Tinian Dynasty Casino Remains Closed; Major Concerned

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

San Nicolas worries CNMI resort will deteriorate, be abandoned

By Frauleine S. Villanueva-Dizon

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, April 15, 2016) – Tinian Mayor Joey Patrick San Nicolas is having concerns with the prolonged closure of Tinian’s largest hotel, Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino, which was supposed to reopen today but is not expected to do so.

Responding to inquiries made by Saipan Tribune last Tuesday, the office of the Tinian Mayor issued a press release saying, "the mayor is concerned that a prolonged closure of the Tinian Dynasty will result in the total abandonment and deterioration of the casino complex."

In their earlier announcement prior to the "temporary" closure, which began March 5, Tinian Dynasty said they will reopen today. However, sources confirmed that the hotel will not open.

"We have a beautiful facility that I do not want to see end up becoming an eyesore, much like the La Fiesta Mall on Saipan, because it has been abandoned," San Nicolas said.

He added that he hopes to "encourage investment options that would save the existing casino infrastructure."

Despite no clear details yet on when the hotel will operate normally, San Nicolas and the Tinian leadership said they appreciate Tinian Dynasty "for the opportunity to provide hotel accommodations for our visitors during this year’s annual San Jose Fiesta."

The hotel has announced that it will open during the Tinian San Jose Fiesta slated on April 29 to May 1.

According to the mayor, "the closure of the Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino has had a rippling effect on community events and tourism in general."

"In the absence of an operating casino, we do not have the means to continue providing consistent delivery of community programs," San Nicolas said.

To promote and further develop Tinian’s casino industry, San Nicolas and Sen. Francisco Q. Cruz (R-Tinian) are travelling to Hong Kong and Beijing, China to meet with investors from Mega Stars Overseas Ltd.’s, Bridge Investment Group, Tinian Entertainment Co., and Alter City Group.

The two officials said they hope to "encourage an aggressive completion plan of the proposed casino resort complexes currently being developed by Bridge Investment Group and Alter City Group."

"This trip is about encouraging an aggressive development plan for our casino industry and doing whatever that is within our power to salvage the backbone of our local economy," Cruz said.

They also intend to invite potential investors to partner up with the Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino so that they may be able to resume their casino and hotel operations.

"My job is to do whatever I can to keep the casino industry alive which has been the lifeline of Tinian for several decades now," San Nicolas said.

"We cannot promote Tinian as a tourism destination if we do not have the means to accommodate our visitors. The closure of our largest hotel limits our ability to expand and develop our tourism economy," Cruz said.

Tinian Dynasty has been closed for more than a month now with its casino shuttered since late last year.

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