Gameworks Guam will close doors on Jan. 31. Employees were told at 10 a.m. Dec. 30.

Underwater World and Sam Choy’s Restaurant will continue to operate.

In an exclusive interview with the Journal Joseph F. Camacho vice president of finance for DFS U.S. group; said the closure was part of a strategy to re-tenant the property in line with similar renovations and investments in other facilities in Tumon.

“We’ve decided to take a different strategy with regard to investment. The change is consistent with the desire to improve Guam’s image and to refresh tourist attractions on Guam which we intend to participate in.” Camacho is a member of the board of the Guam Visitors Bureau.

Sources told the Journal that negotiations are underway with two companies one of which Japanese. Camacho declined to discuss specifics but did tell the Journal “We are negotiating to place a new restaurant and a new entertainment tenant in the building. The type of tenants we are negotiating with will be attractive also to local people and the military.”

While declining to comment further on negotiations or the tenants he said “We anticipate reopening by the third or fourth quarter of 2006.”

The Journal understood from its sources that Gameworks has been a positive income generator although sources said investment in the form of new attractions has not been frequent. Camacho said “Through the years we have enjoyed being one of Guam’s favorite tourist entertainment attractions. We have achieved great performance reviews from Gameworks USA.”

The game center has fewer than 50 employees all of whom he said would be helped after Gameworks closes.

“We are going to provide packages to help them land on their feet including a job placement service.”

Gameworks opened in March 1999.

Baldyga Group International LLC owns and operates the SandCastle Entertainment Center in Guam SandCastle Saipan at the Hyatt Regency Saipan and manages Gameworks on behalf of the LVMH Group. BGI has offices in Guam Saipan Las Vegas and Osaka. LVMH has a controlling interest in DFS Shoppers Ltd. worldwide.

The Journal broke the stories that both DFS and Louis Vuitton planned million-dollar reconstructions in Tumon. Both projects are nearing completion.

The SandCastle Entertainment complex opened in 1990 at a cost of $40 million. MBJ