Opening Day At Hanauma Bay - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

August 18, 2002

Opening Day At Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay's new multi-million dollar visitor center has been opened for business.  More than 8,000 visitors have come to the nature sanctuary since the new center opened to the public on Friday.  

As visitors arrived at the center, they had to stand in line to view a 7 minute educational video on Hanauma Bay.  Many visitors felt the mandatory video was much needed to help both tourists and locals understand the importance of the bay and reef to Hawaii.  Other guests doubted whether the message actually gets across to everyone, because the video was only shown in English.   

Some locals, who continously come to the bay, said they were uncomfortable with having to stand in line and view the film every time they visit.  Park Director Alan Hong said visitors only need to see the video once.  "If you are gonna be a repeat visitor, after seeing the film and going down to the beach, you go to our information desk and your name will be entered into our files, so the next time you come back, you don't have to go through the film again.  And that's good for one year," explained Hong. 

The $13 million for the new Hanauma Bay center included a gift shop, restrooms and new trams to transport visitors.  The center still has some fine tuning to be completed.  The older shuttle buses are in rotation, until the new replacements are brought and interpretations for the video are expected at a later date.

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