Hawai’i County Mayor Billy Kenoi issued the following statement today regarding the Naniloa Volcanoes Resort:
“We strongly agree with the decision by the Board of Land and Natural Resources to enforce the terms of its lease with Hawai‘i Outdoor Tours, and we think that decision should stand.
“No special consideration should be given to lessee Hawai‘i Outdoor Tours or to First Citizens Bank & Trust, which is the lien holder in this case. This lessee failed to maintain the $1 million performance bond required by the lease. This lessee previously failed to stay current on the lease rent, and was issued notices of default. This lessee filed for bankruptcy protection a year ago, yet the lease specifically allows for termination if the lessee goes bankrupt.
“While all of this was going on, this lessee allowed the historic Naniloa property to dramatically deteriorate. That in itself is a violation of the lease, which requires that this important state asset be properly maintained. Obviously, that didn’t happen.
“Now the trustee and the bank are asking for special permission to continue to operate the Naniloa. There is no reason for the state or the court to agree to this. It is not in the best interest of our state or our community, and we hope the court will reject this proposal.
“It is time to cancel this lease and start over. It is time for us to start fresh with a new, responsible partner who will operate this facility properly. It is time for the restoration of the Naniloa to finally begin.”
Mayor Billy Kenoi