Kamehameha Colleges Desires To Create A Culturally Delicate Boutique Resort On The Huge Island

Hawaii’s greatest personal landowner programs to develop a 150-unit bungalow-fashion vacation resort and cultural center near the birthplace of King Kamehameha III on Hawaii island.

Besides a hotel, Kamehameha Schools’ proposed improvement contains cultural and educational programming on 29 acres at Keauhou Bay, about six miles southeast of Kailua-Kona’s town center.

“The target is to honor our Native Hawaiian tradition,” Marissa Harman, director of asset management at Kamehameha Faculties, explained to Civil Beat in an interview final 7 days.

Yet another goal is to generate earnings and prolonged-phrase economic returns for Kamehameha Colleges, which operates a personal academic process for Indigenous Hawaiian pupils across the islands. The school’s endowment was valued at $14.7 billion in 2021.

An aerial look at of Keauhou Bay, exactly where Kamehameha Universities needs to create a boutique vacation resort and cultural centre. Kamehameha Faculties/2022

The Keauhou Bay Management Program — a blueprint for the proposed job — was produced in March and remained open for public remark till April 22. To go forward with its proposal, Kamehameha Faculties desires a Exclusive Management Space use permit from Hawaii County, among the other authorizations. The organization and its consultants will commit the up coming handful of months preparing a draft environmental influence assertion.

As element of the permitting approach, a community scoping conference took position on April 11. Many people of Keauhou Bay voiced opposition to various facets of the challenge. Concerns ranged from improved site visitors and tourist tension on Keauhou Bay to dismay around the proposed removal of a popular seashore volleyball courtroom in the vicinity of the waterfront.

“Even though you have the zoning, I still consider it’s totally inappropriate,” explained community resident Kathy McMillen for the duration of the assembly.

In a column revealed by West Hawaii These days, McMillen outlined a wide variety of causes why the challenge really should be scaled back again. Among them was how greater use of Keauhou Bay will impact the maritime ecosystem.

“Added advancement stresses to this bay may perhaps reverse its health and fitness completely. Do we truly want to increase to the currently fragile and congested circumstances with a vacation resort only the one particular-percenters can afford to pay for to take pleasure in?” McMillen reported.

Proposed modifications to Keauhou Bay include improved boat trailer storage, a park and restored landscaping. Screenshot/Kamehameha Educational facilities

Although local community consultations commenced in 2016 with 19 stakeholder teams, the task is in its early phase and Kamehameha Colleges is open to listening to community issues and suggestions, Harman said.

“This is the start out of the procedure,” she explained to individuals at the meeting.

Numerous people expressed issue that a preferred beach front volleyball court docket around the waterfront would be removed less than the recent approach.

Harman said volleyball does not suit with the plans and eyesight of the project which is to honor the area’s background and Indigenous Hawaiian tradition. Harman noted that a canoe club will be authorized to remain.

Although there are no options to continue to keep the volleyball court, Kamehameha Universities has reached out to area elected officers to see if a different place could be discovered, she extra.

Athletic things to do dominate the shoreline at Keauhou Bay “and develop a notion of exclusivity,” according to the preparing doc.

“The hustle and bustle of ocean professional functions catering mainly to visitors” brings about numerous regional households, some with longstanding ties to the spot, “to no lengthier experience welcomed – in the end disconnecting them from the wahi pana,” or treasured location, the approach states.

Native Hawaiians take into consideration Keauhou Bay sacred. Besides remaining the birthplace of Kauikeaouli, later on Kamehameha III, Keauhou Bay is also household to other culturally important places this sort of as Moikeha Cave, Hookuku Pond, and the former grounds of Ka Holua o Kaneaka, a after notable holua slide constructed in honor of Kamehameha III.

The Daughters of Hawaii hold a ceremony every single calendar year to pay out tribute to Kauikeaouli, who would become Kamehameha III, at his birth website on his birthday at Keauhou Bay. The locale of the cultural web site is at this time found in a congested area of the bayfront. Courtesy: Kamehameha Educational institutions/2022

Hookuku Pond is an anchialine pool, this means it connects to the ocean via subterranean tunnels and supports a rich array of maritime daily life.

As the significant landowner at Keauhou Bay alongside with the point out, Kamehameha Universities claims it has a obligation to handle its lands in a way that does not enhance congestion or bring about conflicts amid individuals who use the bay. It also is responsible for addressing ongoing trespass, unauthorized industrial exercise and other illegal pursuits.

People today find out Keauhou Bay for leisure, business and cultural activities. Simply because of heavy use of the space, Kamehameha Educational institutions claims it requires to shift industrial enterprises away from culturally sensitive spots to ease congestion and build new heritage and cultural centers.

It also intends to reestablish Old Kona Street — now overgrown with vegetation — to decrease visitors snarls together the waterfront around the birthplace of Kamehameha III. Indigenous vegetation would be planted to enhance the Hawaiian perception of spot, in accordance to the planning document.

The hotel would consist of 43 two-story, 4-plex bungalows providing panoramic sights of the bay and the Kona coastline. Attendees could love an infinity pool, wellness pavilion, a meals and beverage venue, meeting facilities and other features.

More than 2,800 folks have signed an on the internet petition that aims to “save Keauhou Bay from getting a significant crowded resort.” The petition states the spot is not substantial adequate to accommodate a new vacation resort.

Harman said the hotel would be small-scale and mix in with the existing topography. The sort of man or woman who would find out a boutique resort in a culturally considerable place will probably vary from the normal vacationer.

“Change is tricky and I take pleasure in that,” Harman stated. “For me what is important is running transform in a way that is proper.”