Residents protest glamping idea at public meeting

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    From left, Eric Wright, Bruce Padgett and Lorri Mull take to the streets with signs expressing their sentiments against a glamping proposal Thursday after the Makai Grill filled to capacity for the Starwood presentation in Princeville.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Starwood presenters explain the company’s glamping proposal at a public meeting at the Makai Grill in Princeville Thursday.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    An attendee at the Makai Grill for the Starwood glamping presentation expresses her sentiments on her face mask Thursday in Princeville.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    The overflow crowd at the Makai Grill expresses its sentiments Thursday during the Starwood presentation on glamping in Princeville.

PRINCEVILLE — Residents continue to question and protest proposed glamping development in Princeville.

Thursday, developer investment firm Starwood Capital Group, the Princeville at Hanalei Community Association and East West Partners hosted a two-hour meeting to discuss updates to the proposed project and answer resident questions on the 50 luxury glamping tents, arrival pavilion, cafe and fitness-center expansion.

The 50-tent glamping destination is outlined to be at the 50-year-old Princeville Makai Golf Club on a portion of the Woods Course, holes one through three. This is located west of Lei O Papa Road and south of Ka Haku Road. Glamping is a higher-end, amenity-driven camping experience.

“The golf course has struggled for many years to be financially solvent, and previous owners have considered discontinuing its operations and/or selling the land,” Starwood’s representatives said.

Troon Golf would continue to manage the 18-hole Makai course in this proposal.

“SCG is interested in using a portion of the course for glamping, which allows the property to generate revenue and continue golf operations in the other areas of the property,” the presentation states.

Many residents with the community group “Save-Our-Space Hui” protested the development on the grounds that open-space laws exist for the master-planned area, where there is dedicated open space for the next five years. Residents also voiced concern for changing the landscape of the residential area.

Mary Paterson protested Thursday, and asked fellow residents of the North Shore to sign a petition opposing the development.

“Glamping on a golf course is wrong,” Paterson said.

In a February survey, 94% of Princeville residents and property owners believed that preserving open space in Princeville was critical, and nearly 82% of 782 people who responded to the PHCA survey said preserving open space — including golf courses and parks — in the community is “very important,” with a significantly-smaller portion saying it is “fairly important” or “important.”

About 42% of respondents said they would support litigation to prevent development on Princeville’s open spaces, while just 19.6% said they would not. Another 19.3% were unsure.

Starwood is willing to dedicate the remaining golf-course lands, in perpetuity, for golf use for PHCA support on this development. The association represents over 3,000 Princeville owners and residents. Makai Princeville is not a member of PHCA, but is still seeking the support of the PHCA and community. Thursday’s event was open only to Princeville residents, of which only 50 could attend in person at the clubhouse. Close to 200 more joined the meeting over Zoom.

Earlier this year, County Councilmember Luke Evslin and Vice Chair Mason Chock introduced legislation regarding developed campgrounds on land zoned open, agriculture and within residential neighborhoods. Bill No. 2822 is currently going through revisions before being brought back up before the council.

Saturday, residents celebrated their open space with a 50-year anniversary of the Makai Golf Course, with music and memories from course designer Robert Trent Jones Jr., who has a home in Princeville.

“We’re going to have a party and celebrate what’s actually here,” Jones said.


Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or

  1. Me June 13, 2021 5:09 am Reply

    Maybe all those against it can buy the land and then they can do whatever they want with it. Until then……deal with it. A few camp spots isnt going to be any worse than a bunch of overpriced houses on a tropical island where the local community cant afford to own a home.
    High maka maka quit your whining!

  2. nobody June 13, 2021 7:11 am Reply

    Well you read it, only Princeville residents were allowed. Ever try to access one of the beaches along Princeville’s coastline? These same Princeville people attack you with their “barnacle”, a device attached to your windshield that can only be removed by your credit card. Talk about no Aloha! Residents of Princeville should wake up and welcome all residents of Kauai to “their” open space.

    Let them build the glamping as long as they give 100 or more parking stalls dedicated to accessing the beaches below Princeville.

    1. Loser won’t can’t read June 15, 2021 4:42 am Reply

      Only losers who can’t read and understand basic parking rules get the barnacle. Hope you come back soon cause we got barnacle waiting for you

  3. Square June 13, 2021 10:13 am Reply

    I think it’s perfect! Now you know how people before, felt about the idea of y’all living in there space. What goes around comes around. Hurray for the billionaire boys.

    1. Jackie D July 8, 2021 10:24 am Reply

      As seen on a blackboard at Sundance ski resort
      “The definition of an environmentalist is the guy who already has his cabin”

  4. RGLadder37 June 13, 2021 12:35 pm Reply

    Taxes? Any time new development comes in, the money has to come from others. That is the problem. How many residents are there on Princeville ? I personally would agree with Linda Estes, Koloa. Districting. Pay your own way. Just like Californian. If you go to Beverly Hills, it is that way. Or you go to Santa Monica hills, it is that way too. Only the rich are on it. They should consider Linda Estes of Koloa if they want more into the idea. Just a resident too. But from Pakistani outlook.

  5. MisterM June 13, 2021 10:42 pm Reply

    Too funny. Starwood just having fun yanking their chains. They have zero point zero intent on following thru with this silly glamping idea. They’re just using it as a shiny object until the land is available to redevelop as they wish in a few years. So go ahead Princeville dummies, go and sue. The folks behind Starwood will make a fortune redeveloping the golf course.

  6. GDT June 14, 2021 9:24 am Reply

    As a long-term resident of Kauai, I applaud the idea. Glamping on Kauai is not only a great business move, but would also allow access to more locals to a beautiful part of THEIR island if they aren’t priced out of the experience.

  7. T.britboy June 14, 2021 9:21 pm Reply

    The issue here is the development of community based open space for commercial and residential purposes. The county has a development plan. The plan has clearly defined zones of use. Starwood knew this was Open land when they bought. They can petition to rezone the land, but the county can say no, and should if the property is intended to be moved to commercial or residential use, away from open land. The infrastructure impact alone could be horrendous if not properly managed. If the county agrees to rezone they should demand amenities for the island and for the residents. Let’s not forget what happens in Princeville can happen in Poipu or Ha’ena or Waimea. Let’s think island wide. Keep Kauai beautiful and open. Keep development (and developers) accountable to the county and the folks who live here.

  8. Snarky Haole June 15, 2021 1:24 pm Reply

    Rich haole people buy homes in VDA (Vacation Destination Area) then want the area to reflect their wishes. Private golf course had 50 year lease. This is not about “open spaces” as 50 luxury tents in all that acreage is plenty open. These are the same people who yell “private property” at passers by who walk along the course. The only “open space” they care about is in their front yards. Lucky they don’t scrap this clamping idea and build new homes so these entitled elitists can really have something to look at. Affordable housing is what we need and the gold course is a perfect spot to do something positive for the community. Princeville phase one which is the majority share is for vacationers as every home is a legally permitted short term rental. Judging by the blue hairs that showed up to this meeting they really have nothing to gripe about since most will probably be long gone by the time this comes to fruition. Life’s too short to spend your time crying in paradise.

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