After 35 years in the visitor industry, primarily on Kaua‘i, Jay Furfaro retired Friday from his position as general manager of the Radisson Kauai Beach Resort near Hanama‘ulu.
But, as the politician he has become, he didn’t entirely rule out returning to the hotel business at a later date.
“I’ve stepped out of the industry for awhile,” said Furfaro, a first-term member of the Kaua‘i County Council.
“I’m 35 years now in the hotel business on Kaua‘i. I’m going to be 55 soon, and I want to focus on the council,” he said.
“I’m really trying to focus on community service through the council. I want to be able to use my experience in the visitor industry, my experience as a businessman,” to serve the community, he continued.
He serves on various community boards, including Habitat for Humanity-Kauai, whose representatives are planning to develop affordable housing on a parcel the group owns in ‘Ele‘ele.
Furfaro spent 12 years with Sheraton hotels, 10 years with Amfac’s hospitality division, 10 years with Outrigger Hotels, and three years with the Radisson.
During his tenure with Outrigger, he opened a hotel in Tahiti, renovated one on Maui, and privatized one in the Cook Islands.
“I’ve had a really busy schedule the last six years,” he said.
No permanent successor for Furfaro at the Radisson has been named yet. Furfaro has identified some potential candidates to replace him at the hotel, and agreed to work with his successor to help make for an orderly transition, he said.
“I have 11 years at that property (eight with Outrigger, three with Radisson), so there’s a lot of attachment, and a lot of fondness of the people,” Furfaro said. “So I want to be available to help the transition for the new general manager, and help him switch gears smoothly.”
Business Editor Paul C. Curtis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 245-3681 (ext. 224).