When the most reliable airline pulled out of Saipan, an economic crash followed, leading to the abandonment of Saipan’s largest shopping mall.
The open-air three-story La Fiesta Mall was a popular hangout in the 90s. The mall had three wings: Fiesta I, II, III. This open-air style meant that it was open to its lush outdoor surroundings, no skylights and no air-conditioned hallways. A portion of the mall was bought out and expanded in 2003 by Northern Marianas College, which then withdrew its decision leaving many new retail spaces unused.
Everything changed when Japan Airlines pulled out of Saipan. Japan Airlines used to provide Saipan daily flights from Narita and daily flights from Kansai that had a combined capacity of 182,000 seats annually. Also, new investors found it difficult for operations to continue due to economic sustainability. What was once the largest mall in the Marianas closed its doors in 2004.
Today, the dead mall still stays standing but has fallen into disrepair over the years. It is irrevocably taken by the island’s tropical surroundings. It still has no interested investors, and is currently owned by the local government. Twelve years later, the mall’s only use is a place for exploring. A strange awareness surrounds this massive abandoned complex. The mall didn’t collect most of its belongings, which left this place a hodgepodge of many office, retail, and recreational scrap. Strangely, the mall itself is blurred out on Google street view.
Know Before You Go
Take Tanko Drive and turn right after the mall to find parking.