24 Dec 2018
- By Lori Lyn C. Lirio – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
ALMOST two months after it shut down due to the massive damage inflicted by Typhoon Yutu, the Pacific Islands Club reopened on Friday afternoon and welcomed its guests to newly renovated facilities.
PIC general manager Gloria Cavanagh, assistant general manager Dennis Seo, and E-Land Saipan president Matthew Park joined PIC employees in the lobby to welcome about 40 family-guests who arrived on Friday.
“The reopening of PIC is a symbol of the revival of the island,” Park stated, adding that it took six weeks to restore, renovate and repair the hotel.
PIC re-opened on Friday with a 20 percent occupancy rate, but Park is confident that “things will pick up soon” now that they have begun promoting PIC in the Korean, Chinese and Japanese markets.
When they arrived at PIC on Friday, the guests were surprised by the warm welcome provided by PIC’s executives and employees. The guests were also given traditional seashell necklaces and gift packages.
“We wanted to greet our customers with open arms,” Cavanagh said. “We want them to feel very special because they are very special to us.”
After Yutu, Cavanagh said their last customer left on Oct. 31. “We closed down and started our renovation. This is the product of six weeks of hard work and very good planning to get everything done. We want to welcome our guests to a new PIC and better service.”
Though they are now accepting guests, reconstruction is still ongoing, Cavanagh said, adding that PIC has 230 rooms open and available but 77 are still closed.
Cavanagh said they have done major renovations in the lobby, the Magellan restaurant, Buoy Bar, Seaside Grill, Beach Side BBQ and 77 rooms.
The Magellan reopened on Saturday, serving in-house guests. On Dec. 23, the restaurant opened to the public.
Cavangh lauded their employees for helping in the reconstruction — removing debris and working where they were needed.
When they temporarily shut down, PIC also reduced its employees’ working hours to 30 per week.
“Their hour is still cut but throughout this ordeal, we have never cut their benefits at all,” Cavanagh said, adding that PIC still pays for the employees’ medical and life insurance. “They still have holiday pay. They still have their 401k. We have retained their benefits. They understand that when we closed down, we didn’t have customers and there was no revenue.”
Cavanagh is optimistic that everything will be back to normal soon.
She said their partners could not believe that PIC managed to re-open “quickly.”
“Once they know that we are open again, and see that the water park is fully functioning, then they will start sending more customers here,” she added.
Cavanagh said the cost of reconstruction may reach $5 million to $7 million.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/109649-pic-reopens