NEWS FROM KAUAI - Holiday Wishes

Joseph “Joe” Williams, RA
Century 21 All Islands
Princeville, HI 96722
Cell: 808 652 2984 
Fax: 808 826 9884

Happy Holidays from balmy, tropical Kauai where it may not the best of times, but it is NOT the worst of times. The beauty of this island and its peace and tranquility make it easier to cope with the global economic woes.

On the North Shore, many improvements are moving forward on schedule. The Princeville Hotel closed in September, planning to emerge in July ‘09 as the Princeville St. Regis. The new manager has arrived from Bora Bora and offered previews of this luxurious venture. There is no doubt that the St. Regis will be one of Hawaii’s top destinations. One interesting sidelight was the sell off of hotel inventory. Real shoppers searched through all the “steals” and bought everything from napkins to a grand piano. One buyer purchased the chandelier for his new home in Texas. I do not qualify as a real shopper. Ann and I made a curiosity tour and fled empty handed.

While the hotel is undergoing renovation, both the Ocean and Lakes nines of the Makai golf courses are closed for much needed improvements. The Makai course plans to reopen in late ’09 with a new clubhouse to follow. Meanwhile the Woods and the Prince are open for play.

Celebrity Resorts of Orlando has taken over management of Hanalei Bay Resort. The restaurants were purchased by Celebrity and should reopen early next year. The new Westin Princeville Ocean Resort located at the end of Wylie Road opened and is offering reduced promotional rates. The Westin has a very popular Wine Tasting each Tuesday. Locals and tourists attend, and many stay for dinner. Other new resort developments on the island (Ritz-Carlton at Kauai Lagoons, Koloa Landing, etc.) have temporarily suspended phases of their new building projects.

Kauai survived the loss of Aloha Airlines and ATA. Hawaiian Air put on more flights and Go! is still here and is in the process of acquiring the old Aloha name and emblem. The big news is that Mokulele Airlines formerly a small carrier has partnered with Republic and is flying 70 passenger jets on inter island flights at reduced rates.

Amid the tourism downturn, the airlines are beginning to offer promotions to and from the mainland, and hotels may discount rooms even more. One travel writer suggested that for the lowest prices one should call the hotel or resort directly. Hotels and resorts should be well short of capacity for most of next year.

With tourism down, real estate sales are also lagging. The glut of inventory and low interest rates should be very attractive to buyers. Many prospective purchasers are taking a wait and see outlook; however, there are bargains to be had NOW. The lower end of the market has already picked up and local residents are taking full advantage of buying opportunities. Some of the newer projects such as Nihilani and Ka’iulani are offering significant buyer incentives to slash inventory. Moreover, resales in these developments are currently at very attractive prices.

Visit my website and search through properties of interest and call me with specific questions. Let me know if you are planning a trip to the Garden Isle. I am always available to help you

Ann and I wish you and yours a happy holiday season and a healthy, prosperous 2009. This year that age old wish has a bit more urgency to it!

With warmest aloha,