THE Commonwealth Casino Commission says that under the amended casino license agreement, the Imperial Pacific Resort’s ‘so-called initial gaming facility’ will be completed in August 2018 and not in 2023 as earlier reported. In an interview on Thursday, Commission Executive Director Edward Deleon Guerrero said the Phase One project is in Marpi or in the northern part of the island and not the existing project in Garapan.
The executive said the hotel aspect of the Garapan facility, the Imperial Pacific Resort Hotel-Saipan or IPR, will consist of 15 villas and 329 hotel rooms. He reiterated that it is not the Phase One project but the Initial Gaming Facility.
The Garapan casino-resort project was supposed to be completed this year, but due to several factors, completion of the construction was delayed. This prompted the Lottery Commission to amend the license agreement to extend the completion date deadline to no later than Aug. 31, 2018.
“In the beginning,” Deleon Guerrero said, “Public Law 18-56 required the licensee to construct 2,000 rooms and invest a minimum of $2bn and the rooms at the IPR are not to be counted, but they amended it to include the IPR rooms in the 2,000 required rooms that are to be constructed. Right now, IPI doesn’t yet have the lease for Marpi, and they are still working on it. The property is still under lease by Kan Pacific.”
In a statement, the administration reiterated Gov. Ralph Torres’s earlier statement that the extended deadlines for Phases One and Two are in line with his goal of sustainable development.
“Extending the deadline for the completion of Phases One and Two allows time for the government to properly and efficiently build the necessary infrastructure to accommodate the new amenities and resources that will be available for both tourists and our community to use and enjoy. From the very beginning of this new venture, our main goal has been to properly balance the needs of a growing economy and our unique environmental resources,” Governor Torres said.