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APEC boosts isles' image as serious meeting place

By Andrew Gomes

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 01:58 a.m. HST, Nov 15, 2011


Early indications are the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference might not have drawn 20,000 visitors nor added $165 million to the economy as forecast, but it likely gave Hawaii something of more value: a new image.

The state showed it can handle a conference of global political and business leaders that dispels a common notion that Hawaii is no place for serious meetings.

"That's the primary payout," said Leroy Laney, an economics and finance professor at Hawaii Pacific University. "I think in that regard it's a success."

Even the decision by President Barack Obama to forgo wearing aloha shirts for a photo of leaders from 21 nations, which some bemoaned as a blow to Hawaiiana, may have been just what the state needed.

"That was a good move," said Jerry Agrusa, a travel industry management professor at Hawaii Pacific University. The decision produced a picture in an oceanfront setting of serious-looking leaders in suits instead of aloha shirts.

"That said we're here for business," Agrusa said.

Efforts to analyze costs versus benefits for hosting the conference are under way, but a quick accounting won't be available and a definitive answer might possibly never be obtainable.

Hawaii's APEC host committee said it was gathering data on arrivals but didn't have figures Monday. The U.S. State Department wasn't able to provide that information either on Monday.

State figures show visitor arrivals to Hawaii in November through Sunday were up by only 0.4 percent, or 1,112 people, compared with the same 13-day period last year.

The state never competed to host APEC to make money, said Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz.

"This is a long-term investment," he said, emphasizing that Hawaii's meetings and conventions market will benefit most from thousands of media reports around the world that let people know serious international business and political issues were discussed in Honolulu.

"Hawaii is beautiful -- everybody knows that," he said. "I'd rather be in The Wall Street Journal (with Hawaii) just mentioned as a location."

A Google News search returned just over 8,000 stories mentioning APEC and Hawaii on Monday. However, the APEC Hawaii host committee reported that about half the 2,500 expected journalists, or 1,200 registered media, covered the summit.

Peter Ho, APEC host committee chairman and chief executive of Bank of Hawaii, said worldwide media coverage far exceeded committee expectations.

"From the beginning we have always understood that the short-term economic gain was not the primary benefit of hosting APEC," he said. "Our goal was to strengthen our image as an attractive place to do business."

Mark Dunkerley, chief executive of Hawaiian Airlines, suggested that concentrating on the short-term view or traffic expense is shortsighted, saying, "If you believe (APEC was) not worth it, what kind of aspiration do you have for your community?"

At the short-term level, some local businesses and workers cashed in on APEC, while others lost money. Agrusa said negative effects mainly tied to security barriers that excluded customers and workers from routines amount to a relatively small loss.

Schatz said it's possible that direct spending by APEC visitors could turn out to be lower than projected, but he said state expenditures to host the event also might be lower.

The original estimate that APEC might bring as many as 20,000 people was made by the State Department. An August 2010 study commissioned by the state used a more conservative figure of 17,355 to project the economic impact of APEC.

The study produced by local firm OmniTrak Group estimated that people visiting Hawaii for APEC would spend $73.7 million, which when combined with trickle-down spending, income and state taxes, would have an estimated total positive impact of $165.1 million.

The city budgeted $44 million for APEC, including $18 million for police and $10 million for contingency expenses.

Honolulu Police Department spokeswoman Michelle Yu said it could be a week or more before payroll figures are calculated and APEC-related spending can be tallied.

Honolulu Fire Department spokesman Terry Seelig also said it's too soon to figure out how his department's $7.8 million budget for APEC compared with actual spending.

Infrastructure improvements to Waikiki hotels, Honolulu Airport, Nimitz Highway and other things were made leading up to APEC at a cost of $137 million.

But government and tourist industry officials have said those projects, dominated by $74 million from the private sector, were planned without specific regard to APEC but were, in some instances, started sooner to be done before the event.

While the complete cost analysis may be months away, many business leaders in Hawaii say the long-term benefit was worth it no matter how much it cost.

APEC drew CEOs from some of the biggest companies in the world, who were shown that Waikiki isn't just a leisurely vacation destination.

Now "they see this as a potential future business meeting destination," Agrusa said.





