From the Board of Directors of Save Kona Village

I read the following update on Kona Village Resort on Puna Online regarding a group of patrons that are attempting to save Kona Village Resort:

“A group of loyal KVR patrons have banned together and are trying to save KVR.  Its a worthy cause but it remains to be seen as to what is going to happen.  In any case, I received this notice ‘updating’ the a recent talk w/ the ownership group of KVR and FSH…”

FROM THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
SAVE KONA VILLAGE

Dear Friends of Kona Village,

This weekend Bill Jasper, who has been to Kona Village Resort over the last 37 years and has been active with the Board overseeing this Save Kona Village Facebook Page, talked to one of the Managing Members of Rockpoint, which is an equity investor in Kona Village along with Michael Dell’s real estate arm.  The following is a summary of that conversation.

The owners are very conscious of the staff and their plight. They reviewed the possibility of continuing operations of the Village while repairs were occurring. However, due to extensive damage, the insurance situation, the reality that they believe proper repairs and improvements would take at least one year, the dangerous condition of the Village and the dangerous condition of a construction zone, the decision was made to close. He indicated that operating the Village with limited capacity would probably not generate sufficient revenue to meet operational costs.

The damage to the Village is extensive. The owners believe they have plenty insurance to help them rebuild. However, they acknowledge, as in most situations where there is an insurance claim involving complex damages, negotiations could take considerable time. Ownership expressed hope that the Village would be open in a year or two.

Prior to the tsunami, the owners and the Trust were very close to agreeing on a lease extension and hope to finalize that soon. They have a construction loan in place and as soon as the insurance claim is resolved, they stated they will be prepared to move ahead with the renovation. The owners want to make the Village more modern, and yet keep the character of Village. They are cognizant of our concern that the essence of the Village will be lost, and they will aspire to respect those concerns as they update and modernize the Village.

The owners have been in contact with the Mayor of Hawaii and the Governor. They expressed hope that recently passed legislation will allow the destroyed hales to be rebuilt in their previous locations even though those locations violate present zoning laws.

In addressing the employees situation, the owners profess they had no other option than to cease operations. They hope to rehire many of the staff when the Village reopens. In addition, they have kept some of the gardeners to make certain that the grounds are kept taken care of in anticipation of reopening. He said that presently there are about 150 workers working to clean and restore the properties.

The owners confirmed the importance of Kona Village to the Four Season Resort and the communities north and south: the inference being that ownership is unlikely to relinquish the leasehold rights at least in the foreseeable future.

The spokesperson acknowledged that it will take months before an exact schedule is known and agreed to future conversations with our group. Please note that nothing of consequence will occur until there is an insurance settlement.

Based on the length and depth of the conversation, the Board of Save Kona Village believes that ownership understands our concerns, is being forthright in their discussions and they will attempt to reopen the Village as quickly as possible.

We also acknowledge there is a great uncertainty about the future of the Village. Nevertheless, we believe that little can be accomplished until the proverbial dust settles. Therefore, the Board thinks the best course of operation is to monitor the situation and wait for the next update from ownership. The Managing Member indicated he would be happy to talk to Mr. Jasper in a couple of months in order to keep us abreast of the situation. We will keep you posted.

9 Responses

  1. There are very few places left with the flavor of Kona Village. I am eager for the reopening, as I have been promising my new husband an idyllic visit. My hope is that any changes will be “unseen” and not change the character of the place. It does not need to look slick and fancy- though updating the kitchen and improving the food would be a welcome improvement! Can’t wait to return!

  2. My husband and I were both very sad about the tsunami and its damage to Kona Village. There was a place that was truly paradise and we are hoping that it will be restored and open again for reservations soon. There really is no other place like it! a most beautiful gem!!

  3. We loved KVR and hope it will open soon. We have been coming there for over 30 years and will miss going there this year. I hope most of the people who made the place will come back.
    M&M

  4. We are standing by waiting to hear about KVR’S opening date. We love the place and have been coming there for over 30 years . We love the place AND it’s employees . A year without it will be hard But we have hope.
    M&M La Crescenta Ca.

  5. tks for the update. My husband and I had reservations for KVR for May 21 to 30 and when they called to refund our deposit, I suggested they keep it until they reopened and give us frist chance at a reservation. Unfortunately, that wasn’t an option. We are still hoping to be able to return someday soon and would be happy to return to slightly more modern facilities so long as modern doesn’t include air conditioning, flat screen TVs, phones in the rooms and locks on the doors. My major concern remains that staff is safe and well cared for by the parent company.

  6. [...] Kona Village‘s future seems a bit less dire, according this blog posting. [...]

  7. Thanks so much for the update. We hope along with all that the work can get started shortly after the insurance is worked out. I’ll be keeping up with the news and also keeping our fingers crossed.

  8. My immediate concern was that no one was hurt. I’d rather, if KVR is to re-open, that things be done right. I can live with KVR being shut down if that is what it takes to have it re-open. My family and I are in it for the long haul. We just hope that all of the staff can hang in there. Until then, we still have a sunny spot in our hearts where KVR still lives. Let’s hope that all goes well.

  9. My husband and I are ready to book reservations for December 2012. Where do we sign up?

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