Imperial Pacific seeks extension to complete casino project

Imperial Pacific, which has pledged to invest $7 billion on the Pacific island of Saipan, has requested an amendment to its Casino License Agreement to extend the deadline to complete construction of the properties.

In a press release printed in local newspaper, the Marianas Variety, the company said ”the request to extend was made necessary due to a variety of challenges that caused construction delays, especially the severe damage to construction equipment from Typhoon Soudelor that took several months to repair.”

It said other challenges that caused further delays included adverse weather conditions making the tower cranes inoperable; unstable soil conditions that caused damage to pilings that were driven into the ground; lack of readily available skilled laborers; an overabundance of water at the construction site delaying the pouring of the concrete foundation; lack of necessary construction materials; the 8 months to execute the public land lease for Garapan; the complication of the Marianas Resort Spa’s public land lease which expires in April 2018 and the deadline to complete the Integrated Resort in Marpi by February 2018.

The company said it now awaits the governor and lottery commission’s decision on the request.

Imperial Pacific’s local unit, Best Sunshine International has been operating out of a temporary facility until the Imperial Pacific Resort & Hotel is completed. The company had said it planned a soft opening in the first quarter of this year.

In 2017, the temporary casino brought in a total of $32.4 billion in VIP table games revenue and clocked $5.6 billion in January alone, though that slipped back to $1.7 billion in February.

Local media in February reported that the company had requested to extend the license of its temporary casino at T-Galleria in order to buy more time for the construction of its new integrated resort.

The newspaper also reported that on Monday a worker had called emergency services to report a “trash fire” breaking out at the construction site. The all-clear was sounded approximately four hours later and no one was reported harmed.

The authorities are still investigating the cause of the blaze but observers reported that the fire originated due to welding sparks falling onto “construction material debris” that had been piled up against the in-development structure. The extent of any damage wasn’t clear.