Travel Weekly's Hawaii E-letter: May 17, 2004

MSD CAPITAL, the investment firm that manages financial assets for computer titan Michael Dell, purchased the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea from SCP, which was formed by Shimizu Construction. The purchase marks Dell's first foray into the commercial or hospitality real estate market. Four Seasons Maui general manager Thomas Steinhauer, said in a statement: "Our staff and guests will be unaffected by the change in ownership. Our contract calls for the uninterrupted management of this resort for approximately the next 50 years." Dell said he intends to invest more money in the property to maintain the highest standards. The transaction, which hasn't closed, would mark the withdrawal of Shimizu from any of Hawaiian Island holdings.

THE MANELE BAY HOTEL and the Lodge at Koele are offering a "Seasons of Lanai" all-inclusive group package that includes airport or harbor transfers, a welcome cocktail reception, daily breakfast, two themed dinner events and one island activity per day for three days for each guest. Priced at $2,300 per person, the program is geared toward new group or business travelers. Lanai, the smallest inhabited Hawaiian island, sits off the western coast of Maui and is 13 miles wide and 18 miles long.

OUTRIGGER ENTERPRISES and Hawaii-based developer Richard Gushman will engage in a joint venture to build and lease the entertainment and retail portion of its $460 million Waikiki Beach Walk Project. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2005, and to be completed by mid-2007. The effort will create shops, restaurants, entertainment venues, and vacation ownership and hotel accommodations along 7.7 acres of beachfront property. The transition will convert the 480-room Ohana Reef Towers into a 193-unit timeshare property owned by Outrigger partner Fairfield Resorts. The second phase calls for extensive renovations of the Ohana Waikiki Village and Oahna Waikiki Tower hotels, as well as the replacement of three existing hotels with a 350-foot tower that will feature of hotel rooms, vacation residential units and timeshares.

THE SECOND ANNUAL MAUI SUGAR PLANTATION FESTIVAL is slated for Saturday, Aug. 14 on the grounds of the Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum in Puunene, Maui. The community event celebrates Maui's sugar plantation history and ethnic heritage through music and entertainment. Highlights include demonstrations of plantation-era activities, historic exhibits, ethnic food, and a plantation store. Admission to the festival is free, and reduced admission to the museum is being offered that day. For more information, visit www.sugarmuseum.com.

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