Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 21 Sep 2019 12am







    Friday, September 20, 2019-5:06:14P.M.






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Hyatt wants to continue doing business on Saipan

THE company that has been operating the Hyatt Regency Saipan for 28 years wants to continue doing business on island, according to its president Hitoshi Nakauchi.

Nakauchi, Portopia Hotel executive director Nobuhiko Ikemoto and Hyatt Regency Saipan general manager Nick Nishikawa met last week with CNMI government officials to discuss a possible renewal of the hotel’s land lease agreement that will expire in two years.

Hitoshi Nakauchi, president of Kobe Portopia Hotel which owns Hyatt Regency Saipan, center, poses with Hyatt Regency Saipan general manager Nick Nishikawa, left, and Portopia Hotel executive director for corporate planning Nobuhiko Ikemoto, right after an interview with Variety at the GM’s office on Friday. Photo by Emmanuel T. Erediano

The Hyatt has been on island for 37 years. Nakauchi’s father, Tsutomi, started operating the hotel in 1991.

Nakauchi told reporters on Friday that his company intends to continue the operation of the Hyatt Regency Saipan and is seeking a 15-year extension of its lease as allowed by CNMI law.

He mentioned three important considerations:

First, their guests from Japan are still very satisfied with the Hyatt’s services and are still having good time on Saipan; second, the Hyatt, which has 800 hotels all over the world, is the only hotel on island with a global brand; and third, the Hyatt doesn’t want their over 200 local workers to lose their jobs.

Nakauchi noted that local workers comprise 80 percent of their workforce.

However, the negotiation between the Department of Public Lands and Hyatt is still ongoing, DPL Secretary Marianne Concepcion-Teregeyo said.

Nakauchi said if DPL’s conditions are acceptable to them, the Hyatt will continue serving guests who choose Saipan as their destination.

“Our intention is to continue doing business here and continue our contribution to the community, and making our guests happy,” he added. “We want to continue but if the new conditions [are] too difficult for us, maybe we cannot continue to do business so let’s see how it [the negotiation] goes,” Nakauchi said.

Concepcion-Teregeyo told Variety that DPL and the Hyatt are trying “to find a middle ground…that will be a win-win or beneficial to both persons of Northern Marianas Descent and the hotel operators.”

She added, “It is important that DPL take a look at what we have so that we can also protect NMDs while having a good working relationships and mutual agreements with hotel operators.”