Business/In Brief • Sept. 11, 2013
KAILUA-KONA- A nearly 50-year-old Big Island resort damaged by a tsunami in 2011 is planning to lay off its last employees with unclear prospects for reopening.
The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Tuesday that the chief executive of Kona Village Resort informed employees last week that their last day would be Sept. 17.
CEO Pat Fitzgerald told the newspaper that the lenders in charge of distributing insurance funds are unwilling to release the funds.
“Either way, they’re going to have to replace the infrastructure,” Fitzgerald said.
The resort built in 1965 sustained tens of millions of dollars in damage in the tsunami and was closed. It had more than 200 employees.
Fitzgerald, who is also president of neighboring Four Seasons Resort Hualaki, said he is meeting with the employees to discuss the layoffs and plans to help them try to get new jobs.
Fitzgerald says the contractor working on the project has left, and he’s not sure what will happen next for the resort.
The resort sits on land owned by Kamehameha Schools and has more than 30 years left on its lease.
Fitzgerald said after the hotel closed in 2011 that it would take at least two years for the Polynesian-themed hotel to reopen with infrastructure.