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what wrote:
Why is this article trying so desperately hard to portray APEC as some kind of success, when the evidence says it did absolutely nothing to boost Hawaii's economy and in fact has only created more debt and inconvenience for the people of Hawaii?
on November 15,2011 | 02:19AM
inverse wrote:
Must be their proactive media attempt to counter the obvious FAILURE the public knows the APEC conference really was when using any objective cost to benefit analysis, including the MILLIONS in lost revenue in business and commerce because of the lockdown, police state created by the APEC convention. I bet the majority of non APEC visitors who had to experience the APEC nightmare with all Oahu residents are so P O'd from wasting thousands of dollars of their money for their nightmare Hawaii vacation, they will make sure to generate negative publicity against Hawaii to their friends, family and online review and chat sites, that the negative residual effect will last months, maybe years to come.
on November 15,2011 | 03:18AM
inverse wrote:
PS I bet as we speak, the Hawaii visitor industry is trying to minimize the negative impact the APEC conference had on our visitor industry by offering discounts and other incentives to all of the visitors who are compalining to their travel agents, hotels and anyone else who will listen to them about their cra ppy Hawaii vacation because of APEC. Right now everyone is in damage control mode because of APEC. The next foot to drop and new positive spin APEC story to be released is when the bills come due for all the overtime, equipment and everything else that all needs to be paid for by the Hawaii taxpayer.
on November 15,2011 | 03:31AM
KeithHaugen wrote:
Damage control will include doctoring the figures to show that, except for the businesses that had to shut down, everyone in Hawai`i got rich off of APEC. I guess none of the 20,000 APEC visitors who spent the millions of dollars here got anywhere near the places we frequent. I didn't see a single one of them, except to assume they were the ones in the black SUVs, speeding through the streets under heavy polilce and military guard. They were experiencing our Hawai`i just as our leaders hoped for.
on November 15,2011 | 04:49AM
wiliki wrote:
The security was worth it. There were no riots in the streets and no terrorists shooting CEOs and leaders of foreign countries. We can't call this a triumph of the aloha spirit. A federal agent was attacked in Waikiki.
on November 15,2011 | 10:56AM
HDoug wrote:
A "federal agent was attacked in Waikiki"? A local man Kollin Elderts was shot and killed in a Waikiki McDonald's by an armed off-duty (and possibly drunk) federal agent. He is out on bail on paid administrative leave, location unknown. Maybe in your neighborhood McDonald's.
on November 15,2011 | 12:32PM
wiliki wrote:
He may have been taking a break while on duty. Why else was he carrying his gun? Details will come out during the trial.
on November 15,2011 | 05:25PM
bender wrote:
You have to wonder why the tourism industry is all aglow over this event. They only had a modest increase in visitiors over last years numbers but they stand to lose a lot more in future years from the bad experieince their normal customer base experieinced.
on November 15,2011 | 06:14AM
1local wrote:
At least the DOT created jobs for people by planting palm trees, grass, and fixing the sidewalks in Waikiki as well as fixing the Airport. The DOT spent $millions - just wondering if the APEC dignitaries took notice? With all the months of planning the best advice given by the geniuses that are in the know was to stay home, avoid driving, take vacation...
on November 15,2011 | 04:58AM
Highinthesierras wrote:
HEADLINE - Hawaii sorely lacks infrastructure for major event
on November 15,2011 | 05:39AM
hanoz808 wrote:
i agree. what a crock!
on November 15,2011 | 10:03AM
hanoz808 wrote:
i agree. what a crock!
on November 15,2011 | 10:03AM
kispest wrote:
Lies, lies and more lies...
on November 15,2011 | 10:10AM
kispest wrote:
Lies, lies and more lies...
on November 15,2011 | 10:10AM
Ronin006 wrote:
Stop the spin. It is making me dizzy. The city budgeted $44 million for APEC. Almost all of the GET and TAT paid on spending by APEC attendees accrues to the state, so how is the city going to recoup the $44 million in taxpayers' money spent to support a US government hosted event?
on November 15,2011 | 02:28AM
toomuchpilikia wrote:
It's not!
on November 15,2011 | 11:15AM
Anonymous wrote:
Peter Ho, APEC host committee chairman and chief executive of Bank of Hawaii, said worldwide media coverage far exceeded committee expectations. "From the beginning we have always understood that the short-term economic gain was not the primary benefit of hosting APEC," he said. "Our goal was to strengthen our image as an attractive place to do business." That is just a bunch of garbage. Tell us Peter, when did the committee announce its media expectations and who did the research that shows the worldwide media coverage far exceeded committee expectations? Hawaii gets more worldwide exposure from the Hawaiian Open golf tournament and without the city and state spending $130 million or more to support it.
on November 15,2011 | 02:36AM
Anonymous wrote:
The state never competed to host APEC to make money, said Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz. If that is true, Brian, why did the state constantly bombard the public for the past two years about the millions of dollars APEC would generate for the state? On second thought, Brian, you may be right. The intent was not to make money but instead was to enhance the political careers of politicians involved in the decision process, and at taxpayers' expense.
on November 15,2011 | 02:43AM
kispest wrote:
Well, by now we all know, that politicians will lie about anything to make themself look good. Apec a success? Never read so much bull in my life! Success for the bigwigs only, and we poot taxpayers have to pay for it. Just watch for new taxes, fee increases, etc.
on November 15,2011 | 06:02AM
bender wrote:
And to think, this guy will want to be our governor when the bearded one leaves office. We don't need that kind of fuzzy thinking in Washington Place.
on November 15,2011 | 06:19AM
Ronin006 wrote:
I would like to have Leroy Laney, Brian Schatz, Peter Ho and Mark Dunkerly hold a meeting with the owners of all businesses in Waikiki and elsewhere on Oahu who had their business curtailed by APEC and tell them the losses they incurred during APEC will be offset by future business from the worldwide exposure APEC provided Hawaii . If they did so, my guess is they would be tarred and feathered and run out of town.
on November 15,2011 | 03:01AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Oh come on! You all know that victory has to be declared. It is impossible that our leaders would provide a fair analysis of the costs and benefits because it is obvious that APEC is to Hawaii what the Olympics were to Athens - a black hole of expense offset to a small degree only by creative accounting.

