Further Details Of Saipan Casino Agreement Released

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Full completion of $3.14 billion complex could take 8 years

By Haidee V. Eugenio

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, August 20, 2014) – By mid-October, Best Sunshine International Ltd/Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC should already have submitted its proposed implementation schedules for its $3.14-billion integrated casino resort. It has eight years or up to 2022 to fully complete the project under a maximum 40-year term.

Under the terms of the casino license agreement signed on Aug. 12, such implementation schedules should be provided to the soon-to-be formed Development Plan Review Committee "within 60 days" of license award.

"We are working on the schedule right now. A team of professionals is working on the timelines…That will set out the construction timeline as well, different phases, progressive opening of different amenities," said Best Sunshine chief operating officer Terence Tay.

There are three independent implementation schedules—1) initial gaming facility implementation schedule 2) phase 1 of the licensee development proposal requirements 3) phase two of the licensee development proposal requirements.

The initial gaming facility shall be completed and begin operation within 24 months of land acquisition but no later than 36 months of the license issuance date.

This is required as a "newly constructed or refurbished structure" with guest rooms and services similar of quality to those identified for 5-star developments.

On phase one of the licensee development proposal requirements, the basic structure of an integrated resort shall be completed within 36 months of land acquisition but not later than 42 months from license issuance date.

Phase One shall result in the construction and operation of the following at a single development site: an 800-room 4- or 5-star luxury hotel; a $100-million themed entertainment facility with amphitheater; 5,372 sqm of food and beverage outlets; 2,500 sqm of meeting space; 5,000 sqm of retail shops; wedding chapel; 500 sqm of spa/fitness area; 10,000 sqm of gaming area; and associated parking, site improvements, landscaping, furnishings, fixtures, utilities, and infrastructure.

All the components of the licensee development proposal requirements that were not completed in Phase One would have to be incorporated into the Phase Two. This would have to be completed within eight years from the agreement signing.

However, as Tay and Department of Public Lands Secretary Pete A. Tenorio put it, land acquisition is a challenge but one that can be overcome, they said.

Best Sunshine can build on up to three development sites on Saipan. They are more likely to be on the north, south, and central Garapan.

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