Coco Palms auction July 26

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island file

    An entrance to one of the buildings that was the former Coco Palms Resort sits behind overgrowth in Wailua.

WAILUA — The historic Coco Palms Resort will be up for auction at a foreclosure sale later this month in “as-is” condition.

The abandoned hotel fronting Wailua Beach will be up for public auction on Monday, July 26, at noon on the footsteps of the Fifth Circuit courthouse.

The property will be sold to the highest bidder, without any warranty, with 10% of the highest bid payable in cash, money order or by certified or cashier’s check at the conclusion of bidding.

The purchaser will be responsible for all costs and expenses for the closing, according to the legal notice.

The foreclosure sale was prompted by a June 2019 foreclosure proceeding that eventually led to two proposals for auction of the property where the Elvis Presley movie “Blue Hawai‘i” was filmed.

Rumors earlier this week from the New York Post and SFGate that the hotel was facing demolition were unconfirmed and published without sources. Any developer would need to apply for a demolition permit, which the county had not been able to verify as of Thursday afternoon.

Famed for its celebrity clientele since its opening in 1953, Coco Palms never recovered after its destruction by Hurricane ‘Iniki in 1992. Several attempts to restore the iconic property since then failed.

The most recent plans were to take the remaining structure of the property and build a 350-room resort and rebuild cottages on the property, reminiscent of the preferred suites of famed celebrities who formerly walked its grounds.

The county’s Planning Department initially issued permits to the Honolulu-based Coco Palms Hui, LLC, for the property in 2015. In March 2019, Stillwater Equity Partners took over the property after Coco Palms Hui defaulted on more than $11 million in financing on a $22-million mortgage.

Viewing of the property is by appointment only, by the request of prospective bidders.

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Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or sbodon@thegardenisland.com.

26 Comments
  1. Auk Shun July 2, 2021 12:21 am Reply

    What if they gave an auction…and nobody came…?


    1. People of kauai July 2, 2021 10:41 am Reply

      This land should be bought and turned into a park. A open beautiful place where people can come and walk and bring their dogs and enjoy the east side. We do not want more hotels or apartments to contest this area more. We want a beautiful open botanical place to enjoy that isn’t full of buildings or some politicians name all over it full of laws and rules to use. We want a bathroom and dog park and open area to just relax and enjoy are already over populated east side! Thank you


      1. Hieronymus July 2, 2021 4:35 pm Reply

        Good Idea. Buy it and open a park.


      2. Resident of Kauai July 3, 2021 5:13 am Reply

        Agreed. As long as it remains beautiful and doesn’t turn into a tent city wasteland like Salt Pond.


      3. Karen Baker July 3, 2021 9:19 am Reply

        I have long said it should be purchased and gifted back to the people of Kauai as a park and cultural center. Walking, biking paths. Dog park maybe. Playground definitely. But also with a trust to ensure up keep and ongoing viability.

        Perhaps one if those famous folks that walked the grounds. Mark Z? Santana? Others who consider Kauai a paradise and have more $ than any one person could use in a lifetime?


  2. I saw a Vampire once July 2, 2021 1:31 am Reply

    I remember this hotel. There were stories long ago in the 1970s that this hotel was haunted. Yep. Maids seeing ghost white ghost going through walls. I’m from the Hanalei side. My hoale grandma said she saw a ghost there too with other hotel employees. About 9:00 pm night time. Outside and in view of the walls. Spooky …


    1. I worked there once July 2, 2021 10:17 pm Reply

      The white lady walked the grounds of Coco Palms. After Iniki, a security guard saw an empty bellhops cart reverse out of the Ali’i Kai wing’s basement and park itself at the loading dock. Flushing toilets in empty rooms; lights on in vacant buildings when East Kauai power was out. Very strange happenings, especially after Iniki.


  3. MisterM July 2, 2021 6:47 am Reply

    The property isn’t worth $1 in its current condition. The cost of demolition, cost of site improvements, cost of dealing with endless bureaucracy should drive every sane buyer scurrying for the hills. The County is the only appropriate buyer who has deep enough pockets. Can then widen the freeway and reduce the ridiculous traffic bottleneck. Are you listening County???


    1. Jillmacafee July 3, 2021 12:33 pm Reply

      Agreed 100%!


  4. Square July 2, 2021 7:07 am Reply

    I think the hotel already has an owner. The ocean that’s eventually going to retake the grounds it’s on.


