Editorials for Wednesday — July 23, 2003

• Kauai Lagoons

• Koloa Plantation Days

Kauai Lagoons

The Kauai Lagoons property, which stretches from the south edge of the Lihu‘e Airport main runway down to the north edge of the Kauai Marriott hotel complex, is in the middle of being purchased by Alexander & Baldwin, in a partnership deal with a Vancouver-based golf course and real estate company.

While the two championship golf courses at Kauai Lagoons – Kiele and Mokihana – have gained sterling reputations among golfers, other sections of the property have languished. These include freshwater lagoons, a vacant shopping complex and a hotel site that comes with zoning, which is a very hot property in these days of real estate price explosion on Kaua‘i.

With A&B, and its Canadian partner GolfBC Group out of Vancouver, taking over the entire project is sure to see brighter days.

The move by A&B goes in the same direction as its current emphasis on developing all 1000 acres of its Kukuiula property, and there might be some linkage between the two properties in future years when both are built out.

Kauai Lagoons is a resort property that has little impact on Kaua‘i communities. It is tucked away, and accessible down a grand road that’s definitely not Rice Street.

Adding a hotel in this area wouldn’t impact the island, as such a development might in other more wide open land sections.

GolfBC Group is an interesting company. The founder of its parent company was a Chinese immigrant noted for his philanthropy in Canada and the United States, including funding a major cancer clinic and other notable projects.

The long-term vision of Kauai Lagoons founder, developer Chris Hemmeter, looks like it’s getting closer to reality than it has since the glory days of Hemmeter’s “mega-resort” concept in the 1980s.

Koloa Plantation Days

The heart of the annual Koloa Plantation Days celebration is coming up this weekend, with the widely popular Koloa Days parade on Saturday morning at Koloa town, and the Koloa Days rodeo at CJM Country Stables just past Po‘ipu Beach on the South Shore.

Koloa Plantation Days is an excellent opportunity to relive the days when sugar plantations ringed the coast of Kaua‘i, and the island’s lifestyle was centered around plantation life.

A full schedule of events is also happening today through the weekend; a list of the events with times, and updates is being published each day in The Garden Island.


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