HANALEI — You might notice more people than usual wandering around barefoot at Ching Young Village Shopping Center.
Kick off your shoes or sandals when you get there and you’ll understand why.
“It’s like walking on the beach,” said Geoffrey Culverhouse, manager and partner. “People love to come in, take their shoes off and walk on it.”
Culverhouse and Michael Ching, managing general partner, showed off the new, stone flooring that was recently completed in the outside area of the village. It replaced the three-decades-old red flooring.
They’ve received many compliments on the stylish floor that features a dolphin at the north entrance and the yin-yang symbol — a circle divided by an S-shaped line into dark and light segments — on the south end.
People have noticed.
“They really like this new look,” Ching said.
And sure enough, on a busy North Shore afternoon, many were barefoot.
“Everybody loves it,” Culverhouse said.
The $160,000 project was completed by Tropical Concepts. The flooring features epoxy-coated pebbles in different colors, shapes and sizes. In the 1970s, it was known at Futura Stone.
Culverhouse and Ching decided it was appealing, durable and functional — just what they needed. When it rains on the North Shore, which is often, the water disappears between the stones. It doesn’t puddle up, which is good.
“When it rains, most of the water goes between the rocks and you don’t see it,” Culverhouse said. “You don’t see the water running out.”
The old, red flooring at the iconic shopping center dated back to 1982. It was breaking up in places and had to be painted more often. It was costing $10,000 a year to maintain and clean.
The replacement project started in early May, but took a little longer to complete than expected because of the near daily rains.
“We thought it was going to be a nice, dry summer,” Culverhouse said. “This summer has not been a good time to do it because it rained every day.”
But it was wrapped up a few weeks ago, with the dolphin the final touch. Both the dolphin and the yin-yang symbol have luminous paint and glow at night.
The dolphin, by the way, is at the stop of where the anticipated North Shore Shuttle, delayed from a hoped for mid-July start, will pick up passengers.