The Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino in the Northern Marianas is set to shut its operations this month due to a lack of guests and cash flow following Typhoon Soudelor.
Hong Kong Entertainment (HKE) Chairman Wai Chan, the new owner of Tinian Dynasty, wrote a letter to Tinian Mayor Joey Patrick San Nicolas stating that it was “with great regret that we must inform you that complete closure of the Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino is imminent.”
Chan’s letter went on say that “insufficient guest arrival and negative cash flow has made it impossible to keep the property operational. All of our remaining operating resources will soon be exhausted. We do not have the necessary capital resources of business revenue to sustain the hotel. We are currently operating at a significant loss and we cannot afford to do so any longer. Our operating funds will be exhausted in a matter of weeks and we now anticipate that the hotel will be closed before end of September.”
Former Sen. David Cing, one of the people who pushed to bring Tinian Dynasty to the island 17 years ago, said he is both sad and disappointed with the Marianas’ government as they failed to preserve Tinian’s only source of income.
“I already told [HKE] to ask the governor to instruct the Marianas Visitors Authority to redirect the tourist flights to Tinian the moment the federal government declared a state of emergency for the entire island,” said Cing. “In that way, tourism would not have been totally affected. But since no flights were directed here, tourism died 100%.”
In a statement, San Nicolas said the government “cannot be the only source of employment for this community. We simply can’t afford it. That is why we as leaders need to seek ways to promote and support private sector employment.”
Tinian Dynasty has more than 600 employees, 135 of whom had already been laid off when the property temporarily closed its casino operation in mid-August. San Nicolas expects over 40 municipal employees will also be affected by the shutdown of casino operations as well as numerous public programs and activities that are funded by casino revenues. The casino added about $3m annually to Tinian’s municipal government coffers.
San Nicolas said that HKE is still waiting for the Tinian Casino Gaming Control Commission to approve a new investor, Tinian Entertainment Co.