BY OYAOL NGIRAIRIKL
The new Crowne Plaza Resorts in Tumon, Guam and Micro Beach, Saipan are nearly ready for ribbon cuttings.
The Crowne Plaza Resort Saipan is accepting bookings beginning with Oct. 25. The opening date for the Guam resort is uncertain.
As of Sept. 28, the permits for the Crowne Plaza Resort Guam are being worked on, according to Department of Public Works Deputy Director Linda J. Ibanez. Occupancy clearances are in progress for renovated guest rooms, the lobby and swimming pools. There is a partial occupancy permit issued for the hotel’s kitchen for
testing. And the testing and certification of the fire suppression system is in progress, DPW told the Journal.
The Saipan and Guam Crowne Plazas were initially expected to open at the end of 2021 and early 2022, respectively, according to Journal files. There have been delays, however, like with many other businesses. In a world with COVID-19, shortages of materials and equipment and delayed shipping have impacted nearly every facet of business.
Another area impacted is construction costs. The Guam hotel was in the $40 million range, as of the last Journal update on the projects. And construction in Saipan has exceeded $30 million when it was originally estimated at around $25 million.
In the Guam location, residents and visitors who remember the hotel as the Fiesta Resort Guam or even as the Dai-Ichi — which opened in 1971, are in for a surprise.
The Crowne Plaza Resort Guam has both a child-friendly swimming pool and an adult-only infinity pool in the plans. The hotel interior was gutted floor to ceiling with new looks to include the 322 guest rooms, a brand-new bar experience with an outdoor lanai, a recreational center and a renovated restaurant.
The Crowne Plaza Resort Saipan boasts 416 guest rooms, and facilities include a new children’s club, a revamp of the current meeting space and ballroom, two new additional meeting spaces, a renovated restaurant and a brand-new bar experience.
Thomas Mayrhofer, regional general manager, will manage the Guam Crowne Plaza, and Robert Coates is the general manager for the Saipan Crowne Plaza. The two hotels — part of the International Hotel Group family of brands — will bring hundreds of jobs back on-line. The Guam hotel had about 180 staff and the Saipan hotel is expected to hire more than that. mbj