15 Dec 2014

CNMI casino developer eyes public land for development

1:14 pm on 15 December 2014

A Hong Kong-based company developing a $US7.1 billion resort and casino in the Northern Marianas is eyeing three public land sites in Saipan.

Best Sunshine is planning to construct 4,200 hotel rooms, 300 villas, a 600-seat theatre, a 10,000 square-metre casino, retail space and a theme park within five years.

It has been in discussions with the Department of Public Lands to lease public land in Garapan, Marpi and Naftan Point.

Our correspondent, Mark Rabago, says Saipan's 3,000 hotel rooms currently available are often fully booked, so the development will be good for tourism.

He says the development is specifically targeted at the Chinese market.

"It will be an integrated resort, and it will have a theme park, they will have shopping, they will have other entertainment sites, and I think they are planning a sports facility that can host basketball. So this is going to be really interesting, what they're going to have, a mini Las Vegas or a mini Macau here in Saipan once it's done."

Asian tourists on a CNMI beach

Asian tourists on a CNMI beach Photo: RNZ / Mark Rabago