  5. Justsayin July 2, 2021 8:00 am Reply

    Good opportunity for Zuckerberg or any number of overtly wealthy island residents to chip in and purchase it and the donate it to state/ county. State/county could do it themselves and should have the first time at a price of 12 million. good time to realign the road before they get too far along with it.


    1. Hieronymus July 2, 2021 4:37 pm Reply

      What other people should do with their money…


  6. Uncleaina July 2, 2021 8:02 am Reply

    Yea if you were ever skeptical that the media has no problem making stuff up – Google coco palms and see the false stories about how it’s *already* being demolished. Reporters just write stories without checking facts. In one version, they contacted mayor k and he said he hadn’t heard anything about it but they still published it anyway.


  7. David Judd July 2, 2021 10:59 am Reply

    Yes, let the ocean have it! That’s it folks!


  8. Dennis July 2, 2021 11:54 am Reply

    They have already tried several times. The problems experienced with that site being developed should be a lesson. It should be put back to how it was before anything was built there. The land itself was/is sacred and a heiau sits right next to it. Are more hotels needed, or can everyone take a step back and look at what is really important in life.


  9. Hirondelle July 2, 2021 11:56 am Reply

    Condemn this eyesore and rat trap and tear it down. Don’t auction it to yet another hui, or bull artist and be in the same spot ten years from now. If this had been cut up in suitcase sized pieces and every visitor required to take one back home to their own garbage, it would be long gone with something like a park or turn around lane in its place. (That last suggestion is no more unreasonable than what has happened since Iniki.)


  10. Will G July 2, 2021 12:33 pm Reply

    C’mon County. Step up. Buy it, make it a park. Anything but commercial.


  11. […] The Garden Island newspaper reported the abandoned Coco Palms Resort will be auctioned July 26 on the steps of the Fifth Circuit Courthouse in Lihue. […]


  12. manawai July 2, 2021 4:19 pm Reply

    Ya, people have such good ideas when it comes to spending other people’s money.


  13. I saw a Vampire once July 2, 2021 10:42 pm Reply

    How much do you think the owners can get for it? Not much worth to the land now? Looks like a worthless piece of land to me and maybe also the bank.


  14. jkh July 3, 2021 3:07 am Reply

    Coco Palms saga is a prime example of life on Kauai.


  15. Craig Callaway July 3, 2021 12:28 pm Reply

    “Larry Rivera Park” sounds good to me.


  16. Local boy July 3, 2021 10:30 pm Reply

    I think that they should turn it into a shopping center with some new stores, a new foodland or some other grocery store, some new restaurants, and maybe a theater, that way the locals and tourists can both enjoy it while bringing in money and giving the locals something that’s needed and that way they can relieve the problems in that area like the traffic. In this day and age a hotel being rebuilt there just doesn’t make sense maybe 20 years ago it would’ve been good but just look at the traffic alone, there’s traffic because that hotel is still standing, I get that it’s an iconic hotel and is haunted but come on almost 30 YEARS AND ITS STILL STANDING NOT DOING NOTHING BUT BEING A HUGE EYESORE THAT CAN’T BE HIDDEN OR AVOIDED, OR IS IT KAPU TO EVEN TEAR IT DOWN? IM 30 AND ITS BEEN LIKE THAT ALL MY LIFE. I’m sure all the owners that has had this property knows it’s either VERY EXPENSIVE OR DIFFICULT WITH ALOT OF RESTRICTIONS, THERE’S MORE CONS THAT PROS. It really amazes me that after this long it still looks like shit they need to make it so both locals and tourists can enjoy it without anyone of them getting mad. If I had the money this Is what I’d do to the property, I just might show up to the auction just to see wat it actually sells for!


  17. Travis July 6, 2021 9:03 am Reply

    If you really want to see what the property looks like, it was droned just a couple of weeks ago in 4K. You can view the video on YouTube at https://youtu.be/NifCgqwdT-4.


    1. Travis July 6, 2021 9:05 am Reply

      The video can be seen on YouTube on Droning Paradise – titled Coco Palms Resort at the following link: https://youtu.be/NifCgqwdT-4


  18. Mark July 19, 2021 6:20 am Reply

    Putting anything on that site will further screw up traffic through Kapaa and increase the already high rate of accidents at Kuamoo and the highway. Demolish the building then restore the land to what it was 200 years ago.


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