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‘Lei Day’ event raises $200,000-plus

The “Lei Day for Japan” music and cuisine benefit held Sunday at Aloha Tower Marketplace raised more than $200,000 to help the aid and recovery efforts in Japan stemming from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Hawaiian Airlines, which presented the event, said more than 1,500 guests attended. All of the funds raised from the sale of event tickets, T-shirts and lei at the event are going to the Japan-America Society of Hawaii for donation directly to the Japanese Red Cross Society to benefit families and individuals in need.

Boyd loses $3.5M but Hawaii traffic up

LAS VEGAS » Casino operator Boyd Gaming Corp. lost $3.5 million in its first quarter, dragged down in part by higher costs.

However, the parent company of Honolulu-based subsidiary Vacations-Hawaii said yesterday it saw strong growth from the islands. Vacations-Hawaii operates five charter flights a week from Honolulu using Omni Air International.

“Strength in our Hawaiian customer base is driving healthy growth in our downtown Las Vegas business,” said Keith Smith, Boyd president and CEO.

Boyd said revenue for its downtown Las Vegas properties rose 3.1 percent in the quarter, but it had softer results elsewhere.

Chief Operating Officer Paul J. Chakmak said positive growth trends from Hawaii are mitigating the impact of higher fuel costs at Vacations-Hawaii.

“Jet fuel prices are up sharply, and fierce competition on Hawaiian air routes limits our ability to pass along these increases in the form of higher ticket prices,” Chakmak said. “While increased costs will remain a factor, we are optimistic that positive trends will continue in the downtown business in the second quarter.”

Boyd had earnings of $8.4 million in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue, meanwhile, increased 36 percent to $564.9 million from $415.1 million as the company made more money from gambling, food and beverages, and rooms.

Isle flights help WestJet profits soar

Calgary-based WestJet, which offers daily flights between Canada and Hawaii, said its first-quarter earnings jumped twentyfold as fare increases designed to offset higher fuel prices failed to dampen passenger demand.

The company raised fares four times in the first three months of the year en route to its 24th consecutive profitable quarter. Its first-quarter net income was C$48.2 million ($50.7 million in U.S. dollars) compared with C$2.4 million in the year-ago quarter.

Hugh Dunleavy, vice president of strategy and planning for WestJet, said Hawaii traffic continues to be strong.

“Our capacity from Alberta nonstop to Hawaii was up several 100 percent (year over year), and those flights operate very full,” Dunleavy said. “So we’re very bullish on the prospects of the doubling of capacity that will mount this summer from Vancouver to both Maui and Honolulu,”

U.S. auto sales rev up 18 percent

DETROIT » Americans are going for smaller cars as gas prices march higher. New models that get 35 mpg or better, including the Chevrolet Cruze, Hyundai Elantra and Ford Focus, led most major automakers to stronger April sales. Even buyers of pickup trucks chose more efficient engines.

The shift to more fuel-efficient cars was good news for Detroit and Korean automakers, which have plenty of new small cars in stock. But Toyota, struggling with supply shortages since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, reported weak sales.

Overall, U.S. sales rose 18 percent from April of last year, to 1.16 million. It was the third straight month that sales hit an annual rate of 13 million.

Ship Ahoy

Today’s ship arrivals and departures:
HONOLULU HARBOR

AGENT VESSEL FROM ETA ETD BERTH DESTINATION
MNC Mahimahi Los Angeles 4 p.m. 52A
TNC CSC Progress 6 p.m. 51A TBD
HL Horizon Reliance Los Angeles 7 p.m. 51A

ON THE MOVE

Richard Eshleman has been appointed chief executive officer of MLS Hawaii dba Hawaii Information Service. He was previously an interim CEO since February as well as controller and chief operating officer of HIS for seven years.

***

Cades Schutte has announced the admission of the following to partnership:

» Jeffrey M. Osterkamp practices in the areas of commercial litigation, construction litigation and media law. He has represented architects, design professionals and contractors in disputes concerning completion costs, breach of contract, delay claims and insurance coverage disputes.

» Calvert G. Chip chase practices in the areas of commercial and real estate litigation and land use, zoning and entitlements. He previously clerked for Judge Richard R. Clifton, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and Judge Alan C. Kay, U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii.

» Caryn H. Okinaga practices in the areas of banking regulation, real estate and finance. Prior to joining the firm in 2003, she was a private banker at a local bank.

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