So let Uncle Maneki make it all simple for you kitties....we spent $137 million in real money, hard costs, out of pocket kine dollars for infrastructure to make things pretty for the fat cats. We spent $72 million hard dollars in police overtime and security. We got back $74 million in real dollars, forget the mumbo-jumbo. See, here is the thing...before APEC the goalpost was 20,000 visitors and $120 million in spending. After APEC the goal posts were moved - by a huge amount - and now success is measured when the hotels and airlines (who made the money) say that there will be long term but unmeasured benefits.
on November 15,2011 | 03:32AM
Smiley7 wrote:
Now that you fun loving Dems have experienced the real APEC do you really believe all the you've heard about rail? Auwe!
on November 15,2011 | 03:52AM
islandsun wrote:
The City & State overspent and the taxpayers got jacked. If these types want another meeting like this, they are not welcome. Go to Maui, Kauai or China for that matter. These politicians can spin it anyway they want but the public is not fooled this time!
on November 15,2011 | 04:18AM
KeithHaugen wrote:
I guess they could not have done any business if they put on aloha shirts instead of the silly suits, or if they saw Hawaiian canoes being paddled on the Ala Wai, or if the `Iolani Palace had been left open during their visit, or if they had been given leis, or exposed to anything Hawai`i or Hawaiian. If they had been exposed to the "aloha spirit" it might have curbed their ability to do business? I can hear the APEC folks (leaders included) now, going home and saying "Hawai`i is just like Washington, DC or New York City. Isn't that wonderful?"
on November 15,2011 | 04:19AM
Anonymous wrote:
There was virtually no national press on this event. How do they measure a non-event. Who was all the security display for? The 21 presidents? You mean to tell us, every time they come to town we are going into "lock down"? Is there any sense of who we are at the top? Come to Hawai`i for the Wonderland experience. The Twins live here. This debacle will haunt the players all the way to elections. Lets hope so.
on November 15,2011 | 04:32AM
bender wrote:
When you see news stories on TV about the goings on in Washington DC, you don't see that town locked down everytime the president steps foot out of the White House, or when the leader of another country comes to town. And they don't call out the National Guard either.
on November 15,2011 | 06:06AM
Kokoy wrote:
Anonymous - "There was virtually no national press on this event" Really? Read much? A Google News search returned just over 8,000 stories mentioning APEC and Hawaii on Monday.
on November 15,2011 | 09:21AM
Kokoy wrote:
Anonymous - "There was virtually no national press on this event" Really? Read much? A Google News search returned just over 8,000 stories mentioning APEC and Hawaii on Monday.
on November 15,2011 | 09:21AM
maya wrote:
No one researchs google for news. They encounter the news in their hometown newspaper on the net, or cable news. With the exception of Obamas speech, there was no coverage. Not only that- he was late for the speech when the backdrop would have shown up better- it was dusky. I live on the mainland, and channnel surfed as I was working on home projects. Nothing there.
on November 15,2011 | 10:38AM
Kokoy wrote:
Right, "no one" researches google for news. Only one of the largest internet search engine companies, with cash on hand in the realm of billions, and nobody uses them for research. Just because you didn't see it, doesn't mean that there aren't more educated people out there that do research and did see the news. Either way, the business that APEC will supposedly bring the state isn't going to come from news about APEC itself, it's from the deals brokered during the conference that will increase tourism.
on November 15,2011 | 02:12PM
Kokoy wrote:
Right, "no one" researches google for news. Only one of the largest internet search engine companies, with cash on hand in the realm of billions, and nobody uses them for research. Just because you didn't see it, doesn't mean that there aren't more educated people out there that do research and did see the news. Either way, the business that APEC will supposedly bring the state isn't going to come from news about APEC itself, it's from the deals brokered during the conference that will increase tourism.
on November 15,2011 | 02:12PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Hehe. I got 19 million Google responses for a Dancing Rat video. APEC got 8,000. 'Nuff said.
on November 15,2011 | 04:15PM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
