‘Royal’ welcome awaits

WAIPOULI — The Eastside is rocking and rolling with renewed vigor and life, and many are giving credit to the Royal Coconut Coast Association.

Businesses from Wailua through the Kapaa corridor to Kealia Beach are enjoying the results of the association’s steady, creative and determined marketing efforts this past year, said Neill Sams, RCCA board member.

“I feel great about what’s happened,” said Sams, owner of Orchid Alley in Kapaa and one of about 80 people who attended the association’s membership reception at the Marriott Courtyard Wednesday night.

He praised the concentrated marketing efforts on the Eastside for helping increase the number of visitors to the area, giving it nationwide recognition and a solid foundation heading into the busy summer months.

“The last few years, the marketing efforts for this side have been tremendous,” Sams said. “The dividends are paying off in hotel reservations and an upsurge in business.”

In a 10-minute presentation, Margy Parker, RCCA spokeswoman, highlighted the group’s success. The nonprofit association has about 45 members and gets its identity from the royal palm trees in the area. 

Its Facebook site had more than 130,000 visits in 2014. The website saw 65,000 page views, a 43 percent increase over 2013, and there were 31,435 unique users, a 61 percent hike. The association distributed 30,000 brochures April through December. A photo contest received 250 entries, with nearly 10,000 votes.

The Royal Coconut Coast Association is getting attention, and that means Eastside businesses and Kauai as a whole will benefit.

“People are noticing,” Parker said. “The Eastside is the happening place.”

Parker said advertising efforts online, in print and in social media are reaching a receptive audience. The Eastside is gaining recognition through a marketing campaign that stretches across the ocean to the Mainland, she said.

The goal is to attract more guests to the Royal Coconut Coast, where an array of restaurants, shops, luaus, and world-class beaches and one-of-a-kind oceanside path await. And it is working, Parker said.

In 2013, Kapaa was named one of America’s prettiest towns by Forbes, and last year, it was among the top 10 of worldwide beach destinations by Budget Travel magazine.

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