by Mindy Aguon
Guam - 24 years ago, Mark Baldyga came to Guam for a three-month job as a pianist at a local hotel. Over the years he's made the island his home and built the Baldyga International Group. The business owner appeared before lawmakers today for a confirmation hearing after being nominated to sit on the Guam Visitors Bureau board.
Baldyga gave emotional testimony about how GVB helped him start his business two decades ago and how he looks forward to helping Guam's tourism industry flourish. "We also really need some tourist attractions. The average length of stay has declined from 3.6 to 3.1 nights and that might not seem like much, but it's a tens of millions of dollars impact to the economy and the reason they're only here 3.1 nights is because there's not enough to do" he said. "So I hope the Chamorro cultural center will have a significant economic impact."
Baldyga is constructing a Guahan eco-cultural park in Tumon, complete with an ancient Chamorro village, nature trails and more.