GARAPAN Saipan — An investor who purchased a sizeable chunk of land along Saipan’s scenic LauLau Bay is revisiting development plans after the Northern Mariana Islands government revealed its initiative to bring in a million tourists annually by 2011.

Joseph “Jerry” Kramer president of Kramer Corp. said the corporation purchased approximately 1.2 million square meters of land from Shimizu Corp. on April 10 2002 with plans to develop the area into a tourist destination.

The purchase was made through a holding company S.C. Properties (Saipan) Inc. and Kramer Corp. Kramer did not divulge the amount that was spent to purchase the land. He told the Journal “The timing may be slightly premature but the door is opening up to new opportunities. We expect the economy to improve and we expect to be part of that.”

According to Deborah Kramer director of Kramer Corp. Shimizu Corp.’s original plan included the LaoLao Bay Golf Course which was taken over by United Micronesia Development Association Inc. on Feb. 15 2005.

Included in the original plan was a major resort and commercial development with several luxury hotels totaling 2 110 rooms; 308 condominiums; 201 apartments; 111 500 sq. ft. of commercial space; a recreation center; a beach club and marina; and a conference center.

Jerry Kramer said “We’re still reviewing and gathering information. But for now we’re considering Shimizu’s development plan.”

Deborah Kramer said the plans “were impacted by Japan’s economy and the resulting decline in tourist arrivals to the NMI. “We feel that many of the plans can be implemented especially with Gov. Benigno R. Fitial’s commitment to increasing tourist arrivals.” She said the business also intends to build a facility for divers because part of the area is a popular dive spot.

Deborah Kramer said there is no  implementation schedule at the moment.

“Considerable preparation work needs to be accomplished. We are working with the CNMI Coastal Resources Management Office to preserve enhance and improve the natural beauty of the environment of this unique location ” she said adding that discussions with developers will be held and licenses and permits will be sought.

The Kramers were among close to 500 business leaders and government officials who attended Marianas Visitors Authority’s semi-annual general membership meeting on May 18 at the Hyatt Regency.

During the event Fitial announced his administration’s plan to have a million tourists visit the NMI by 2011. Business leaders said the target is “aggressive but achievable.” (See related story in Briefcase on Page 6. )

Kramer is also chief executive officer of Pacific International Inc. which has business interests in the Marshall Islands and Guam. Pacific International placed at No. 26 in the 2005 Deloitte & Touche Guam Business survey of the top companies in Micronesia reporting $11.9 million in revenues for 2004 and $12.95 million in 2003.  MBJ