Or course people use Google to find news. But why would someone from Chicago, or anywhere, else type in "APEC" into Google? You have to know about APEC first in order to Google it. The big hype was only here in Hawaii. On Friday I spoke to a visiting attorney and his wife from New York that asked me what APEC stood for and what the heck all the hassle was about. He didn't know a single thing about it...and they were HERE. If tourist in Waikiki were uninformed about APEC I can guess the majority of people in the US still don't know where Obama was this weekend. The point is that APEC news was buried -- it was not front page or even fourth page news. Dancing rats probably got more national coverage.
on November 15,2011 | 07:03PM
maya wrote:
Yes, you are right. My point was not clear. No one looks for their daily news from google, only if they want to research something. They get their news from the web- hometown nespaper, WSJ, etc. APEC was barely mentioned.
on November 15,2011 | 08:13PM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
Your point was clear maya and I concur. APEC was not on any mainstream national media's radar. A complete flop from the expectation that "Hawaii will be on the world stage" BS. If you have to Google APEC (instead of just going to CNN.com's home page to find out it happend) it wasn't a very big story. As maneki-neko put it: dancing rat 19,000,000 hits...APEC 8000 hits. And we spent HOW MUCH?
on November 15,2011 | 09:36PM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
Kokoy, I HAD to use google to find stories on APEC. During conference I was interested to see what kind of coverage were were going to get for all millions we spent. I looked every day on CNN.com and FOX.com and they didn't have APEC or Hawaii on their Home, World, US, Politics or Breaking News pages. We were off the big media radar. To find a mention of APEC you *had* to do use their search function to find anything on it. Or course then you would get wire stories filed from...duh...Hawaii's media. There were lots and lots of press about Obama being on the USS Carl Vinson for the basketball game and that Air Force One left San Diego, but not hardly a mention in passing about where the dang plane was headed. You almost think that the press was embarassed that 1600 journalist were heading to Hawaii.
on November 15,2011 | 06:29PM
Christopher_murp wrote:
"At the short-term level, some local businesses and workers cashed in on APEC, while others lost money. Agrusa said negative effects mainly tied to security barriers that excluded customers and workers from routines amount to a relatively small loss." Maybe overall a small loss, but try to tell that to the person who's paycheck is halved or the business(es) that saw foot traffic dwindle to nothing due to the security barriers. All this really shows is that we are willing to give up more of our freedoms and movement abilities for the promise of a few dollars more. Reality shows that we lost a few dollars more, weren't any more safe, and were inconvenienced to say the least. Take APEC somewhere else next time where they enjoy the additional security features and don't worry about their businesses failing. And, while your at it, please remove your boots from my back.
on November 15,2011 | 04:36AM
NicholasGMLum wrote:
I challenge the Star-Advertiser to research what the politicians and business leaders said in quotes back when it was announced that the APEC summit was coming to Hawaii. Does it correspond with what they are saying now? Or are they putting the "spin" to the obvious inconvenience and failure of short term benefits of the several-day summit? Or is the news media not going to give context to this story, as usual?
on November 15,2011 | 04:39AM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
Nic, you need a "like" button on your post. LIKE! btw I just told the telemarketer from the SA why I'm not renewing my subscription. Leftist tool. Need more balanced reporting.
on November 15,2011 | 07:16PM
Kawipoo wrote:
How can they view Hawaii as serious when they have a clown as governor and local singers singing protest songs.
on November 15,2011 | 05:49AM
Imagen wrote:
Ouch!
on November 15,2011 | 12:31PM
Mach2 wrote:
and local boy Obummer blocking HI during commuting hours instead of working around inconveniencing so many working people... showing his true colors - like the time he took Michelle on taxpayers dime by jet to NYC for a show...
on November 15,2011 | 07:37PM
SmedleyFerndock wrote:
"While the complete cost analysis may be months away, many business leaders in Hawaii say the long-term benefit was worth it no matter how much it cost." ------------------------------- The preceding is the only statement in this article that I can accept at face value. It is an accepted premise of all businesses that if you can get the tax payers to foot the bill for a project that benefits the business, that is good business. The only word that is questionable is the word many. Many is a word over used by journalists. The more likely description would be the journalist found at least one business person that would stand by the statement.
