Imperial Pacific International has confirmed that it will take over management of nearby Mariana Resort & Spa, which closed down in September 2018 after more than 40 years.
IPI had been tipped to assume operations of the resort last year but its future has remained in limbo ever since an RFP expired in December with no agreement reached between the Saipan casino operator and the Department of Public Lands.
The DPL responded by splitting the property into three separate RFPs – one each for the hotel, golf course and race track – however IPI Chairman Mark Brown revealed on Thursday that the company had now been authorized to run all three – part of IPI’s long-term plan to be granted a lease of the land upon which Mariana Resort sits.
“We are helping the island … IPI is now jumping in to say ‘Yes, we will’,” Brown told local reporters.
“It is going to cost us a couple of hundred thousand dollars a month just to maintain the property. We will do that until an agreement can be reached and hopefully one day, we’ll get the land.”
Brown added that IPI, which first signed an agreement with the resort’s former operators Kan Pacific Ltd in 2015 to take over leasing of the land, had always eyed the Mariana Resort land for future expansion.
“Our goal wasn’t just to build a casino in the middle of Garapan. Our whole goal is to get this piece of land so we can move forward,” he said. “Our investors and partners have been waiting for that for more than two years now.”
IPI revealed earlier this week that it would also open some amenities of its integrated resort, Imperial Palace‧Saipan, by 30 September 2019.