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Hawaii News

Royal Kona Resort to reopen after 7-month closure

KAILUA-KONA >> The Royal Kona Resort on Hawaii island plans to reopen to guests following a seven-month closure amid the coronavirus pandemic and a multimillion- dollar renovation.

The three-tower resort overlooking Kailua Bay on the western side of the Big Island expects to open today, West Hawaii Today reported Tuesday.

The Royal Kona is the only property in the area expected to reopen on the same day the state launches a program enabling travelers to avoid a 14-day quarantine by taking COVID-19 tests before arriving in Hawaii.

Since the implementation of the quarantine mandated by Gov. David Ige in March, visitor arrivals to the Big Island have dropped 97% and hotel occupancy has hovered at around 30%, the newspaper reported.

Royal Kona Resort General Manager Jay Rubenstein said there have been “quite a few” reservations already at the 428-room property owned by Honolulu-based Hogan Hospitality Group.

“Hell or high water, we’re opening,” Rubenstein said. “We’re going to chance it.”

An extensive renovation of the resort is nearing completion, Rubenstein said.

The renovation includes fresh carpeting and paint, new furniture and improvements to the pool area. He did not provide specific costs of the renovation project, the first at the resort since 2006.

“It’s a whole revitalization of the resort that once was,” Rubenstein said of the 53-year-old hotel.

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