Amer. Sinopan in talks with Hilton


A conditional use permit from the Zoning Board was awarded to American Sinopan LLC to build a garden resort-themed hotel in Tanapag in August 2018.

The company said it is in talks with hotel and business hotel/service apartment brands to come to Saipan and Hilton Hotels & Resort is one of them.

To date, final franchising talks between American Sinopan and Hilton Hotels are on the table.

This was disclosed when American Sinopan went to the Zoning board public hearing last Oct. 26 at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Hall in Susupe to present minor amendments to their previous application and get approval from the board.

American Sinopan CEO Ken Lin said the changes are needed to comply with Hilton Hotels’ design requirements.

“We are adding two lobbies because the original plan had separate lobbies for four different buildings. It is very important for the Hilton group to have their main lobby but we will retain the small side lobbies. The height of the buildings and parking space also remain the same,” he said.

Due to the differing size of the rooms, American Sinopan divided them into two—one is Hilton Double Tree and the other is Hilton Garden Inn.

“We made changes to comply with Hilton’s own design of hotel and amenity requirements,” Lin said.

According to Zoning administrator Therese T. Ogumoro, the Zoning staff has already approved the amendments and they are are now up to the board for rejection or approval.

The amendments include adding two lobby areas between the buildings, adding more landscaping design or improvements in the middle, and moving service apartment building number 11 and the generator facility to another location.

Ogumoro added that the service apartments increased from 175 to 188 units, the staff housing was reduced from 200 units to 170 units, but the member of hotel rooms remain at 1,484 rooms.

American Sinopan projects a budget of $164 million for the entire project. The board questioned the budget total, whether or not the modifications will amount to an increase in the budget that was previously presented to the board.

Lin said that even with the modifications, the total projected budget did not increase.

“The height of the buildings remain the same and, with our plans to use pre-cast concrete in place, the total construction cost did not increase as much,” he said.

Lin, however, said the overall budget may change once the development enters into the construction documentation stage as it will be subject to changes to due labor and material costs coming in.

According to Lin, Saipan needs an international brand. Having an international hotel brand is a good statement for the CNMI as it boosts tourism.

“Right now we are on the stage of going into the final details of the floor plan with the Hilton group in Japan. Hilton Japan oversees Hilton hotels in Japan and the Micronesia. They’ve been back and forth on island. We are also in the final stage of planning with the technical team based in Singapore. When all is in place, they can come here and do the official signing,” he said.

“Our garden idea will remain and the modifications as required by Hilton are just minor details. It is our intention to keep the garden theme of the resort using trees and plants grown in the area,” Lin added.

The Zoning board approved the amendments.

The construction is expected to start in the latter part of the first quarter next year and expected to be finished by 2020.

Lin said in an interview last August that they are projecting that operations will generate $14 million worth of hotel tax and $6 million worth of food and beverage tax, which amounts to $20 million that will go to the CNMI yearly.

Bea Cabrera | Correspondent
Bea Cabrera, who holds a law degree, also has a bachelor's degree in mass communications. She has been exposed to multiple aspects of mass media, doing sales, marketing, copywriting, and photography.

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