- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 11, 2015

LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) - A Kauai resort famous for appearing in the 1961 Elvis Presley movie “Blue Hawaii” could reopen in two years after the county planning commission approved a developer’s plans for its reconstruction.

The commission voted 6-0 Tuesday to approve development plans and permits for Coco Palms Resort, The Garden Island newspaper in Lihue reported (https://bit.ly/1b2Awfh ).

The hotel has been closed since Hurricane Iniki damaged the property in 1992.

Rebuilding work could begin in the next several months if all goes as planned, said Chad Waters, principal of Coco Palms Hui LLC. The entire resort should open by spring 2017, he said.

Hyatt Hotels Corp. last year agreed to manage the resort, which will be called Coco Palms by Hyatt.



Developers plan to build 30 housing units less than a block from the hotel, said Coco Palms Hui principal Tyler Greene. He believes they will fill up quickly with employees and eliminate a lot of demand for parking.

The planning commission is requiring the developers to set aside about 40 public parking spaces for beachgoers. They must also build and maintain public bathrooms.

Other requirements include providing $10,000 to the county to help it build a new bus stop in the area, paying for road improvements and creating shuttle services from the hotel to Lihue Airport.

Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. praised the commission’s decision.

“This is an important step in seeing Coco Palms redeveloped, and I hope that we will soon see the property transformed after decades of waiting,” he wrote in an email.

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Information from: The Garden Island, https://thegardenisland.com/

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