Imperial Palace Saipan is looking to finish up some construction and get part of the resort open. Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd told the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on April 23 that a portion of the casino will “partially” open by September 30, 2019.
Labelling the portion of the project “phase one,” the operator didn’t specify if the slice of the resort that would open would feature any hotel accommodations. A prior report filed in September 2018 indicated that the initial portion of the casino to open would have “a minimum number of hotel rooms, gaming area, food and beverages outlets, retail and meeting space, villa hotel etc.”
The development of the resort has been troubled for some time. In November, Imperial Pacific launched a bond placement to raise $38.3 million more funds, with the goal of completing construction on the resort. Since then, it’s gone through a revolving door of new executives and had to settle lawsuits with contractors over minimum wage and overtime violations, cutting $3.36 million out of those funds that could have gone to finishing construction.
It doesn’t look like their legal troubles are over just yet either. As reported by Marianas Variety, the company is now being sued by Joshua Gray, their former director of operations. He’s claiming he was wrongfully terminated by the company after he raised concerns about their approach to “immigration policy.”
In his lawsuit, Gray alleges that since he applied for a promotion as vice president of hotel operations in 2016, he could lay out a clear history of Imperial Pacific hiring foreigners over qualified Americans (otherwise meaning him) for positions. He claims twice, Singapore citizens were given jobs instead of him, and that he was fired in January 2019 after the company got sick of his complaints.
If Gray can prove his lawsuit is valid, Imperial Pacific will have even more legal costs cutting into their construction effort, possibly delaying construction even longer. Considering they finally feel good about opening part of Imperial Palace Saipan this year, they’ll be hoping to squash this case quickly.