Plans for resort in CNMI's Tinian scaled up
A Macau company is planning a huge integrated resort, including a casino and a golf course, in the CNMI's Tinian island.
A Macau based company, Alter City Group, which had unveiled intentions to build a resort on Tinian in the Northern Marianas, is now planning a much bigger operation.
The chief executive, Ken Lin, says what they are planning is an integrated resort in which a casino will just be one feature.
It will include a golf course, a major hotel with about 2,500 rooms but also villas and serviced apartments where people may live long term.
There is also likely to be a theme park.
Don Wiseman asked Mr Lin about Tinian's appeal.
KEN LIN: The Northern Mariana Islands we believe is an undiscovered jewel. A very important spot and a very important point in the Pacific. It is like a jewel in the Pacific where it can shine that into greater Asia and then of course it is an American territory, and we believe it is safe. As Alter City Group we have actually been looking to the Pacific to do this major integrated resort. You know the check list is the beautiful sunsets and the oceans - the beautiful natural resources, and the people.
DON WISEMAN: Although the key feature for you is going to be a casino, isn't it?
KL: Casino is one of the functions. Of course a casino will be a good income if we do it right but at the same time, as the resort goes, only doing a casino will never work. So that is why we integrated this land to have the water park, to have the 18 hole golf course, and the different functions you have tied into an integrated resort.
DW: We have been told you are going to be theme parks you have in mind?
KL: Right. Right now we have been looking to different theme parks around the world. And of course, this is a beautiful picture but as we know - how do people get there? And second of all how do you expect all these customers to come here for this time? But how do you get people there? And with what do you attract people and to us, to attract people, other than the beautiful resort, we need to have some sort of a theme park. And theme parks right now, we have been looking around the world. We have been talking to different theme park representatives, such as the Legolands, or the Hello Kitty Lands and 21st Century Fox, and also Discover theme park. The idea of this land and this nature, they like it. To them they like it and the next issue is how do you bring people over here.
DW: You would just be targeting China?
KL: No China to us is where we get a start and of course our opponents are all based in Asia, some in Hong Kong, some in Macau, some in Taiwan. Actually not so much in China but China as well. But with the preferential programme that is happening now between the CNMI and China - that is why all the Chinese can come here, be here, but to us, we want to create an international resort and [with] the Chinese we will look at a projected number as only half of the [total] amount. We really want to attract people from different parts of Asia, from Singapore, Japan, Korea. And for me that is also something that is for our serviced apartments, to do long lease selling, that we also want to attract people from around Asia as well, not just China.
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