KOHALA
Gold Coast & Green Hills!

            Kawaihae Harbor once connected only to Waimea by a winding road that served as the lifeline for the region. Goods then travelling north to the isolated towns of Hawi and Mahukona via the Kohala Mountain Road and south to Kailua-Kona by way of the mountainous Hawaii Belt Highway.  Small numbers of people lived in the green hills of North Kohala and in Kona.  Hardly anyone lived in what was perceived to be the  barren lava flats of South Kohala. 

            But knowledgeable visionaries knew that the very sparsely populated area was the premier jewel of Hawaii awaiting polishing! Many still don't recognize the dream of the future. The early catalysts are known for other achievements  .  .  .  John Burns   .  .  .  Laurance Rockefeller .  .  . Kenneth Brown!   The details of the original vision are less known,  but the jewel is beginning to shine with several facets already recognizable.  This is a story of long-term master planning by those with confidence, conviction, and determination.

SOUTH KOHALA

            Step one was to connect Kawaihae to Kailua-Kona.  The philosophical battle took place while everyone was blinded by the explosive development of Waikiki and the post-statehood economic boom.   At that time, Hilo was the political and economic capital with the dominant population and clout.  But the East Hawaii community endorsed and supported the development of South Kohala into a world-class destination.  At a time when Oahu, Maui, and Kauai received State economic development funding, the Big Island quietly committed their share of state funds and invested it into infrastructure.

            Building the Queen Kaahumanu Highway in _____ was costly, but the vision and commitment created the finest and longest new highway ever built in Hawaii State!  Because it was built far from the ocean, it was possible to build the controlled access needed for large integrated premier world-class resort destinations. The political leaders took a lot of heat as the Big Island economically badly lagged behind the boom growth of the other islands. They were confident that Hawaii is a special place and that the Big Island would one day be developed. But with the size of the island and the modest population and tax base, encouraging development before infrastructure was in place would only create impossible problems!

            From 1959 when Hawaii became a state, to just a few years ago, the Big Island political and economic leaders stayed with their gameplan while others who were ignorant of the dream or who were focused on self-interest shrilly screamed that East Hawaii was taking advantage of West Hawaii.   As more understand the greater Big Island philosophy and economic strategy, those voices are becoming embarrassingly quiet.

WINNING THE MINDS & HEARTS OF THE BIG ISLANDERS

            When planning began, most could only see barren lava fields. But by boat, there were several evenly spaced clusters of coconut trees and these marked the original Hawaiian villages that had become abandoned.  Just as the site's physical characteristics attracted the original settlements, the major resorts to be developed around each such village.

            The village sites were connected by what become known as the King's Trail.  At rest stops, petroglyphs were carved.  It was found that there were numerous fresh water springs and ancient Hawaiian fish ponds.  All of these were carefully cataloged.  There was a recognition that a uniquely Hawaiian destination could only be a valid authentic experience if it was built upon a genuine appreciation and a valid and sincere celebration of the Hawaiian host culture.

            Economics dictated that the resorts be of the luxury class, but every effort was made to win the hearts and support of all Big Islanders.  Local residents may not be able to afford to enjoy the amenities, but they are able to visit and take pride in the unique multi-culturalism of Hawaii.  By staying with their underlying commitments, the resorts have largely succeeded and each year more Big Island residents are openly supportive and take pride in the South Kohala resorts.  World-class golf courses and destination resorts are sprouting up where once there was only lava!  _________________________________________________________________

TRAVELING NORTH THROUGH SOUTH KOHALA FROM KEAHOLE-KONA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT:

            To date, development has progressed in four resort destinations:  KAPULEHU (Kona Village Resort and Four Seasons), WAIKOLOA (Outrigger Waikoloa and Hilton Waikoloa Village), MAUNA LANI RESORT (The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows and The Orchid at Mauna Lani), and MAUNA KEA RESORT (Hapuna Prince Hotel and Mauna Kea Beach Hotel)

___________________________________________________________

KAPULEHU (Kona Village Resort and Four Seasons)

Hualalaientrysign&tree.jpg (43521 bytes)       Heading north from Kona International Airport up Queen Kaahumanu Highway, you'll enter pristine lava fields.  Ancient Hawaiians once lived along the coast with their village sites marked by groves of coconut trees with the "King's Trail" connecting the villages. 

      This sign wall and distinctive tree marks the entrance to Kapulehu and The Four Season's Resort Hualalai at Historic Kaupulehu.  It is also the discreet entrance to Kona Village Resort.

___________________________________________________________

WAIKOLOA (Outrigger Waikoloa and Hilton Waikoloa Village)

___________________________________________________________

MAUNA LANI

mauna lani bay hotel 2.jpg (42470 bytes)
 
THE MAUNA LANI BAY
HOTEL & BUNGALOWS
 
68-1400 Mauna Lani Drive
Kohala Coast,  Island of Hawaii 96743
 
Toll-free: 1-800-367-2323

URL:  www.maunalani.com

                   Awaken your passion.  Nourish your soul.

Orchid@MaunaLani.jpg (144005 bytes)
 
THE ORCHID
AT MAUNA LANI
 
One North Kaniku Drive
Kohala Coast, Island of Hawaii 96743

(808) 887-7510

URL: www.orchid-maunalani.com

___________________________________________________________

MAUNA KEA   (Hapuna Prince Hotel and Mauna Kea Beach Hotel)

            (Tell of Laurance S. Rockefeller, Hapuna springs and Hapuna beach, etc. to wrap up the story of the continuing story of developing the Gold Coast)

___________________________________________________________

NORTH KOHALA

            North and South Kohala are two very different districts with both in the midst of change! The catalyst for growth were two highways. Step two in ______ was building the Akone Puli Highway to connect Kawaihae Harbor to the isolated North Kohala towns.  

Puuhokola Heiau National Historic Site
Lapakahi State Park
Hawi, Mahukona, Kohala Mountains
Eco-tourism activities
*** Continue to next Big Island section       
*** Return to Big Island index page
*** Return to Fuku-Bonsai home page   Fuku-Bonsai Inc.  Phone (808) 982-9880  June 2001
 

___________________________________________________________

NORTH KOHALA

            North and South Kohala are two very different districts with both in the midst of change! The catalyst for growth were two highways. Step two in ______ was building the Akone Puli Highway to connect Kawaihae Harbor to the isolated North Kohala towns.  

Puuhokola Heiau National Historic Site
Lapakahi State Park
Hawi, Mahukona, Kohala Mountains
Eco-tourism activities
*** Continue to next Big Island section       
*** Return to Big Island index page
*** Return to Fuku-Bonsai home page   Fuku-Bonsai Inc.  Phone (808) 982-9880  June 2001
 
*** Go to INDEX: Fuku-Bonsai Collections at South Kohala Resorts