on November 15,2011 | 05:56AM
CriticalReader wrote:
APEC = Boondoggle
on November 15,2011 | 05:59AM
oldsurfah wrote:
Hey, this is great. Have a meeting in Hawaii and get the locals to fork over $44 million to pay for it AND lock down the whole city while doing it? Let's do it again.
on November 15,2011 | 06:03AM
blkdrgn wrote:
People who were not involved in APEC lost time and money. A study should be made of the those people and factor that into their cost analysis.
on November 15,2011 | 06:05AM
bender wrote:
I don't think the residents of Hawaii are too keen on becoming a meeting place, despite what the money changers claim.
on November 15,2011 | 06:24AM
Kokoy wrote:
Bender - Our state is almost solely dependent on tourism as a source of revenue. I think that Hawaii residents need to be "keen" on Hawaii becoming a meeting place, either that or get ready to shell out more money, every year on taxes when the state makes up the lost tourism revenue from our pockets.
on November 15,2011 | 09:23AM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
We would have been better off using the $62 million on a long term multinational ad campaign to promote business conventions. At least we would have been guarenteed media time. BTW I'm counting the seconds before the first homeless person starts unriating on the new landscaping.
on November 15,2011 | 07:10PM
Kokoy wrote:
Bender - Our state is almost solely dependent on tourism as a source of revenue. I think that Hawaii residents need to be "keen" on Hawaii becoming a meeting place, either that or get ready to shell out more money, every year on taxes when the state makes up the lost tourism revenue from our pockets.
on November 15,2011 | 09:23AM
goofyfoot808 wrote:
Great! we can look forward to more such disruptions in traffic, security searches, loss of freedom to protest, and loss of beach access in the future. Hope this mess doesnt spread to the neighbor islands.
on November 15,2011 | 06:30AM
wahine wrote:
Why couldn't this conference be held at Military base? It would have been easier to manage security and the public would not have been inconvenienced.
on November 15,2011 | 06:34AM
KekoaBradshaw wrote:
In addition to a military base, the whole thing could have been held at Ko Olina, or the ritzy resorts in Sotuh Kohala/North Kona.
on November 15,2011 | 06:57AM
Leewardboy wrote:
1000s for articles on APEC? Actually Googled "APEC Hawaii" several times the last few days - got a few articles - Reuters and our local coverage. Again - my favorite word - "shibai". All flash and show - nothing of substance. As for businesses losing revenue - even a popular eatery on Keeaumoku experienced a loss of business. Many people simply stayed away from the entire area.
on November 15,2011 | 06:44AM
mitt_grund wrote:
APEC was estimated to cost the state and county $137 million whereas the expected delegates and their families were estimated to bring $120 million to the economy, a net loss of $17 million. Now, we're told that the income will be much less than that. However, our fearless leaders, Abercrombie, Carlisle, and Schatz says the $17 million was well worth the positive PR. Remember when the Great White Father Neil said paying out $4 million for the Pro Bowl was stupid! Hey, Neil, you sound like Humpty Dumpty in Alice in Wonderland, "'Stupid' is what I say it means, not what I mean." Or better still, Neil, do you hear the little boy on the sidewalk watching your bombastic parade saying, "The emperor has no clothes!" Pity the poor businesses who bought more inventory and were forced instead to close due to lack of patronage during this time. Hey, Neil, cough up on your bloated housing allowance. That should help some of the businesses affected.
on November 15,2011 | 06:45AM
maya wrote:
Abercrombie actually said 4 million for the Pro Bowl was stupid? Let me tell you, as I live in the mainland now- the Pro Bowl is televised during the dark, gloomy winter. The networks show amazing scenes of Hawaii's beauty during the telecast. APEC showed none of that.
on November 15,2011 | 07:13AM
Ronin006 wrote:
mitt-grund, the net loss was not $17 million. The net loss was GET & TAT taken in by the state on $120 million in estimated APEC spending minus the $137 million spent to support APEC. My guess is that the loss is closer to $110 million.
on November 15,2011 | 11:36AM
mitt_grund wrote:
True. But even the lower amount is unacceptable given that it is money lost to our state and city's ailing infrastructure.
on November 15,2011 | 05:22PM
9ronboz wrote:
Hawaii a serious place to do business? Comments by people who never ran a business.
