For Saipan business leaders size does matter

  When Hong Kong-listed Imperial Pacific announced it was doubling the size of its planned casino development on the South Pacific island of Saipan to $7 billion some analysts began scratching their heads. Imperial Pacific envisages a new resort complex, which would have about 4,000 hotel rooms, 1,600 gaming tables and 3,500 slot machines. The resort is scheduled to be built over five years with the final phase opening in 2020. The first part involves a town hotel with 254 rooms and gaming facilities, which is scheduled for completion late next year. But doubts have been raised as to whether the tiny island, with a population of about 54,000, and tourism arrivals of 459,681 last year, could support such a mammoth project. “I seriously doubt that I will see a $7 billion integrated casino in my lifetime. It will take more than 10 years, or even 15 years, or even longer, before we...

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