Maui Reopens To Visitors

Amidst the tragedy, the spirit of Maui remains strong

On October 8th, West Maui accommodations began to reopen to visitors again with the exception of Lahaina. In West Maui, recent wildfires have resulted in the devastating loss of loved ones, homes, cultural and historical sites, and businesses in Lahaina. Lahaina will remain fully closed to the public until further notice out of respect to the town’s residents. County, state, and federal emergency responders continue with efforts to identify victims, and the missing, and conduct clean-up efforts of debris and hazardous materials resulting from the wildfires.
Other areas of West Maui (including Nāpili, Kāʻanapali, Honokōwai and Kapalua) are beginning to reopen to visitors again. Mayor Richard Bissen and members of his Lahaina Advisory Team have shaped a phased approach to the re-opening of West Maui to visitors following an announcement by Gov. Josh Green that West Maui will re-open on October 8.

“Our priorities have focused on the well-being of our people and that will continue to be critically important,” Mayor Bissen said. “Six weeks ago, we focused on searching for unaccounted loved ones and supporting the safety and health of survivors. As we take careful steps forward in an unprecedented disaster, addressing our West Maui visitor industry, their employees, and the local businesses that work in conjunction with the industry requires planning that will get us to a manageable re-opening.”

The developed phases will provide for residents to return to work, set up needed childcare, settle children into the temporary state Department of Education elementary and intermediate schools and Lahainaluna High School, and provide for a more deliberate process to help with housing needs for the thousands in temporary shelter at many hotel properties.
The phased approach calls for a staggered focus on the return of visitors to the Westside hotel properties and the area:

Phase 1:
Beginning on October 8th:
Ritz-Carlton, Maui Kapalua to Kahana Villa

Phase 2:
Assessment begins for Phase 1 reopening of Mahinahina to Maui Kaanapali Villas

Phase 3:
To begin following an assessment of Phase 2 re-opening
With the majority of displaced residents sheltered in this area, this will be the last phase to allow for more time to address housing options.
Royal Lahaina Resort to the Hyatt Regency

The only locations on Maui that have been completely closed have been historic Lahaina Town and the surrounding areas impacted by the fire of August 8.

Official channels are the best sources for the latest updates, including the following:
County of Maui: www.mauinuistrong.info
Hawai‘i Tourism Authority: www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/maui-recovery

Any thoughts, opinions, or news? Please share them with me at vince@meetingsevents.com.

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