HOTEL OCCUPANCY levels for Hawaii peaked in
August, but some industry leaders fear a downhill slide for the
rest of the year in light of the struggling economy and unstable
international conditions. "I think the concern is that some people
are feeling that August may be the high water mark for the year,"
said Murray Towill, president of the Hawaii Hotel Assn. Average
statewide occupancy reached 78% in August, just short of
previous-year levels of 78.1%, according to a survey of 160
properties conducted by Hospitality Advisors in conjunction with
Smith Travel Research. Average statewide daily room rates fell to
$149.73 in August, from $152.03 a year ago.
AS A RESULT of a decline in airport revenue,
state officials may close or privatize five small airports in the
next year, according to a review prompted by an Oct. 1 letter from
Gov. Ben Cayetano to state legislators. Although closure is not a
certainty, the possibility emphasizes the state's inability to
support infrastructures where tourist traffic is comparatively
light. Among the airports included are Dillingham on Oahu, where
three skydiving companies operate; Port Allen on Kauai; Upolu and
Waimea-Kohala on the Big Island; and Kapalua on West Maui, the
gateway to the affluent and increasingly popular hotels and
condominiums along the Kaanapali Coast.
AMERICA WEST VACATIONS is back in the Hawaii
market, this time partnering with Hawaiian Airlines. The operator
will offer 60 hotels and resorts on all islands, in all price
ranges, plus land-only and fly-drive packages featuring Avis car
rentals, according to Jack Richards, president and CEO of America
West Vacations. The firm had discontinued its Hawaii program when
America West Airlines stopped flying to Hawaii in 1992. For
information, call (800) 356-6611 or visit www.awvtravelagents.com.
ORGANIZERS OF THE ASTA congress still are
expecting 2,500 to 3,000 delegates, according to Brigid McDonnell,
the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau's director for North
America travel trade marketing. Ten seminars are geared strictly
for Hawaii, with each island chapter presenting its own. Other
topics include honeymoon/wedding, health and wellness, and regional
THE HOTEL HANA-MAUI completed a $5.5 million
restoration of its Sea Ranch cottages, its main dining room, bar
and lobby as part of a $10 million multiphase renovation project.
In addition, a $2.5 million spa is set to open next fall. The Hotel
Hana-Maui is a member of Small Luxury Resorts and is the only
property in the Hawaiian islands to have earned such a designation.
For additional details, call (808) 248-8211 or visit www.hotelhanamaui.com.
PLEASANT HOLIDAYS will consolidate all its
phone numbers to one as of Oct. 27. The number for all Pleasant
products will be (800) 448-3333. Callers will be channeled to the
appropriate line through a voice-mail system.
DAVID LEVINE, chairman and CEO of ResortQuest
Int'l, parent company of Aston Hotels and Resorts, resigned
recently. Taking his duties as the new CEO will be Jim Olin, who
was president and COO. Meanwhile, Joseph Vittoria was named
DON'T BE BLUE, HAWAII. Elvis (or at least a
reasonable facsimile) soon will make his triumphant return to the
islands. The Legends in Concert show at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping
Center will pick up where it left off in 1999 when its then-owner
filed for bankruptcy protection. The plan is to refurbish the
800-seat Aloha Showroom for daily dinner and cocktail shows. In
addition to Elvis, about a dozen performers will impersonate
celebrities ranging from Jennifer Lopez and Ricky Martin to the
Blues Brothers and Celine Dion. No timeline has been set for
THAT'S WHY WE SAID 'PENCIL'... Last week's
Hawaii E-Letter listed incorrect dates for the Nissan Xterra World
Championship at the Outrigger Wailea Resort. The event will be held
Oct. 23 to 27.