Business/In Brief • Oct. 29, 2013

Permit changes may derail restoration

LIHUE – A Kauai County proposal to change the permit process for structures damaged by Hurricane Iniki could mean the end of restoration plans for the resort where Elvis Presley filmed “Blue Hawaii.”

Tour guide Bob Jasper said last week that repealing the “Iniki Ordinance” would mean the death of Coco Palms Resort.

Kauai’s council held a hearing Wednesday to consider the plan backed by Mayor Bernard Carvalho. Carvalho told the county planning commission in a June letter that property owners looking to rebuild have had ample time to use the ordinance’s expedited permit process.

“Coco Palms should be made an exception to the ordinance,” testified Larry Rivera, the resort’s former music director.

A local investment group is trying to buy and restore it. Coco Palms Hui LLC is seeking demolition and building permits. The resort is currently owned by Maryland-based Petrie Ross Ventures.

The hotel has been closed since the 1992 storm.

Developer Tyler Greene, a managing partner with Bridge Real Estate Hawaii, said permits under the expedited process would let them skip an environmental impact statement.

The county planning department is reviewing suspended demolition permits for the resort.


Time Warner boosts top Internet speed

LOS ANGELES – Time Warner Cable Inc. is doubling the Internet speed of its fastest product and more than halving the price of its lowest-speed product to compete with its telecom rivals.

The nation’s second-largest cable TV provider is doubling the download speed of its top-tier “Ultimate” service to 100 megabits per second. The speed upgrade is being rolled out now to customers in Los Angeles and will come to New York City and Hawaii by the end of the year.

On the bottom end, New York-based Time Warner Cable is doubling the download speed of its “Lite” product to 2 mbps and dropping the price.

Cable companies have separate service areas from one another, but they compete for TV, Internet and phone customers with phone companies in certain areas.