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Westin Maui plans $55M in improvements

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WAILUKU >> The Westin Maui Resort & Spa is seeking a special management area permit and a shoreline setback variance as part of an estimated $55 million in master plan improvements that call for, among other things, a new four-level parking garage and more ballroom and spa space, according to a final environmental assessment.

The proposed project comes after a $70 million renovation to the resort’s 533-room Ocean Tower was completed in February. In that renovation, rooms were gutted, walls were removed, balconies were redesigned, new sliding glass doors installed and bathrooms renovated, said hotel General Manager Gregg Lundberg. Rooms had plumbing and electrical refurbishing and were outfitted with high-speed Internet access, The Maui News reported.

Proposed projects include:

— A new parking garage, currently designed for approximately 625 stalls, adjacent to Kaanapali Parkway in the resort’s south parking lot. (The garage would be screened by landscaping and bring total parking to more than 800 stalls, enabling the hotel to provide 166 parking spaces for employees on-site. Now employees park off-site in space leased from the Hyatt Regency.)

— Increasing the resort’s ballroom from 4,000 to 12,000 square feet.

— Construction of a landscaping facility in the parking garage’s lower level.

— Expansion of first-floor meeting rooms to 9,500 square feet.

— Building a new, 3,070-square-foot, back-of-house structure (for laundry facilities and storage) adjacent to the ballroom.

— Expanding the spa by 4,240 square feet, adding 12 to 14 new treatment rooms.

— Demolishing an existing water feature, a retail kiosk, restroom and storage building, and removing a landscaping mound within the shoreline setback area.

— Installing a deck area and a 4,120-square-foot roof structure next to the Relish Restaurant and a 2,570-square-foot, open-air roof structure next to the Sugar House restaurant.

— Putting in 3,015 square feet of decking next to the Sugar House and Relish restaurants.

— Renovating the interior of existing guest room and public corridor areas, pools, water features and back-of-house areas.

— Installation of underground utilities, including the relocation of a county sewer line.

The project is needed to keep the Westin Maui competitive in the global resort visitor industry, the final environmental assessment says.

Lundberg said the resort needs to stay “new and fresh” to keep customers coming back.

The resort competes with other Maui and Hawaii hotels and resorts found in Mexico and other destinations where owners are investing in their properties, he said.

The proposed renovations “will definitely increase the value of the property and increase the customer experience,” he said.

The resort aims to begin construction in the first quarter of 2016. Work is expected to take 30 months.

The project is scheduled to come before the Maui Planning Commission on Feb. 10.

The hotel initially opened as the Maui Surf Hotel in 1971 but closed for major enhancements in 1985. Those included construction of the resort’s Beach Tower and five outdoor pools.

The hotel reopened in 1988 as the Westin Maui. In recent years, the resort has added two new restaurants, a business center, fitness and workout rooms, and completed a redesign of its 20,000-square-foot Aloha Pavilion.

The Westin Hotels and Resorts brand is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

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