on November 15,2011 | 06:51AM
mrluke wrote:
This page really needs a "like" button.
on November 15,2011 | 07:32AM
Upperkula wrote:
Is it over yet ? Can I come out and play !!!
on November 15,2011 | 07:03AM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
Play? GET TO WORK! You will need to earn more so they can tax us more to pay for all of this...plus the rail...the sewers...the soon-to-be-announced pay raises for gov't workers that will enivitable go on strike for more pay.
on November 15,2011 | 07:14PM
KekoaBradshaw wrote:
C'mon, reporter Andrew Gomes, don't you know spin when you see it? "Early indications are that the APEC conference... likely gave Hawaii something of more value: a new image". Early indications? The conference participants just went home YESTERDAY. If Hawaii indeed has a new image because of APEC, it will only be apparent months, even years from now, when bookings for "serious" conferences/meetings/conventions increase. But then again, that's why I read the Star-Advertiser--my life would be boring and humorless without it.
on November 15,2011 | 07:07AM
shakalopaka wrote:
We were violated by this APEC event, raped. The island was taken over by conquerors who subjected the people of Oahu and our tourist visitors to Marshall Law. The police roadblocks, the presence of military vehicles, and check points represented the antithesis of the aloha spirit we try to project. We are a tourist destination, not a big city or financial center, and certainly not a police state. This whole event gave me a creepy feeling. We should never let something like this happen again in Hawaii.
on November 15,2011 | 07:21AM
Kokoy wrote:
You were raped by APEC? hahahahahah, another good joke from the great minds on that post on these forums.
on November 15,2011 | 02:14PM
Anonymous wrote:
Oops, I got the dreaded "sent for review" remark again. Must be one of the colorful words I used to describe what the Guv and the Mayor were doing to the taxpayers. OK, here goes again. I wouldn't mind it so much if I got one of those Tori Richard aloha shirts. Don't know if it is worth my share of the $137 million in taxpayers money used on this event. Hey, Guv, Mayor, and Lt. Guv, did you get your aloha shirt? There, did that pass muster?
on November 15,2011 | 07:28AM
KekoaBradshaw wrote:
Why would you want one of those Tori Richard aloha shirts? They're U-G-L-Y.
on November 15,2011 | 09:03AM
Kokoy wrote:
Judging by the amount of time you spend commenting on every article, I'd be interested to know what your "share" of the 137 million in taxpayer money actually is. I'd guess very little.
on November 15,2011 | 09:25AM
Kokoy wrote:
Judging by the amount of time you spend commenting on every article, I'd be interested to know what your "share" of the 137 million in taxpayer money actually is. I'd guess very little.
on November 15,2011 | 09:25AM
mitt_grund wrote:
Sorry, Neil. Did we hurt your feelings? Yes, I am a taxpayer. Are you?
on November 15,2011 | 05:27PM
Mach2 wrote:
yes I am a taxpayer - a lot of us are... we don't specialize in spending other peoples money like Obummer, Abercronie, etc etc
on November 15,2011 | 07:41PM
mitt_grund wrote:
Oops, I got the dreaded "sent for review" remark again. Must be one of the colorful words I used to describe what the Guv and the Mayor were doing to the taxpayers. OK, here goes again. I wouldn't mind it so much if I got one of those Tori Richard aloha shirts. Don't know if it is worth my share of the $137 million in taxpayers money used on this event. Hey, Guv, Mayor, and Lt. Guv, did you get your aloha shirt? [Sorry, Anonymous -- The SA software gave you credit for my remark.]
on November 15,2011 | 07:40AM
Anonymous wrote:
Sorry, Anonymous. You got credit for my remark. ---- Oops, I got the dreaded "sent for review" remark again. Must be one of the colorful words I used to describe what the Guv and the Mayor were doing to the taxpayers. OK, here goes again. I wouldn't mind it so much if I got one of those Tori Richard aloha shirts. Don't know if it is worth my share of the $137 million in taxpayers money used on this event. Hey, Guv, Mayor, and Lt. Guv, did you get your aloha shirt?
on November 15,2011 | 07:41AM
kawika72 wrote:
OK, Hawaii has a better image! Great! How much will this better image cost Hawaii taxpayers? If your decisions fail, you affect the pocketbooks of all the taxpayers here. Don't try to cover up your failures. Call it like it is. Failures are anything that cost everyone here, extra money. Wait till the next election time. You all will be voted out of office for your failures.
on November 15,2011 | 07:42AM
PMINZ wrote:
"APEC boosts isles' image as serious meeting place" ---------->>> HA ! <<<---------- If anyone Believes that - I have some Property I'd like to Sell them 25 Miles South of Waikiki!
