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Casino ‘soft’ opening draws crowd

A BIG crowd gathered at Imperial Pacific International’s new casino facility, and those interviewed by Variety said the facility, especially the main lobby and grand stairway, was “impressive, amazing and beautiful.”

IPI completed the transfer of its live training facility from T Galleria to its nearby hotel-resort which opened its doors to the public at 5 p.m. on Thursday.

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As of 9 p.m., people were still arriving to play at the casino tables or to just look around.

Among the CNMI officials who visited the casino facility were Vice Speaker Janet Maratita and Rep. John Paul Sablan.

“I think it’s only fair that we give the casino a chance,” Maratita said. “It’s here already. Let’s see how it will progress. It is already providing benefits to the public, especially the retirees. I can only hope that it will continue to generate revenues for the general public.”

She added, “I am impressed with the number of the people that came. It’s a beautiful facility.”

Rep. John Paul Sablan said he is looking forward to the completion of the entire hotel-resort.

“We know it doesn’t stop here. They need to finish the construction of the entire hotel, and as long as I am in the Legislature, I will make sure that they meet the deadline.”

Construction, however, has been delayed primarily by workforce issues.

“IPI should try to hire U.S. construction workers, but we know it’s a big challenge. We are appealing to the U.S. Congress as there is still a need for foreign workers for certain jobs so we can continue to improve the economy and provide benefits and services to our local people.”

Imperial Pacific said its new casino floor has an area of 140,000 square feet and features over 70 gaming tables as well as over 190 electronic gaming machines,

Imperial Pacific majority shareholder Margaret Cui Lijie and chief executive officer Kwong Yiu Ling led other company officials and employees in welcoming everyone to the luxurious grand lobby which leads to the gaming and entertainment area.

The casino portion is phase 1 of Imperial Pacific Resort Hotel Saipan, a multi-million-dollar investment of the Hong Kong company.

Once it is completed, IPI said its 14-story hotel will have 340 hotel suites including 15 deluxe villas.

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/96688-casino-soft-opening-draws-crowd

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