The Tsubaki Tower and its team are to be congratulated for opening their new resort July 1 and doing so in the most difficult of environments.

This paper has interviewed executives of Ken PHR from before construction began and at steps along the way, to include general manager Ken Yanagisawa. What Ken Corp had was a vision about the property – from CEO Shigeru Sato down.

The project was affected by construction labor shortages and then COVID-19. But as it took shape, the excitement in the stories we published was almost palpable.

Following an earlier tour of the hotel in June, the Journal recently visited the Casa Oceana restaurant for the Focus photos in this paper, and to interview Chef Ono. The restaurant is a wonderful facility in terms of the breadth of offerings, presentation and quality. It is a welcome addition to the island’s choices.

I am sure whether the Tsubaki Tower would hold its soft opening was discussed, given the decision that Guam would not open for tourism on July 1.

But somebody had to lead the way in Guam and inspire others to follow, and the Tsubaki Tower took that bold step. It is sometimes irrelevant whether you are the chicken or the egg, but Guam should remember that this hotel did not falter or disappoint as a symbol of recovery.

Alas Sato-San was unable to join from Japan — given Guam’s quarantine laws — but his and his group’s support of Guam is duly noted. 

United Airlines released June 30 the news from Chicago to this paper that for August it will add nearly 25,000 flights more than its July schedule. The airline will fly from the U.S. mainland to Tokyo, Singapore, Seoul and Shanghai.

Other airlines are also firming up schedules for domestic and international flights.

Guam’s administration will soon have to open the visitor economy. And come what may, we must not falter either once the administration lets businesses move forward. mbj