KAHUKU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A New York-based real estate investment firm has struck a deal to buy the Turtle Bay Resort.
According to a report by Real Estate Alert, investment firm Blackstone is paying $330 million for the hotel.
Turtle Bay would not confirm or deny the sale, but employees say they were told last week that the deal will close in mid-December.
And changes, they say, are already being made.
"They started last Monday about the training, about the orientation, and they are updating their files for the new ownership," said Paquito Campano, housekeeping supervisor.
Campano said he and his coworkers are very familiar with Blackstone's reputation in Hawaii since the company also owns the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
He said they are looking forward to the improvements the new owners will bring.
"Us workers, we are very much positive because we know who Blackstone is. We are always looking forward to the changes for the better," said Campano.
Gemma Weinstein, president of union Local 5, said there are between 300 and 400 union members working at Turtle Bay and they will all be able to keep their jobs.
"We're OK right now because we have a contract. Our contract expires next year, so we're OK. We've had a good contract for the past five years," said Weinstein.
The 1,300-acre Turtle Bay site includes the 450-room resort, two golf courses, and farmland, as well as undeveloped land that the hotel has entitlements to build an additional 725 homes and hotel units.
"It's really important that Turtle Bay be appropriately sized and designed so that it fits in with our rural community," said State Sen. Gil Riviere.
Riviere said he hopes Blackstone will be a good neighbor in the North Shore community.
Under the outgoing owners, the resort reached conservation agreements with the government and community that ensures more than 1,000 acres of land will be protected from development in perpetuity.
"We're hoping that they will appreciate, understand, and willingly implement the conservation easement as its structured to protect Kawela Bay, Kahuku Point, and to really respect the community and keep the place on a good track," Riviere said.