This Thursday, August 24, HLTA’s Hospitality IT Council will celebrate its official launch at the newly renovated Prince Waikiki from 5-7pm. The council will provide a means of career development for technology professionals through collaboration and education, by promoting best practices, and by enhancing professionalism and personal success for its members. Please encourage your Information Officers, Directors, Managers, or individuals who work in a technology department of your organization to join us by registering here. Mahalo to General Manager Charles Abbott for graciously hosting the launch!
Also on Thursday, HLTA’s HYPE committee will be holding a Membership Drive and Mixer at the new Lucky Strike Social bowling alley and arcade gaming lounge. This sold-out event will provide a fun way for the young professionals committee to bond with each other and make new contacts while checking out the brand-new venue. Mahalo to the event sponsors, ABC Stores, Bite Squad, and Kynbo Inc.
Finally, on the legislative front, I would like to send my mahalo to all those that heeded the call of action and sent in letters to the Governor and legislators opposing the increase of the Transient Accommodations Tax to pay for the Honolulu Rail Project. I especially commend all those that went the extra mile and collected signatures from their associates to strengthen their statement. These grassroots initiatives are important as they should have an impact on the elected officials involved with the special session.
As an update yesterday, I led a delegation of 10 HLTA members to visit with the Governor where we discussed our industry’s position on the upcoming special session. Thanks to your hard work we were able to hand the Governor our updated position letter accompanied by 1,000 signatures in support of our industry’s stance! That same letter was also sent to the Senate President and the Speaker of the House and to all Legislative members. We also sent supportive testimonies to the Honolulu City Council and Kauai County Council for their support of the GET extension to fund rail.
During this meeting, we expressed our concerns in raising the Transient Accommodations Tax to cover the expense of the Honolulu Rail System, and we reinforced the idea that extending the General Excise Tax is the fairest and most equitable option. In response to our points the Governor did share our concerns with the volatility of the Transient Accommodations Tax in comparison to the GET. Yet, it is important that we not let up and continue our efforts in driving our point home. It is going to be a continuous uphill battle. I want to urge all those that haven’t reached out to your associates to garner their signatures to please do so. I ask that you keep us in the loop and send your correspondence to Jared Higashi of my staff at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be updating the executive and legislative branches throughout the week as more signatures come in and once again mahalo to all of you who have heeded the call to action.
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