SAN ANTONIO Saipan — Pacific Islands Club Saipan is undergoing a $2 million renovation that is expected to be completed in July.

The renovations involve:

• New landscaping at the front of the hotel property including a fountain and new second arrival drive for buses and tour agents;

• A new lobby to include new floor tiles furniture lighting and sails throughout the roof lining;

• A front desk refitted and lengthened with a CNMI culture display;

• A new children’s pool with water cannons and playground obstacles;

• Soft renovation of the Kids Club;

• New floor tiles and furniture at the games room with action-theme paintings;

• A refitting of the rest rooms complete with a ladies’ make-up table and new showers and air-conditioning throughout. New showers are also planned for the men’s rest rooms;

• Complete upgrade of the fire system;

• Soft renovation of the hotel’s 18 oceanfront suites.

Aside from PIC 10 other hotels in the CNMI have embarked on renovations including Hotel Nikko Dai-Ichi Hotel Saipan Beach Hyatt Regency Century Hotel Marianas Resort & Spa Saipan World Resort and Saipan Grand Hotel.

Kieran Daly general manager said PIC’s renovation is part of a plan to “move towards a more deluxe feel within a family and convention incentives environment.”

Therefore he said PIC needs to continue to provide a quality first impression to go with the room upgrades completed in 2004.

Daly said the ongoing renovations at the hotels do not necessarily translate to a tourism rebound in the coming year.

“ It is difficult to comment on why other hotels are renovating but I believe it comes down to supply and demand ” he said. “You don’t hear anyone adding extra wings or room inventory. So at this point it is a cautious opportunity to improve the status of one’s property in the hope of better times ahead.

“You certainly would not want to get caught out and find yourself renovating smack in the middle of boom time as you would lose too much revenue with rooms closed and guests staying away due to noise ” he said.

Daly said growth will be moderate from the individual markets and airlines will act when the load factors increase.

“Overall new markets need to nurtured such as China and Russia. Both markets can fly through Korea and help increase flights out of Korea to the CNMI ” he said.

Pacific Islands Club’s efforts to develop the Russian market appear to be paying off.

“Our Russian market continues to grow and has greatly been spread from word of mouth within the Russian agents and guests ” Daly said. “We developed this market over the past three years (and) it grows at about 50% to 60% per year. We will achieve around 5 000 room nights from Russia this year with average stay of 16 days and average spending of $317 per person ” he said. MBJ