Marriott guests man shelters

Members of a group of doctors here for a conference learned about the Kilauea disaster and other problems associated with last week’s rains, and quickly volunteered to help out, said a spokesperson for the Kaua‘i Marriott Resort & Beach Club.

One of the doctors arrived early Thursday morning, contacted his meeting planner, who contacted resort officials, who contacted American Red Cross leaders, and arranged for a driver from Kauai Island Tours to transport the doctors to shelters, where they worked in two shifts, the hotel spokesperson said.

The 30 doctors were here for an American Academy of Family Physicians conference.

Resort chefs have also been contributing meals for 60 disaster-relief workers the past several days, and Hawaii Army National Guard troops are staying at the resort.

With the exception of 25 first-floor rooms nearest to the parking lot closest to the beach, hotel operations are back to normal, the spokesperson said.

Bill Countryman, resort general manager, said yesterday that he hopes to have those rooms back online in time for the summer rush.

The hotel is full, and the few cancellations have quickly been replaced with new reservations, including those from some guests who had planned earlier last week to stay on the North Shore but couldn’t get there, he said.

The resort swimming pool, children’s pool and four jacuzzis are operational.

Normal operations resumed at Kukui’s Poolside Restaurant & Bar on Sunday evening, the day after the flood.

Meanwhile, the beach-restoration process at Kalapaki Bay is nearly complete, and resort managers got the OK from state Department of Health officials to open the beach yesterday, except for a small slice of it near the eastern end of the beach, where some erosion still exists, Countryman said.

“The beach looks pretty good, actually,” with the debris cleaned and the beach re-graded, he said.

Countryman couldn’t say enough about managers and associates at the resort. The managers have been on two shifts of at least 12 hours each and have given up their days off for the last eight days in a row without complaining in order to provide coverage, he said.

On another note, Countryman said that, in the aftermath of the March 11 flooding that sent a few feet of water into some of the guest rooms, cars floating in the parking lot nearest the beach, and serious erosion along Kalapaki Beach, managers and associates posted photographs of the damage at various places around the resort, to let current and arriving guests know what happened.

Several guests asked for copies of those photos, so it was decided to put together something of a “memoir book” for guests to acquire at the concierge desks at the resort, in exchange for donations to flood victims.

As of Friday, $1,300 had been raised, and over 100 memoir books had been distributed, Countryman said.

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