WAILUA, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - More than two decades have passed since Hurricane Iniki passed over the islands, destroying the Coco Palms resort in Kauai. Two years ago, a fire caused even more damaged to the tattered resort. But the long-awaited demolition has finally begun on Thursday, a first step in Coco Palms' targeted reopening in 2017 as a Hyatt resort.
But the demolishing won't be so simple. Developers Chad Waters and Tyler Greene with Coco Palms Hui, LLC say they are trying to save as many relics of the original resort, such as the first footprint, square footage and site plan, through selective demolition.
"Our mantra on this has been to honor the past and celebrate the future," Greene said.
Furthermore, the developers say they want to create an environmentally conscious resort for patrons.
"If they come and stay with us and they do not rent a car, we'll give them a free bike rental and free tours to the north shore and south shore," Greene said.
The total renovation is projected to cost $135 million, which will be used for a 350 key hotel, three restaurants, banquet facilities and more on a 46 acre lot of land.
Developers also say construction and operation of the hotel will create 1,800 direct and indirect jobs.