Negotiations are underway between the Department of Public Lands and two hotel properties that have expiring leases after Public Law 20-84 introduced a new regulation where publishing a request for proposal is no longer needed.
P.L. 20-84 also increases the terms of public land leases of up to 40 years plus an extension of 15 years for a total of 55 years. It also authorizes certain public land leases to be amended and extend existing lease terms up to 55 years.
The new law also gives DPL the authority to negotiate new public land leases to certain existing lessees under new terms and considerations even without publishing an RFP.
Acting DPL secretary Marianne C. Teregeyo said the removal of the requirement to publish an RFP was the only thing that was changed in the renewal of existing public land leases.
The public land lease of Fiesta Resort & Spa is set to expire in June 2021; Hyatt Regency Saipan’s ends in December 2021.
The new law could give both hotels up to 2076 to operate in the CNMI.
“We’ve been talking to Hyatt and Fiesta, and we’re already negotiating with them. We will no longer have to go to RFP to negotiate with them. They have not yet gotten the extension, since negotiations are still ongoing,” Teregeyo told Saipan Tribune in a brief statement.
Mariana Resort property
Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said the lease for the Mariana Resort & Spa property is still up for grabs, with several developers expressing an interest to re-open it.
The Marpi property has an existing hotel, villas, spa, golf course, swimming pool, and baseball field.
“We have the [Office of the Attorney General] and DPL still working out the details. We know they are talking to other interested parties into the management issue [of the property] as well as the long-term lease agreement,” said Torres.
Mariana Resort closed its doors on Sept. 30, 2018, after more than 30 years of operating on Saipan.
DPL’s talks with Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC, the lone bidder for the Marpi property, broke down, leaving the hotel without an operator.
Legal issues and other matters were some of the reasons why talks between IPI and DPL broke down and the Torres administration hopes Mariana Resort won’t turn out to be another mothballed La Fiesta.