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Business Briefs

For Thursday, February 17, 2011

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 03:33 a.m. HST, Feb 17, 2011


Oahu hotel rates up 19% in February

Honolulu posted the second-highest hotel rate increases among North American cities in the February Hotwire Hotel Rate Report.

The city's ranking, which came in behind Pittsburgh, was a step down from the top spot that it occupied in the January report.

The average nightly room rate for a Honolulu hotel booked through Hotwire for travel to Honolulu in February was $116, a 19 percent gain from the same time last year.

Hotwire, which offers deep discounts on unsold airline seats, hotel rooms and rental cars, noted that Honolulu's strong rates were related to gains from the leisure travel market.

Other top Hotwire hotel market gainers were Providence, R.I., and the Canadian cities of Montreal and Toronto.

Isle firms make top movie tour list

TripAdvisor has named two Hawaii companies to its Top 10 list of America's best movie tours.

Pictures in Paradise at Kualoa Ranch on Oahu's North Shore took sixth place behind top-ranked tours in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Boston and Washington, D.C. The tour, which retails for $15 to $23, includes a bus ride to film locations from "Jurassic Park," "Godzilla," "Pearl Harbor," "50 First Dates" and "You, Me and Dupree."

On Kauai, the Hollywood in Hawaii tour from Polynesian Adventure Tours ranked seventh. This tour, which sells for $71 to $107, makes stops where "South Pacific," "White Heat," "Fantasy Island" and "Jurassic Park" were filmed. It also offers a stop at the now-closed Coco Palms Resort, where Elvis Presley stayed while filming his 1962 hit "Blue Hawaii."

Other top movie tours were in Tucson, Ariz., Chicago, and Savannah, Ga.

Airport to feature Hawaiian greeting

Aloha e komo mai.

A Hawaiian-language greeting soon will welcome visitors and kamaaina at Honolulu Airport.

The greeting and in-flight video message created by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the state's tourism agency, will debut tomorrow.

The messages are designed to fulfill HTA's mission to showcase island hospitality and culture, part of an ongoing cultural renaissance.

Olelo Hawaii was re-established as an official state language in the 1970s after many years of being subjugated to the English language.

Lowe's hiring about 100 in Hawaii

Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe's Co. said yesterday it plans to hire more than 100 seasonal workers at its three Hawaii stores to help during the busy spring season.

Spokesperson Chris Ahearn said the 50,000 workers it is hiring nationwide will total about 30 per store, including in Hawaii.

The company said it also is hiring 8,000 to 10,000 people nationwide to assist customers on weekends. That would equate to four to seven people per store, Ahearn said.

Lowe's stores in Hawaii are in Kona, Waipahu and Kahului, with a fourth under construction in Iwilei due to open later this year.

Home Depot Inc. said Tuesday it was hiring more than 60,000 seasonal workers nationwide, including 100 in Hawaii.

ON THE MOVE

The Honolulu Board of Realtors has announced the following 2011 officers: Joyce R. Nakamura, president; Joe Paikai, president-elect; Judy Barrett, secretary; and Brian C. Benton, immediate past president. Directors are Toan Doran, Scott Kamiya, Allison Lum, Liz Moore, Trudy Nishihara, Jason Nishikawa, Bob Vieira and Wendell M.Y. Wong. Regional directors are Elizabeth Karimoto, central region; Julie Meier, east Oahu region; Kevin Miyama, Leeward region; and Patrick Graham, North Shore/Windward region.

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Pacific Guardian Center was awarded a score of 100 on the Energy Performance Indicator for 2010 that earned it the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star label. PGC is using 50 percent less energy than comparable buildings.

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Trex Advanced Materials of Kauai and High Technology Development Corp. of Honolulu announced that Trex Advanced Materials has received a Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Trex Advanced Materials received the award due to rapidly growing a stress-free silicon carbide ceramic material for use in sophisticated optics, demanding thermal environments and aggressive corrosive environments.

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Island Insurance and Atlas Insurance has awarded a $15,000 gift to UH West Oahu's Certificate in Insurance and Risk Management Program. The award will support the operations and staff of this new program.






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