Keauhou Beach Hotel to close, 112 to lose jobs

Keauhou Beach Hotel to close, 112 to lose jobs 10PM Update

KEAUHOU, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - 112 people will lose their jobs when the Keauhou Beach Hotel on the Big Island closes in late October.

Kamehameha Schools made that announcement on Wednesday.

"This hotel has been a place of rest and play for so many people in its past 40 years - myself included," said Kamehameha Schools CEO Dee Jay Mailer. "Despite the good work of many committed and talented people, financial losses at the hotel over the last six years have been substantial."

Outrigger Hotels manages the property.

Kamehameha Schools says Outrigger Hotel management & ILWU leaders have been told of the decision and have met with the majority of the hotel employees to let them know of this difficult decision in person.

"The decision has been very difficult because of its impact on the people here." said KBH's Kyle Chock. "Many of these employees have given years of dedicated service to the Keauhou Beach Hotel, and we owe them our sincerest thanks and appreciation. We along with Outrigger management and the ILWU, will do all we can to assist those affected by the closure."

Once the hotel closes, property will be turned over to Kamehameha Schools.

Kamehameha Schools says planning is underway to demolish the hotel in order to create the opportunity for KS to re-claim and restore a portion of the cultural landscape in Kahalu'u ma kai that has been covered or impacted by the hotel and its surrounding structures for decades.

"We envision creating a place for teaching and learning of applied Hawaiian knowledge. A place where a broad range of culture and aina based learning experiences that recognize and respect the legacy of this place and out kupuna," said

Greg Chun, Vice President of KS' Keauhou-Kahaluu Education Group.

Kamehameha Schools CEO Dee Jay Mailer noted that KBH, KS and various independent consultants had, over the last 18 months, studied a number of options as alternatives to closing the hotel, but the analyses came to the same conclusion: selling, renovating or re-purposing the hotel would create an unacceptable financial risk for Kamehameha Schools and its educational mission.

The112-employee hotel is scheduled to close on October 31, 2012. Guests and events already booked for later dates will be moved to other properties nearby. The tennis courts and farmers market may remain open if access and security issues can be worked out. Big Island hotels have averaged 64-percent full most of this summer. There is plenty of spare capacity to take up the slack, considering economic recovery on the Big Island has been slower than it has in Waikiki, according to industry experts.

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