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Reopening of Coco Palms requires foreign cash

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 02:13 p.m. HST, Jul 01, 2014

LIHUE >> Developers trying to rebuild a Kauai resort made famous by Elvis Presley and ravaged by a hurricane hope to rely on foreign investments.

The Coco Palms Resort is the only major hotel that did not reopen after Hurricane Iniki in 1992. Built in 1953, the property became famous when Presley filmed his 1961 movie "Blue Hawaii" there.

Developer Coco Palms Hui LLC is seeking federal approval to take advantage of a program that provides green cards to foreign nationals who help the economy by investing in new business deals, principal Tyler Greene told the Garden Island in a report published Tuesday.

It will cost about $125 million to rebuild, which includes buying the land from hotel owner Prudential Insurance and installing a photovoltaic system to power the resort, he said.

"We initially reached out to local banks here, but typically, local banks here don't want to fund a construction loan that is over $30 to $40 million," Greene said.

Some county officials are worried about the prospect of using foreign loans to rebuild the historic hotel.

"I guess I'm concerned about having people who don't have a stake in the community, and I just don't know how long the commitment will be and what kind of commitment it will be to the community," Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura said.

Hyatt Hotels Corp. and Coco Palms Hui announced in May that a Hyatt affiliate entered into a management agreement for the resort. It would be called Coco Palms by Hyatt, Greene said. Hyatt plans to contribute to rebuilding, he said.

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BlueDolphin53 wrote:
QUOTE: "Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura says she's concerned about commitment from investors who don't have a stake in the community.".........Honestly, I think they are looking for reasons NOT to rebuild Coco Palms.
on July 1,2014 | 09:40AM
cojef wrote:
You are possibly right. Joann has been an anti-development activist from way back when.
on July 1,2014 | 12:11PM
MrMililani wrote:
JoAnn...go back to where you came from. That resort has been an eyesore for years. What on earth is wrong with you?
on July 1,2014 | 03:28PM
mrrdgreen wrote:
Isn't Tourism one of the main industries in Kauai? Confused here.
on July 1,2014 | 10:06AM
false wrote:
Nope. Agitating against growth, GMO, superferry and anything local is the main mantra of the Kauai transplants.
on July 1,2014 | 01:35PM
iwanaknow wrote:
Playing with the Devil are we?
on July 1,2014 | 03:42PM
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