The Commonwealth Casino Commission is asking Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC how many rooms its initial gaming facility in Garapan will have since it would affect their manpower and staffing issue.
Public Law 18-56, which allowed casino gaming on Saipan, requires the investor to build 2,000 new hotel rooms and invest $2 billion. IPI’s multibillion dollar project is in three stages, starting with the initial gaming facility in Garapan.
“Phase I and Phase II have yet to occur. Phase I is up north and Phase II is somewhere on the island,” said CCC executive director Edward Deleon Guerrero last Friday at the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library.
He said the Garapan facility at first could hold 373 rooms. “But zoning issues and the license agreement specified a reduction of 250 rooms.”
“In the same amendment No. 5, there’s a reference to 329 rooms. What we’re saying to them is that, if they do request an for extension, to clarify how many rooms the facility actually would have.”
Labor issues and lack of manpower would impact not only in completing the facility but also when they begin operating it, Deleon Guerrero said. “It would also affect the length of time they are requesting for extension.”
He said that’s why CCC requires various departments of IPI, especially those involved in the construction of the facility, to report on the status and progress of the project. “And we’ve seen progress with [IPI new contractor], Pacific Rim.”
IPI, based on the extension that was granted to them last year, is required to finish building 329 hotel rooms by August 2018. Deleon Guerrero concedes that that would be impossible now and they expect IPI to submit another request for extension.
“It is humanly impossible to finish it by August 2018 since August is just around the corner. We have not seen or received the request for extension, but they said they are working on it. I believe, their request would be valid,” said Deleon Guerrero.
“We know that there were circumstances that did not allow them access to additional manpower to finish the construction of the facility.”
Pacific Rim’s initial involvement in the project is to assess the status of the construction phase and how much time it would need to complete the entire resort.
He added that Pacific Rim has just finished with their analysis and has prepared their report that would be submitted to the Office of the Governor and the CNMI Lottery Commission for a possible extension beyond 2018.