HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The new $80 million Residence Inn by Marriott in Kapolei held its grand opening ceremonies Friday.
But it’s already providing an economic boost to Oahu’s second city.
Marriott officials said the 183-suite hotel has created more than 400 construction jobs and 70 permanent hotel jobs ― mostly for Leeward Oahu residents like Sheri Goldberg, who no longer has to commute into town.
“(Before) I’d be sitting in so much traffic and having to get there super early and sleeping in my car before shifts in town,” she said.
“It’s so much better than driving into town."
It’s Kapolei’s third hotel, including the Hampton Inn and Embassy Suites. But it’s the only Residence Inn-branded hotel on Oahu.
At an average of $285 a night, the new hotel caters to business travelers, the military as well as neighbor islanders.
“Demand is incredibly strong. It’s a mix of everything. We have corporate businesses, we have government business," said Brian Hunnings, the hotel’s general manager.
“And then, we also have the kamaaina business that wants to come in and check us out.”
The new hotel comes as demand from the visitor industry is booming and as the supply of vacation rentals on the Leeward Coast is beginning to shrink
Since the city began its crackdown on the illegal vacation rental market, the number of listings on Air BNB, VRBO and other platforms have dropped about 30%.
“Air BNB and the rest of the homestay guys now aren’t having as many listings and so that demand has to shift somewhere," said real estate expert Ricky Cassiday.
Cassiday believes more hotels like the ones popping up in Kapolei will be proposed for other areas outside Waikiki.