on November 15,2011 | 08:12AM
Anonymous wrote:
Hey I just Realized from the Photos of Waikiki during APEC what it reminded me of. --> Waikiki During WWII ! all that was missing was Barbed Wire on Waikiki Beach.
on November 15,2011 | 08:20AM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
Ha! I have a photo of the howitzers on Waikiki and was thinking the same thing all weekend.
on November 15,2011 | 09:43PM
Bdpapa wrote:
As far as APEC was concerned, it was asuccess. As far as small business, not so! If they can tweak this type of atmosphere a bunch, it could be good for business. Eliminating Heads od State would be the first thing. That would free traffic and minimize security zones. The big question is Will they really do that?
on November 15,2011 | 08:54AM
kainalu wrote:
As if this is good news. Come on, Gomes. Hopefully, we'll never have to endure another "experience" like APEC. We just got a serous taste of Orwellian's "1984". If gun-toting Government agents want to shut us down and out - they can ... and will.
on November 15,2011 | 09:02AM
residenttaxpayer wrote:
Its a lot of spin and wishful thinking that APEC was successful for the economy of our state. Time for reality check. Cost more than it produced and hurt our economy and greatly inconvienced visitors and locals alike.
on November 15,2011 | 09:49AM
orion595 wrote:
I guess the nay sayers with the myopic glasses have it. I'm glad they are not our movers and shakers.
on November 15,2011 | 09:53AM
chariie1 wrote:
The no aloha shirt was a slap in the face to local business etiquette and who cares if the world doesn't understand our culture that's why we live in Hawaii. APEC was a self serving venture to ensure companies and governments cooperated by why isn't this a venue that is open for the general public to attend. We should encourage relationships that foster our culture and not show a bias to the capitalists that pushed our economy into its current situation. The bankers and money mangers that oversold our real estate market all wore suits....but i guess that was serious business.
on November 15,2011 | 10:29AM
Naloboy wrote:
C'mon. I hate APEC but the No Aloha Shirt tears are a bit much to take. It doesn't matter what they wore. What matters is what it cost taxpayers in terms of dollars spent, hassles, etc.....versus whatever its benefits are. So far its a one-sided debate. Plenty costs....no tangible benefits.
on November 15,2011 | 10:40AM
Slider wrote:
This event, APEC 2011, was the Top 1% wasting time in Hawaii, while the taxpayers got soaked with millions in dollars of cost. The entire Hawaii National Guard was on duty and have been planning for months, along with Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Marines, Police, Fire, FBI, Secret Service, the list goes on. No way this event generated half the cost the taxpayers shelled out. Likely our state will not get fully reimbursed for all the cost, so add the tab to our debt and your tax bill. Hey Occupy Wall Street (and any town), your anger should be directed to Washington D.C. and the fat cat officals like the President that party it up in Hawaii for a few days on your nickel. THIS WAS ALL WASTE.
on November 15,2011 | 10:33AM
Naloboy wrote:
Look can we all please stop drinking this Kool-Aid????? APEC is a pig with lipstick on it. That means its still a pig.
on November 15,2011 | 10:38AM
Anonymous wrote:
Oh, forgot to mention, that the President got a extra day in Hawaii courtesy of his APEC doondoggle to host a $1,000 minimum donation to his re-election efforts at the new Disney Hotel at Ko Olina. JUST REMEMBER, YOU THE TAXPAYER PAID FAR MORE THAN HE RAISED THAT DAY IN SECURITY AND OTHER COSTS. It is your money, and Fat Cats like Obama are partying it up and soaking YOU with the bill.
on November 15,2011 | 10:39AM
9ronboz wrote:
I was just informed that apec members did not have to pay sales tax on purchases. Is this true?
on November 15,2011 | 10:42AM
KekoaBradshaw wrote:
Where have you been for the past month? This has been covered extensively in the local news media, including the Star-Advertiser.
on November 15,2011 | 12:58PM
wiliki wrote:
So it looks like the inconvenience was very much worth it.
on November 15,2011 | 10:54AM
pakeheat wrote:
We got we deserve when we have a Democrat President, Congressional Rep, Governor, Lt. Governor, Mayor (ex-Republican), Legislature, City Council, and Unions control this State. Business as usual, status quo, and etc. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!
on November 15,2011 | 11:14AM
serfboy wrote:
