July 1, 2008
I am not making this up. I read this story twice to make sure I was reading this right. The Saipan Tribune reported that the CNMI Commerce Department wants to take the vacant La Fiesta Mall and turn it into an adult sex complex. The CNMI, known for its trafficking of women and minors for the sex trade, might want to steer away from that industry instead of promoting it. What kind of tourists does the CNMI want to attract? Or is the sex mall for the locals and residents? I am sure families would think twice about visiting an island with a 37,000 square meter "adult business park." From the article:
The La Fiesta property has remained eerily vacant ever since its doors shut in 2004 amid reports of severe financial problems by its previous owners. Yet Commerce in a proposal presented to the CNMI Zoning Board June 30 said the mall-three corridors of retails space totaling more than 37,000 square meters-provides an “ideal set up” for a so-called “adult business park” because it has design elements suited for the task.I hope the human trafficking task force lets the Commerce Department know how utterly outrageous their plan is. Where are the women going to come from to staff these clubs and sleazy businesses? I doubt that under a federal guest worker program, women will be imported to the CNMI to work as strippers, dancers, or the other categories club owners use to recruit women and girls who are often later tricked and forced into prostitution. I suppose centralizing the sleaze would make it easier to identify which local men are frequenting the clubs. The wives could all swing by the mall to see what cars are there - much easier than going club to club to check on where their husbands are, as some do.
The zoning board is now taking proposals from prospective investors on the creation of such a park-a hub for businesses like x-rated clubs, adult bookstores and massage parlors-in an effort to improve the image of Saipan's tourism centers by moving such establishments to more discreet locations.
“From a regulatory enforcement standpoint, La Fiesta makes sense,” said Deputy Commerce Secretary Michael Ada in an interview Monday, noting that keeping adult businesses in one concentrated location would aid in the enforcement of alcohol regulations and other laws. “This is just an idea we wanted to put out there. From our standpoint, it could stimulate some investment in the economy.”
Ada added that some investors on Guam have expressed early interest in the La Fiesta plan.
Commerce's proposal comes after the zoning board last week gave its preliminary approval to a set of proposed regulations establishing a zone along Middle Road where adult businesses will be concentrated.
Zoning administrator Steve Tilley said the board will publish the plan as a formal proposal in July and take comments on it from the public. The board could finalize the proposal as early as August, giving adult businesses one year to relocate to the zone.
Most towns in America with a population under 70,000 don't even have one adult business. Saipan has dozens. There are even websites promoting Saipan as a place to go for sex. Not as a place to watch strippers or chat with barmaids, but as a destination to have sex. Many of these women working in Saipan's "adult businesses" were recruited as waitresses or dancers and then forced into prostitution. Some were trafficked from the Philippines as underage girls. A better plan would be to eliminate the business entirely.