“I am excited about the growth opportunities […] in the way of tax revenues, jobs and other business opportunities. The people working to make this integrated casino a success are professionals with vast experience in the industry. I am hopeful that the increase in tax revenue will be used prudently to improve important infrastructure, including the power, water and the hospital, needed to meet the increase of people living and visiting our island.
We are in dire need of a large-scale employment plan. […] There needs to be new federal legislation down the road to make sure we have available workers. Public safety also needs to get funding and training to match this industry. We need Chinese-speaking officers who understand our guests and improved funding from customs for effective inspections at the port to maximize our ability to stop drugs and contraband from entering the islands. Long-term sustainable economic growth will be at risk without addressing and taking action on these items.”
— James T. Arenovski
Owner, Island Training Solutions
“We predict there will be a swift rise in tourist arrivals, which will inevitably have a multiplier effect on other businesses in the CNMI. I am cautious on the negative social effects that will arise from having this type of industry here, but overall, I am optimistic that the rise in economic activity will somehow cushion the blow, so to speak. We hope to see a good mix of tourist arrivals from Japan and other Asian countries that will enjoy not just the gambling aspect of the casino industry, but the added features that will accompany the integrated resort concept being planned.”
— Christopher A. Concepcion
Sales account executive, Delta Air Lines
“[…] Existing or new industry developments will have their own social concerns; however, we should also find comfort in the regulatory and enforcement entities that are tasked with the oversight responsibilities of the business.
The casino development, in my view, will present tremendous employment opportunities for the CNMI and the region. It will also bring in new revenue that will circulate in the local economy with ripple effects for new business opportunities […].”
— Edith DeLeon Guerrero
Secretary, NMI Department of Labor
“The Chinese tourism market was already improving, but with the casino approval, the island started receiving a number of executives and staff related to the casino group, along with ancillary businesspeople coming in to assist with, or capitalize on, the casino development.
From an economic view, the pre-payment of two years’ licensing fees totaling $30 million solidified the nearly defunct retirement fund, sending payments to local retirees and subsequently into the economy.
In regards to real estate — at a minimum, the market has stabilized, and in prime areas we are seeing substantial appreciation of real property values.
At this point, the only downside to the improving economy appears to be more traffic on the roads and getting a table at certain restaurants.”
— Timothy W. Goodwin
President, Pacific Rim International
“I feel hopeful for the most positive outcome whereby the anticipation of increased tourism through casinos is realized and brings rise to our struggling economy. We anticipate facing many intersections of opportunity and responsibility, so it is also my hope that our government, community and business leaders — together with all of our help and alongside any economic rise — work tirelessly to protect our people, our culture and traditions and our natural resources.”
— Eleanor T. Cabrera
President, Transcends LLC, which does business as Naked Fish Bar & Grill
“I believe the incoming casino will have a positive impact on the CNMI’s economy as it brings new money into circulation. Aside from Best Sunshine’s $2 billion investment, the casino project will attract more tourists to the CNMI. Seeing how it is our number one industry, if tourism prospers, then CNMI prospers. Such a big project will create jobs for our local workforce. It will also stimulate spending as more employed people go out and purchase goods and services from local businesses. Overall, I am excited about the project because I think it will improve the standard of living here in the CNMI.”
— Joe E. Ayuyu Jr.
Manager, McDonald’s of Saipan