- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) - A major Hawaii landowner has proposed demolishing a shuttered Big Island hotel to create an educational center for cultural resources.

Demolition plans are outlined in a draft environmental assessment for Kamehameha Schools’ plans for the Keauhou Beach Hotel. Kamehameha officials say restoring the hotel wouldn’t be profitable. It would cost $50 million to restore a hotel that hadn’t been profitable for at least six years before it closed.

“Outdated facilities on the property contributed to the resort’s operational losses, and it was not able to compete with larger and more contemporary resort destinations such as Waikoloa and Hualalai,” the assessment said.

The assessment notes the property’s proximity to the water and the need to be careful during the demolition: “Building portions located over the lagoon could be removed with chipping guns and wire saws, and conducted in a matter so that debris, dust and resulting particles are contained.”

Razing the hotel is expected to cost about $11.5 million and the entire project is expected to cost about $34 million, West Hawaii Today (http://ow.ly/AfsCi) reported Tuesday.

The project would include a heritage center that would allow visitors access to cultural sites such as a heiau. A visitor education program would be able to accommodate about 200 visitors daily.

“The concept planned is for visitors interested in the property to be led on docent tours to view areas and learn about the natural and cultural resources present,” the document said. “Visitors would be required to stay within designated areas and paths.”


Information from: West Hawaii Today, http://www.westhawaiitoday.com



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