy investment. I certainly hate to see the day when it declares bankruptcy in that the ripple effects, in terms of the NMI’s image, would have the equivalence of a tsunami.

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Indian tribes across the country rake-in some $7 billion in annual revenues from casino operations. In California, the rights of Native Americans to establish casinos sets them apart from other Americans.

I’m not sure why such would be the case. Perhaps the concept of a “nation within a nation” has become the most cumbersome issue to understand with appreciable clarity. But then in every Western movie I’ve seen since childhood, it’s the Indians who’re depicted as the bad guys almost always defeated by the white man. What a way to depict America’s Native Americans. It’s basically genocidal, if not, racist altogether.

It’s their fortune and we must wish them well and how they spend their money for the education of their children, decent housing and opportunities to break out on their own.

•••

During the height of the boom years here, families who benefited from the windfall had money coming out of their ears. I’d salivate as they engage in nightly barbecues, singing and yelling literally `til the break of dawn. I’ve joined some of these binge drinking parties. There were two brand new cars, a pleasure boat, fine food, expensive stereo system and jewelry they dwarf Mr. T. In more ways than one, I felt so small in these gatherings of moneyed people.

But there’s a difference between being rich and wealthy. Being rich falls in the category of windfall profits from the lease of family land. Being wealthy is quite different in the sense that through generations the family works hard to build what it has today. If the rich doesn’t invest their money that promises returns, they could easily go bankrupt. The wealthy would sacrifice and roll over what they make to make more money. Therefore, it’s hard to see this grop declare bankruptcy.

Perhaps we’ve invested our windfall profits in all the wrong items, i.e., new cars, dining sets, jewelry, stereo systems, electronic gadgets, or a new house. None of these dead asset would give you return for your money. It’s spent, dead and gone! Now that it’s gone, perhaps some of us are awe struck by how we’ve wasted what we had then. It’s no longer there especially at a time (today) when we most need it. Would there be a second chance? I seriously doubt it.

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I’ve always had the perception that pawn shops are places where jewelry are sold. But I’ve learned that local pawn shops sale includes fishing poles, pots, dining sets, air-conditioners, stereo systems, even a pick-up truck. Well, there’s always something unique about the islands, yeah? We’ve turned pawn shops into flea markets. Woe!

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