SUSUPE Saipan — World Resort is expecting 10 000 visitors from Korea this year. The hotel’s holding company World Construction Co. will be building 10 000 apartment and condominium units in Korea and will be providing as part of a special package offer free roundtrip plane tickets to Saipan and four-nights’ stay at the hotel for each unit’s buyer.

According to B.K. Park general manager of World Resort Saipan “Out of Korea we are expecting 10 000 people this year. Our holding company is trying to build 10 000 units in 2006. Whoever purchase a unit will be given free plane ticket and room accommodations four nights at our hotel.” He said “We have 10 000 already secured for 2006.”

Park said he is “confident” about the plan. He said the 10 000 visitors is on top of the 60 000 average number of travellers from Korea who go to the Northern Mariana Islands in a year. Park said marketing efforts will start immediately after the grand opening of World Resort Saipan’s multi-million dollar facelift scheduled for March 18. “(It) will start right after the grand opening ” he said.

To be officially unveiled at the event are the 220-meter-long “master blaster” water slide a banquet hall fit for 500 people specialty restaurants a sports bar and karaoke rooms. (See “Saipan hotels wish CDA believed in tax holidays” in the March 21 2005 edition of the Journal.)

The $30-million improvement project was started in May 2004. Park said everything should be completely finished by the end of March. “We have very very little things left (to do) ” he said.

Park expressed the hope World Resort Saipan’s renovations would attract more tourists. He said World Resort Saipan embarked on the project because “we see a potential tourism market in the future.”

Park said “Right now tourism is down. But if we build tourists will come. If we don’t then more and more tourists won’t be coming here anymore.”

World Resort Saipan had applied for and was granted tax breaks for the project through the government’s Qualifying Certificate program.

The water park will also have five slides a lazy pool kids pool a scuba pool a play pool and a poolside bar by the beach.

The hotel’s lobby area has also been re-constructed to allow for a 500-seat banquet hall a buffet restaurant a coffee shop an international specialty restaurant that will serve local Asian American and European cuisine a sports bar karaoke rooms a gift shop and a big stage with nightly entertainment.

Park has been a member of the Marianas Visitors Authority’s board of directors since December 2003 and heads the sales and marketing committee for Korea China and other markets. He was vice chairman of the Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands.

World Construction Co. was founded in 1983 and was a recipient of various awards including the Korea Architecture Culture Grand Award in 2000; the Silver Tower Industrial Medal in 2002;and the Brand Marketing Grand Award in 2003 and 2004.

The company also received awards from Korean media organizations in 2001 and 2002 for constructing the “most pleasant” apartment house to live in.

World Construction has a list of 57 different housing and other construction projects since 1984 including apartments tenements villas museums art centers welfare centers schools commercial complexes and airport terminals. MBJ