Trump Mania Hits Waikiki

Elizabeth Runacres
Elizabeth Runacres
John Brockell
John Brockell

(KHNL) - They lined up along the street in Waikiki, curious on-lookers hoping to catch a glance of a celebrity at the ground breaking of a new hotel.

"We were hoping he would appear, apparently he isn't," said John Brockell, a tourist from Wisconsin. "Somebody said his daughter might show, but we haven't seen her either."

Donald Trump's name is on this project - and the crowd wanted to see him.

"Everyone in Hawaii read the paper, all these people here now should have been up there with the rest of them," said Elizabeth Runacres, a visitor from British Columbia.

Trump was not scheduled to attend. Project developers said they didn't intend to exclude anyone from the ceremony.

"It never ceases to amaze me the popularity of the project," said developer Jason Grosfeld of Irongate. "Everywhere I go people want to talk to me about the project."

The developer said Trump's celebrity draws people to this project. The challenge is to get them to look past the name.

It's one reason why the luxury high rise's 464 units sold out in one day for more than $700 million.

"For Mr. Trump who has choices around the world to develop, to decide to partner with irongate and do this development, I think that was a major stamp of approval," Grosfeld said. "And I think the buyers feel the same way."

But this crowd on the sidewalk felt left out. Some said it changed their opinion of Trump, especially when it comes to his feud with other celebrities.

"I don't care for Rosie (O'Donnell) but I don't care for Donald either," Runacres said. "But I think Rosie has the upper hand."