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Hyatt says its proposal to DPL is reasonable

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HYATT Regency Saipan “feels” that the proposal in its “letter of interest” to the Department of Public Lands regarding a new land lease agreement is reasonable, the hotel’s general manager Nick Nishikawa said.

In a statement to Variety, he said, “It is good to hear that DPL has reduced the percentage of base rent from 5 percent of fair market value to ‘up to 3 percent’ and is taking into consideration the economic condition of the islands.”

He said Hyatt’s reasonable proposal submitted to DPL also took into account historical data and the island’s economic state.

Nishikawa said Tsutomu Nakauchi, the late president of Saipan Portopia Hotel Corporation, which operates Hyatt Regency Saipan “was known by employees to be a kind, gentle, and generous owner.”

Nishikawa added, “The years of existence of Hyatt Regency Saipan were a symbol of his love for the islands and the people. For those who remember him, he contributed and participated in the development of Saipan through many sponsorships and donations to schools and other community events.”

Nishikawa said Saipan had become a second home for Nakauchi who treated his employees as family.

When he passed away, Nakauchi’s son, Hitoshi Nakauchi, became president of Saipan Portopia.

Hitoshi Nakauchi “is grateful for the opportunity to remain on island and to continue his father’s legacy,” Nishikawa said.

“Despite the many challenges when the economy is not at its best, the owners made sure that employees come first. Through good times and bad, they remained hopeful that the Hyatt will get through it one way or another along with everyone else on island,” Nishikawa said.

On behalf of Saipan Portopia, Nishikawa said: “Our existence in the CNMI has been a great journey, and we are hopeful that we will continue to be a part of the CNMI’s growth and development by negotiating a fair renewal of lease for both the people of the CNMI and our owners.”

Hyatt Regency Saipan, whose land lease will expire in Dec. 2021, and Fiesta Resort & Spa, whose land lease will end in July 2021, are seeking a 15-year extension.

DPL said the comment period for the proposed amendment to the regulation will end on Jan. 29.

Once it is adopted, DPL said the lessees will have to pay up to 3 percent of the property’s fair market value.

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