Hotels at Ko Olina Resort, including Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, will close starting Tuesday.
Honolulu City Council member Kym Pine said today she has been in discussions with officials at the West Oahu resort about the closures.
“I’ve been working with Jeff Stone, owner of Ko Olina Resorts and they will be closing all of Ko Olina’s hotels and its establishments next week,” Pine said in a press release.
“I’m working hard to make sure affected employees are taken care of,” she said.
According to Pine, public park closures have led residents to crowd onto beaches at Ko Olina — many not heeding the call for social distancing. She said at the resort there have been long lines for restrooms and unsafe gatherings.
“This is a public health hazard that nobody should be risking at this time,” said Pine, who represents residents of ʻEwa, ʻEwa Beach, Kapolei, Honokai Hale, Ko ʻOlina, Nanakuli, Maili, Waianae, Makaha, Keaau, Makua, and is chair of the City Council’s Committee on Business Economic Development and Tourism.
In a letter to guests, Aulani said it would shut down on at 5 p.m. Tuesday through March 31. Guests were asked to make arrangements to leave by Tuesday.
“We recognize you may be receiving this news in the middle of your stay, and we will work to assist you in the midst of this dynamic situation,” the letter stated.
“It is greatly upsetting to see that some online travel sites are publishing ridiculous travel packages to Hawai‘i of $50, $100 and $200 to lure people to come to the islands during this global pandemic. I hope everyone in Hawai‘i will boycott these travel sites that are potentially bringing virus-carrying visitors to our home,” Pine said in a statement.
“I am hoping other hotels around the state will follow their lead. I am deeply disturbed that people in the tourism industry have refused to shut down operations. I ask them to put people’s lives before money.”