Turtle Bay to start $70M renovation
Turtle Bay Resort plans to start a $70 million renovation by the fourth quarter of this year that will be the precursor for its plan to add about 725 more units.
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Turtle Bay, which is owned by Blackstone and managed by Benchmark Resorts &Hotels, plans to start a $70 million renovation by the fourth quarter of this year that will be the precursor for its plan to add about 725 more units during a lengthy build-out that could start two or three years from now.
The coming renovation, which is expected to span a year and a half to two years, will touch almost every aspect of the current property, from its landscaping to the entry lobby, bars, restaurants, pool deck, cottages, tennis courts and more. The resort will remain open during the renovation, which is expected to create 70 new construction jobs and support other employment.
It’s the first time in its 45 years that the resort is undergoing a major overhaul that changes its arrival experience. Significant changes are planned for its porte-
cochere, which Jerry Gibson, vice president and managing director at Turtle Bay Resorts, said will be reconfigured to hold eight cars so that guests have a more efficient entry experience. Large 10-foot-tall longboards will be installed outdoors to control wind, he said.
Gibson said the lobby also will become “much larger and much grander.” The hotel front desk will be moved to the right side so that it overlooks Kuilima Cove “to set the tone for the day going forward,” he said.
The resort will be seeking a special management area permit for the improved porte-cochere, a stone wall at the resort’s entrance and new adult and keiki pools, Gibson said. A new pond and bar, complete with tiki torches, will be added to the lobby’s left side, which will be opened up to look down at a newly renovated second-floor adult pool, with two slides that connect it to a third-level family pool, he said.
“The views are just going to be gorgeous,” Gibson said.
A new 1,200-square-foot venue, called The Surf Club, will be added to the lobby level, offering surfers a place to rent and store boards, view a history wall or talk story about the five surf breaks that surround the resort.
The resort’s 42 ocean-front cottages also will be updated, as well as its tennis area, which will offer two tennis courts and introduce four pickleball courts, Gibson said.
“We really kept the character of the North Shore with the design and feeling of what we are going to do,” Gibson said. “Anyone that comes in can get the flavor of the North Shore right away. Our traveler is looking for an experience. They want to enjoy all the North Shore brings.”
Unlike the resort’s last refreshing about 12 years ago, Gibson said this redevelopment includes a heavy technological investment so that today’s device-dependent visitors can get connectivity everywhere on the 875-acre property, including its beaches, golf course and stables. They’ll also be able to tap into their favorite entertainment on new 72-inch TVs that will be installed in the resort’s 452 guest rooms and common areas, he said.
“I think this is going to help us with the future of Turtle Bay. First of all, it will help secure business for the future. We need to refresh at this point. We need to keep up with the market and other hotels,” Gibson said. “We’ve homed in on the right thing to set the pace for the future. It’s really important that we do this right.”
The resort’s future is unfolding under Blackstone, which acquired Turtle Bay Resort toward the end of 2017 for roughly $330 million. The coming renovation is expected to be followed by an expansion cycle. Gibson said the team is concentrating on redevelopment now but expects to finalize expansion plans within the next six months.
“We haven’t decided on the mix of units or the branding. That will be the next phase of what we do. That will come in the next six months. Then we’ll be able to tell the community what we’ll do,” Gibson said.
A lengthy expansion build-out, which could come in phases, is expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars and almost double the workforce.
Turtle Bay’s former owners received approval in 1986 to build 3,500 additional units, including five new hotel sites, but community resistance stopped the development from moving forward. A 2015 conservation agreement allowed Turtle Bay to retain about 150 acres fronting the ocean on either side of the resort’s existing hotel for expansion, which could include up to two hotels and a combination of 725 lodging and residential units.