‘August 2018 opening still on target’

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Imperial Pacific Resort Pacific International (CNMI), LLC chair Mark Brown is confident that they will meet the August 2018 deadline to complete the Imperial Pacific Resort in Garapan.

“We are still targeting to open the entire facility in August 2018. Hopefully we can get more U.S. workers here… If we can always continue to move on and hire 2,000 to 4,000 employees with 50 percent U.S.-eligible workers, that’s is a big number. That’s what we are hoping to do,” he said during the first Marianas Film Festival red carpet and awards night Friday at the Imperial Pacific Resort casino.

Brown said IPI needs thousands of construciton workers to build the property and thousands more to run the facility once the hotel is finished.

“We have 200 workers now—all U.S. construction workers—and we have about 200 more coming, so you will see the progress of the property getting done. I wish we had a thousand workers on the site but…you will see it moving along. You see a panel at a time; it will continue to grow,” he added.

Imperial Pacific Resort intends to not only be a mecca for gamblers but will also be for everyone—true to its integrated resort concept, Brown said.

“We are building a little Las Vegas… once the building is up and running, it is going to be like a little city…That is our goal and the plan that we want to create. It’s not always about gaming, it is everything,” he said.

“When we open in August 2018, people can expect a bigger event because everything will be open. We will have the inside and outside facilities operational and we will have the beach. A huge event will be perfect fit to a grand opening,” he added.

In every gambling jurisdiction, Brown said, from Las Vegas to Macau, it’s all about the shows, the conventions, the Michelin restaurants, and the great spas.

“We will have all of those when the building is finished. Yes, the gaming is there, as gaming is where you make your money, but everyone knows that no one comes just for that. You need the great restaurants, you need the nightclubs the spa to get the family coming,” he added.

Building a city within a city and managing thousands of employees are things that Brown is confident of doing, given the right means and vision.

“My entire career has been gaming. I was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey. I came up from the bottom in Atlantic City, worked there for 27 years. I ran one of [President Donald] Trump’s properties for 14 years and at one point, I became the CEO of Trump’s casinos for my last five years, specifically 2000-2005,” Brown said.

“I love being in this business…In 2005, I left for Macau where the Sands Macau is. We opened the Venetian Macau with 3,000 rooms and 20,000 employees…At IPI right now, we have 1,700 employees in our whole company, construction workers not included,” Brown added.

As the construction of the Imperial Pacific Resort moves forward, Brown said it will become a lot easier to have big events on Saipan similar to the first Marianas Film Festival, which drew 500 celebrities from China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.

“This is just the beginning. In Macau, especially, we have a 15,000-seat arena just through the door and we had every single artist that you can think of internationally. Having 15,000 people unload to enjoy the bar and the clubs when the show is over is what I am used to,’ he said.

“We are going to have many entertainment, many shows, have more events like this,” he said.

Brown recognizes the shared difficulties that all businesses on island are facing.

“As you know, the difficulties that we’ve had so far dealing with CWs are construction workers. Our governor right now is in Washington, D.C. helping all of us. Think about it it, we need three, four or five times more people than anyobody else on the island. So whatever problem a local restaurant is facing, multiply that by 20, that is our problem,” he said.

Bea Cabrera
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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