So I guess the major outcomes of this APEC are: 1) the homeless were swept under the carpet, 2) Nimitz Hwy has greener median strips, 3) nicer facades at Honolulu Int'l Airport, 4) some thoroughfares were repaved, 5) Waikiki Shell parking lot, much of Ala Moana Beach Park, and the Ala Wai Harbor and Canal, to mention a few, were inaccessible to the public, and 6) thousands, if not millions, of our taxpayers' money was spent for a "long-term investment for Hawai`i" since it failed to generate the anticipated additional revenue and media coverage? I know I missed other outcomes so please feel free to add to this list. lol
on November 15,2011 | 11:40AM
kais1269 wrote:
"The state showed it can handle a conference of global political and business leaders . . . ." [and disrupt in a major and substantive way what really counts--tourism.]
on November 15,2011 | 11:45AM
HDoug wrote:
I suggest we take all the tasters, tear gas, surveillance equipment, crowd control gear, weaponry, huge patrolling paddy wagons, etc. that we didn't need and didn't use and sell all of it. We could use the millions for education and social services.
on November 15,2011 | 12:38PM
KekoaBradshaw wrote:
Who would we sell all the surplus stuff too? Oh wait, the President of Syria may be in the market for more things to be used to repress his people. Or, the bosses of the People's Republic of China---no, not them, they're our buddies now!
on November 15,2011 | 01:01PM
sukebesan wrote:
"APEC boosts isles' image as serious meeting place" WHAT A CROCK OF MANURE! Only Hawaii's political andr media flunkies could make up such a stupid statement. Translation: APEC was a total failure and the economic benefits and revenue projections were off by 95%. However, the security precautions were a 100% success and caused traffic gridlock, hurt many small and medium sized businesses, forced residents to be prisoners in their homes, etc.
on November 15,2011 | 01:06PM
dalawyer wrote:
Are you serious? Hawaii as a meeting place. Wow, now that's news!
on November 15,2011 | 01:10PM
chuck4664 wrote:
i wish there is APEC every day so Obama can live here and move the white house here. Hawaii people will be very happy. Maybe he can assist coaching basketball at punahou or UH.
on November 15,2011 | 03:06PM
dholwell wrote:
Hawai'i needs good jobs. If APEC's benefit is to promote tourism and its $10/hr jobs, that won't bring the decent paying jobs needed. I hope that APEC laid a foundation for diversifying the state economy into better-paying, eco-friendly jobs. If it did, it was a success (even if hard to measure right way). If not, it was an epic FAIL. And I live in Waikiki by Kalakua and McCully, and hated the disruption, but at least it was only over a three-day weekend.
on November 15,2011 | 03:51PM
pookiki wrote:
Is someone going to do a serious cost/benefit analysis of this fiasco?? I have attended ASEAN Summits in Thailand on two occasions and security was reasonable but did not inconvenience people to the extent it did with this event. I was simply too much and did not consider the needs of working people and their families. If Hawaii has been shown to be a serious meeting place, who in their right mind would want to go through this again?? I do not think APEC will boost Hawaii's tourism figures nor do I think that our hotel managers will want to go through such an ordeal again. Right McCartney?
on November 15,2011 | 06:17PM
lasik wrote:
I want to know how much of the money spent on APEC was taken out from the Hawaii state workers reduced paychecks. Are we sacrificing our hard earned money because the state budgeted millions of dollars for APEC (new palm trees, new grass, pay for security, etc)
on November 15,2011 | 07:13PM
Mach2 wrote:
ha ha... I guess if a HPU prof says it worked it worked.... lol
on November 15,2011 | 07:35PM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
Now "they see this as a potential future business meeting destination," Agrusa said. We could have done that for much, MUCH, less.
on November 15,2011 | 09:22PM
kimo96745 wrote:
What a spin.....serious meeting place ? Hawaii is what it is, laid back with aloha shirts and flip flops. Speaking of flops, APEC was a total flop for us in Hawaii. Who's idea was it anyway to have APEC in Hawaii ?
on November 15,2011 | 11:05PM
opalaedo wrote:
Maybe APEC wasn't big news in the U.S. but it certainly generated high news coverage among Japan's main media, from newspapers to all the major TV stations. All the Asian countries that were at APEC had coverage of the conference. There was a lot of footage shown by the major networks in China, Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand (all coverage by them shown in Japan too) that would reach millions of viewers. And when you consider that Asia is the fast-growing region in the world with lots of people willing to travel now that they have higher incomes, there will be an impact felt down the road.
on November 16,2011 | 12:44AM
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