comscore Business fear Mauna Kea summit closure will force layoffs | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Business fear Mauna Kea summit closure will force layoffs

    Protest leader Kahookahi Kanuha addressed demonstrators Thursday near Mauna Kea Access Road.

HILO >> Tour operators fear they will have to start laying employees off as University of Hawaii officials offer no timeline for reopening the Mauna Kea summit road and visitor center.

West Hawaii Today reports that opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope blocked the summit road with stones last week, prompting its closure. University officials are still trying to determine if it is safe to reopen the road.

Mauna Kea Summit Adventures General Manager Mike Sessions says the road closure is costing him major money. The company, one of eight operators licensed to bring visitors to the summit, takes 28 people to the mountain each day, charging $212 a head.

Protesters say they did not intend to block tourist and other public access to the road.

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