Mariana Resort & Spa, one of the CNMI’s oldest hotels, is set to close its doors but its management assured the community of having a continued presence in the Commonwealth. Mariana Resort celebrated its 38th year last April.
Kan Pacific Saipan owns and operates Mariana Resort including Mariana Country Club, Mariana Ocean Shop, and its new venture Zen Teppanyaki Restaurant. Mariana Resort is a 1,600-hectare facility that opened in 1978.
Imperial Pacific International Holdings, Best Sunshine International, Ltd.’s parent company that earned the exclusive casino license on Saipan, will be taking over the area after it was the only one that submitted a request for proposal following the expiration of Kan Pacific’s lease on the land.
Mariana Resort general manager Gloria Cavanagh said they don’t have a definite date yet on when Mariana Resort would close and BSI taking over. “We do not have a definite answer yet. As IPI was the only one to answer the RFP.”
“I believe that the lease agreement between them and [the Department of Public Land] has to be finalized first. Then, the size of the lease property requires legislative approval.”
Cavanagh said the owners also opted not to build another hotel facility and would rather scale down their operations, but they also plan of venturing to other businesses in the future.
“Of course KPS will still be in business, just in a much smaller operation. We are not planning on building another hotel. We have our offsite restaurant, Zen, and our Mariana Ocean shop,” said Cavanagh.
“We are also toying with the idea of opening another restaurant next year. We have a few other business plans that I cannot disclose at this time. But we are looking at continuing a presence here on Saipan,” she added.
Mariana Resort held a customer appreciation party last Saturday where they invited several members of the community, loyal customers, and business partners.
Cavanagh said they also plan to expand Zen’s operations after Mariana Resort closes. “We would like to eventually offer lunch at Zen but not ‘till after we close the resort. Actually, we will be able to expand the Zen operations after.”
However, staffing remains the issue with the current problems with the CNMI-Only Transitional Worker nonimmigrant visa program. “There is nothing that would lead me to believe that this will not happen, especially with the labor market as it is.”
“Like every other business, staffing is an issue. We will keep some of our employees, if they agree of course. BSI has, from the beginning, expressed that they will have jobs for everyone else,” added Cavanagh.