First, I want to thank Jon Perez and John S. Pangelinan for their opinion articles on what I believe is the Mariana Resort swindle and Rep. Joseph Leepan T. Guerrero who also believes “the shutdown of Mariana Resort & Spa and its facilities could have been avoided had the government been more proactive and aggressive in its negotiation with Kan Pacific Saipan Ltd.” and he is right.
I warned the government and people that the Marianas Resort issue was a big swindle but no one listened and now look—the resort is literally facing the possibility of being a white elephant with no definitive future. The fact that the Marianas Resort is now closed is of no surprise to me as I knew when Mrs. Cavanagh, who was a great general manager, left and went to PIC. And when IPI and Kan Pacific went into secret negotiations, I knew that the end of the resort as we knew it was over! One day, the powers-that-be will learn they need to listen to the very people they work for! But I’m an outsider by some people’s definition so maybe they don’t work for me.
Anyway, this is just another one of my I-told-you-so that could have all been avoided like Rep. Leepan Guerrero said if they had just listened to me and others. We had plenty of time to make a smooth transition but IPI had their eye on the property so what did we do—we set the conditions for IPI to get the property and they even made a secret agreement with Kan Pacific to get the property. I will never understand why and how the local people let them even get away with secret deals about your land and your property in the first place! Locals need to get upset and protest more about other things than just “cultural issues.”
I know DPL Secretary Marianne Teregeyo inherited this problem and I’m thankful she did not give the lease to IPI. It is obvious she is trying to do something as the property is now being broken up, with separate requests for proposals on the Mariana Resort & Spa, Marianas Country Club, and its Olympic-size swimming pool, which might make it easier to lease and even more profitable in the long term. Hopefully, DPL will listen and fast track this issue like Rep. Leepan Guerrero said as the CNMI’s investment in the Marianas Resorts translates into millions in tax revenues and a lease that should be close to $100 million. I also hope DPL will focus their ads for the resort in Japan and other countries as we are already entirely too dependent upon China.
Ambrose M. Bennett
Kagman 3, Saipan