Local Connection: Arashi

Local Connection: Arashi

By: Rick Blangiardi

Never heard of Arashi? Then you're probably not a teenage girl from Japan.

But that doesn't matter because the boy band's first concerts outside of Asia were held last week.

At the Ko Olina resort and were expected to bring in more than 20-million-dollars. Some 30,000 fans, half from japan, are expected to attend the concerts and hotels have been booked for months.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority spent nearly a half-million-dollars to bring the band to Hawaii. The setup for the stage in Ko Olina is elaborate and the total investment in the concert topped 8-million-dollars.

The band is not well known in the United States but in Asia, Arashi typically sells out stadiums and has sold of a lot of music.

Hawaii tourism officials believe that the success of these two shows will lead to an influx of entertainment from around the world. The continued exposure of the concerts on DVD in japan will undoubtedly contribute to more tourist arrivals from that country.

Overall, this is a good win for Hawaii and smart thinking from the HTA, which worked for two years to bring the event here. They deserve a round of applause.

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