State fines hotel for fireworks show
A New Year’s Eve fireworks display for guests of the luxury Kahala Hotel & Resort has gotten the hotel’s owner in a bit of trouble with the state.
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A New Year’s Eve fireworks display for guests of the luxury Kahala Hotel &Resort has gotten the hotel’s owner in a bit of trouble with the state.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is taking action against the operator of the hotel for launching the aerial pyrotechnics show from a spit of state land without permission Dec. 31.
DLNR is recommending that its board fine the resort $1,000 and recover an additional $500 for administrative costs and $550 that would have been charged to use the property if permission had been requested and granted.
The agency said the hotel and firms that handled the display claimed that they didn’t know a permit was necessary to launch fireworks from the site, which is part of the state-owned shoreline fronting the 338-room hotel.
An affiliate of Japanese-based Resorttrust Inc. bought the hotel in 2014 for $300 million and installed new management in October.
According to a DLNR staff report, the hotel management hired a local event
organizer who subcontracted the fireworks show to a mainland vendor. Neither the event organizer
nor the fireworks vendor knew they were required
to obtain a DLNR permit
to launch commercial
fireworks from the public property, the report said.
The vendor, Pyro Spectaculars North Inc. of McClellan, Calif., obtained a fireworks permit from the Honolulu Fire Department.
Dara Lum, a spokeswoman for the hotel, said the company did not want to comment.
Unauthorized use of state land can draw a penalty of up to $5,000 under DLNR rules. However, the agency suggested in the report that the lesser fine was appropriate given that the board could have approved an application to use the site for the commercial fireworks show if an application had been submitted.
“Staff recommends the board authorize the collection of the retroactive rent in the amount of $550, in addition to the fines, costs and expenses,” the report said.
DLNR’s board accepted the recommendation at a meeting Friday, and the hotel agreed to the financial penalty.