Travel Weekly's Hawaii E-Letter: August 19, 2002

HAWAII HOTEL WORKERS voted to authorize a strike at Waikiki hotels if negotiations for a new contract aren't successful, the Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Local 5 in Hawaii said. Major issues include increased workloads and lack of job security for the union's 6,000 members, Eric Gill, the union's financial secretary, told Travel Weekly. He said the strike authorization covers workers at Hilton Hawaiian Village, Royal Hawaiian, Sheraton Waikiki, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, and the Moana Surfrider. Gill said union negotiators would meet with management for talks on Aug. 22 and 23, so any strike would come after those dates.

HILTON received two permits from the Honolulu City Council to develop a second vacation ownership tower at Hilton Hawaiian Village. The planned $80 million Waikikian would house 340 vacation ownership units in a 35-story tower, according to Bryan Klum, director of marketing, Hilton Grand Vacations Co. A restaurant also is part of the proposed project, which does not yet have a build schedule. Like the resort's 24-story, 264-unit Lagoon Tower, which opened Jan. 2001 after a $36 million renovation, inventory primarily would be one- and two-bedroom suites with full kitchens and full-size appliances.

THE HONOLULU ACADEMY OF ARTS will open a new gallery for Islamic art -- named, appropriately enough, Arts of the Islamic World -- on Oct. 27. Funding will be provided by a grant from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. To celebrate the opening of the gallery, the academy will host a free Islamic Cultural Festival the afternoon of Oct. 27, as well as a Persian classical musical concert featuring Iranian vocalist Parisa the evening of Oct. 5.

MEANWHILE, the academy on Nov. 6 will begin public tours by reservation of Shangri La, the estate residence of the foundation's namesake, American heiress and philanthropist Doris Duke. Duke built her home Shangri La in 1939 following trips to Morocco, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Iran and India. For more information, call (808) 532-8700 or go to

CHRIS RICCARDI was hired as director of western region sales for the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Maui. Riccardi is a former Maui resident who was director of sales for the Ritz-Carlton, Naples, Fla. He is based in Irvine, Calif., and covers the western U.S.

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