Outrigger brings Ohana budget brand to Maui

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LAHAINA -- In its first move outside Waikiki, Outrigger Enterprises brought its Ohana budget brand to the Maui Islander here May 1.

Formerly the Aston Maui Islander, the condominium resort's inventory is about two-thirds condominium units and one-third hotel units, according to Outrigger senior vice president of marketing Rob Solomon.

Outrigger named Robert Minicola general manager of the resort.

Minicola has worked for Outrigger for the last 12 years, most recently as interim general manager of the Outrigger Marshal Islands Resort in Majuro.

The Ohana brand, which was spun off from the Outrigger Hotels brand in late 1999, already had 15 budget hotels in Waikiki before it moved into Maui.

The Maui Islander's owner, SVP Investments of San Diego, was looking for a new management direction and style, and Outrigger was looking for budget condominium and hotel inventory on Maui, said Solomon.

"The Maui Islander fits into our affordable portfolio," said Solomon. "We've been limited in our condo inventory, and before we took over the Royal Kahana Resort [also a condo resort on Maui] on May 1, we had been saying 'no' too often to our customers."

Solomon said affordable lodging prices on Maui are getting harder and harder to find these days, so the Ohana brand will fill a niche in the market.

Rates at the Ohana Maui Islander will start at $99 a night, and Ohana will honor rates set by Aston -- from $99 for a hotel room to $330 a night for a three-bedroom unit with kitchen -- through the end of the year, said Solomon.

The 360-room hotel is near Front Street in Lahaina. Although it does not have a restaurant, it is within walking distance of several dining and shopping options in Lahaina.

The Maui Islander has hotel rooms with refrigerators, studio units with kitchens and one- to three-unit condos with kitchens.

In the Aston brochure, the property is rated at two palm trees, on a scale of one to five palm trees, with five palm trees being the best.

For reservations, call Ohana at (800) 462-6262 or check the Web at www.ohanahotels.com.

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