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Towns closest to Big Isle’s Kīlauea eruption struggle to attract visitors

  • Video: Diane S. W. Lee and Cindy Ellen Russell

    The towns closest to the Kilauea eruption and Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park are struggling the most with the economic impact.

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Volcano businesses declined after earthquakes closed the park’s Kilauea section. It didn’t help when the park erected a sign warning motorists to stay away. Local businesses have formed a hui to highlight new reasons to visit.

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Haunani Kaleiwahea, a housekeeper at Volcano Rainforest Retreat, prepared for guests.

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Ira Ono, owner of Volcano Garden Arts, is working to increase occupancy at his vacation rental.

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    California visitor Julian Castillo, above, enjoyed a wine tasting at Volcano Winery where business is still down.

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Above, visitors walked toward the Volcano Winery’s tasting room on July 23.

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park ranger Luke Latzke manned an informational table July 23 at the Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village.

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    An aerial view of lava entering the ocean near Ahalanui in lower Puna during a Paradise Helicopters tour on July 24.

The Volcano Art Center, a nonprofit gallery and learning center inside the Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, sold about $70,000 a month worth of artwork and other merchandise last year and was expecting 2018 to be even better. Read more

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