During times like these, it is all too easy to become overwhelmed by our current situation and struggle to see the positives in our every day lives. We start to dwell on how different our lives have become, and it begins to feel like nothing will ever be the same. At HLTA, we've been keeping a list of what we call "feel-good updates" that tracks all the uplifting stories that we hear on a day-to-day basis. I've shared a handful of these as part of my latest Island Matters column in this week's edition of MidWeek. You can read the article by clicking here.
Another bright side that we should consider is that the void of people and traffic created by State and county Work from home/Stay at home mandates has made it possible for a variety of construction projects to commence and make significant progress. As was recently reported in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, current lockdown measures have made it possible for important conservation projects in Waikiki to begin. Perhaps most notable of these is the $2 million Royal Hawaiian groin replacement which was funded through a partnership between the State DLNR and the Waikiki Beach Special Improvement District, which all businesses in Waikiki, including hotels and resorts, contribute to on an annual basis.
Resorts around the state are also taking advantage of this time. Major renovation projects are underway at hotel properties including the Ka'anapali Beach Hotel on Maui and the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort. The benefits of these projects are myriad. Not only will these properties be able to offer a new and updated experience to their customers sooner rather than later, but they are also able to help keep our local construction industry, which ranks among the top five contributors to our local GDP, at work.
All this being said, things may seem dire right now. It may be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But there are positive things happening all around us, all the time. More than anything, it is a reminder that we are all in this together, and we that will outlast the COVID-19 outbreak as a community.
Hotels For Heroes Update
Hotels For Heroes has continued to grow both in use and in demand. As the program nears the end of its second week, we have been able to provide 1,005 room nights to those in need and have received many wonderful reports from grateful medical professionals and first responders who have been able to take advantage of this opportunity.
"'It means a lot,' programs to help local heroes expanding," KHON2, April 16, 2020
KHON ran a great piece last night about one doctor in particular from Maui Memorial Medical Center who, until Hotels For Heroes started, had been sleeping on a mattress in his office to protect his family from possible exposure to COVID-19. To read more about his story and Hotels For Heroes, please click the link above.
Kau Kau Kokua Kits
HLTA, in partnership with Y. Hata & Co., is pleased to announce Kau Kau Kokua Kits, an event that will offer specially-priced food bundles for O'ahu's hospitality workers and their families. We have set up distribution sites at Residence Inn Kapolei and Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach Walk.
Kau Kau Kokua Kits will be available for pick-up on Friday, April 24. Orders must be placed no later than 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 23. If you are interested in having your own Kau Kau Kokua activity, please let Ashley Yonamine of our HLTA staff know.
PICK-UP TIMES & LOCATIONS
Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach Walk - 9 a.m.
Residence Inn by Marriott Oahu Kapolei - 1 p.m.
Bundle A: $45 (Feeds 8-10)
HLTA Board of Directors Meeting
Yesterday, we held our bi-monthly Board of Directors meeting remotely via teleconference. Mahalo to all who were able to "attend" and participate. Conducting board business over Zoom was certainly different than our normal board meetings, but I appreciated everybody's patience and flexibility.
During the meeting, I provided updates in the following areas: current HLTA operations; COVID-19 response; updated HLTA calendar; ongoing HLTA initiatives; and our upcoming legislative priorities.
I hope that you have a great weekend. If I can be of assistance, please feel free to contact me at any time.
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