Tsunami damage forces closing of Kona Village Resort

Published: Mar. 18, 2011 at 5:33 PM HST|Updated: Mar. 19, 2011 at 10:08 AM HST
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Before the tsunami. Photo courtesy http://www.konavillage.com - Kona Village Resort, Kona,...
Before the tsunami. Photo courtesy http://www.konavillage.com - Kona Village Resort, Kona, Hawaii.

BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Kona Village Resort Friday announced that it will close indefinitely due to the significant structural and property damage it sustained during last week's earthquake-generated tsunami.

"We are very sad to close Kona Village Resort for an extended period of time, but the damage to the property from this natural disaster is severe enough to render it inoperable," said Patrick Fitzgerald, president and CEO, Hualalai Resort/Kona Village Resort. "We are fortunate that our guests and employees were evacuated safely. Our hearts are heavy with this decision's impact on employees and loyal guests who have visited us over the years. Our thoughts also are with the people of Japan during this difficult time."

The 45-year old resort sustained significant structural damage from the storm surge, including more than 20 hale, the resort's bungalow-style, thatched roof accommodations, some of which were completely removed from their foundations based upon the force of the water.

Other damaged buildings or attractions at the 82-acre resort include the Hale Moana and Hale Samoa restaurants, Hale Hoomau, the Shipwreck and Talk Story bars, reception and main office as well as the Ocean Activity Center on property.

The Resort will employ its employees through April 3.

It is also covering their health care insurance through the end of April.

Kona Village has contacted neighboring resorts and the state Workforce Development Division for assistance with transition and job placement.

All guests with reservations are being contacted by Kona Village's reservations teams, and will receive a full refund of any deposits made. The reservation contact phone number is 800-367-5290.