Friday, March 25, 2011

Big Island of Hawaii - After Tsunami - "Open for Business"

We have noticed that there is still talk swirling in the national and international media about just how much of the Big Island of Hawaii is really open for business in the wake of the March 11 tsunami-generated ocean surges, spawned by the Japan earthquake.

Both, the Hawaii tourism officials and Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie issued multiple media statements this week declaring the Islands "open for business."

The Big Island of Hawaii, experienced no damage on the whole East side of the island. The coast line close to Hale Moana Bed & Breakfast is located, was affected very little by the tsunami.

Repairs to a number of coastal residences, businesses, piers and parks statewide are expected to reach in the tens of millions of dollars. But except for the closure of two resorts on the Big Island's South Kohala Coast for repairs, the Big Island is open for visitors.

* All beaches and oceanfront parks are open statewide. Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park (City of Refuge), 20 miles south of Kailua-Kona town, is partially open with much of the park along its coastal trails re-opening this weekend after trails were repaired and debris cleared.

* All State and County roads on the Big Island are open and drivable. This includes Kailua-Kona's waterfront Alii Drive, which did suffer initial damage when the tsunami surge occurred, but is open again.

* No airports statewide sustained damage

* Kailua-Kona Pier is open for all ocean sport and boating activities, as well as docking cruise ships.

* Hullihee Palace, which is located on the waterfron in Kailua-Kona has re-opened this week.

* The King Kamehameh's Kona Beach Hotel is open. The hotel, neighboring Kailua-Kona Pier, sustained initial ocean surge damage to its first floor retail areas, but never had to close for its hotel visitors.

* The Four Seasons Resort Hualalai and the Kona Village Resort are the only Hawaii hotels closed. The resorts, which neighbor each other about 17 miles north of Kailua-Kona suffered significant damage from tsunami-generated ocean surges. The 243-room Four Seasons Resort Hualalai will be closed until April 30, largely for cleanup of sand and debris, and repairs of water damage to some of the resort's oceanfront guest rooms, landscaping, restaurants and public areas. The all-bungalow Kona Village resort sustained major damage to a number of its oceanfront bungalows, as well as damage to its restaurant, beach bar and oceanfront public areas. The resort is now closed indefinitely and may not re-open.

* No harmful levels of radiation resulting from Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant emergency have reached Hawaii, nor are harmful levels of radiation expected to reach Hawaii.

Our thoughts and Alohas continue to go out to the people of Japan affected by the earthquake, tsunamis and aftermath. If you would like to make a contribution to American Red Cross relief efforts in Japan or Hawaii, please click the link.

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