Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LCC is optimistic the Hong Kong-based company would regain investors’ confidence following last week’s deal with the Department of Public Land that allows it to take over management and operations of the old Mariana Resort & Spa in Marpi.
The casino developer also expects a hundred H-2B workers from Taiwan and Thailand to arrive every month starting in May to finish the construction of the Imperial Palace Saipan in Garapan.
These two recent developments were described by IPI CEO and president Mark Brown as all the pieces finally coming together for the embattled company.
“We just had over 300 investors on island. We basically flew them all ourselves. …We put them all up at the Fiesta [Resort & Spa Saipan], Hyatt [Regency Saipan] and we’ve had an all-day function at the [old] Sandcastle in Hyatt where we did presentations about the island, [the] Marpi land, and all of our investors are excited,” he said.
“…A lot of good news are coming out of what’s happening right now. We’ve had a lot of bad news and sad news that’s been going on…so this…[will] hopefully give everybody a jolt and help move forward with our plan,” he added.
Brown said that they are looking forward to having customers back on island. “They help create revenue for the casino, which generates more taxes for the island, which is the goal.”
“We are getting 100 workers a month to work on the projects and…I am excited we are bringing all people here,” he added.
Brown was at the helm of IPI when it opened Best Sunshine Live in 2015; he eventually focused on day-to-day operations as IPI chair. He then stepped down from his post in December 2017 but came back in October last year. He said his return is premised on the idea of helping the company get back on track, after it got sidetracked by other issues.
Brown knows it is not an easy road to make profit, create jobs, and get the company back on track.
“When you run a company this big, there are areas where you are constantly looking at the ‘now.’ Our ‘now’ is we are looking at how many people are available and can work. It’s just how you operate every casino and every big business in the world.
“I know it’s going to be rough because the island right now is still healing from the typhoon [Yutu]. …I feel like you need all the help that you can get…That’s why I pointed out when the dealers left, we went to the locals first and asked who wants to come back as we understand that they had to go home to help their family rebuild. …We brought 55 to 57 dealers back and, again, we plan to bring back whoever is here when we can because we need them,” he added.