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Former plantation communities in Hawaii that pivoted to tourism are once again struggling to cope with economic calamity

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Before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, Paia's sidewalks were jammed with visitors and locals enjoying the seaside town's eclectic mix of boutiques, restaurants and galleries. Now, many stores are boarded up or vacant.
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Many longtime shops in Paia town, including Alice in Hulaland on Baldwin Avenue, have boarded up or closed since tourists are no longer visiting the north shore town.
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Charley's Restaurant & Saloon on Hana Highway, a Paia institution since 1969, has closed temporarily due to COVID-19, but the rock music-themed chain restaurant Rock & Brews next door, which opened in 2014, has closed for good.
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It was a slow day for Ginger Prados and Minnie Cain at Tobi's Shave Ice & Poke in Paia town. The business has been in operation since 1992.
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Many longtime shops in Paia town, including Paia Mercantile on Hana Highway, have closed since tourists are no longer visiting the north shore town.
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Puka Puka in a plantation-era building on Hana Highway in Paia is among the businesses to have closed since tourists are no longer visiting the north shore town. Luka Walsh's Paia Bowls operates in a space at the back of the property with open-air seating.
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Increased police enforcement had reduced the number of cars parked along Hana Highway but several abandoned vehicles remained late last week. Police issued more than 45 citations, including for illegal habitation of vehicles.
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Courtesy The Beall Corp.

The Koloa History Center at Old Koloa Town is temporarily closed. Stores and restaurants in the Kauai retail complex occupy historic plantation-era buildings.
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Courtesy The Beall Corp.

Tourists are a rare sighting at Old Koloa Town, a collection of plantation-era buildings in the heart of the town near Kauai's Poipu resort area.
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Courtesy Anna Pacheco

Ku’ulei Ruiz and Kamaehu Duldulao model '50s-style costumes fashioned from natural materials by Grace Flowers as part of a social media campaign to promote Honokaa town.

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Former plantation communities in Hawaii that pivoted to tourism struggle with economic calamity again