The decision by the Maui Planning Commission to grant a special management area permit and development approvals for the $250 million expansion of the Grand Wailea is a welcome one.
The renovation will add 300 rooms and expand the resort's pool areas. The expansion will bring the total number of rooms to 1,100.
The hotel's plans were initially approved in 2009, but intervenors sought to reduce the height of the planned expansion and wanted more extensive archaeological testing on its grounds. The issues were resolved through mediation and paved the way for Tuesday's approval of the project.
The Grand Wailea is one of the premier resorts in the world and the renovations and expansion will allow it to remain competitive in the luxury hotel business. Work on the hotel will also provide much needed relief to a local construction industry that was savaged by the recession.
While no starting date has been given for the work, it is estimated the whole project will take five to six years to complete.
The 20-year-old resort currently has 1,500 employees.
Committing to this project shows a strong belief by the Grand Wailea that the visitor industry will continue to recover and thrive on Maui. It is the type of vote of confidence that should inspire others to invest here.
Our congratulations to the resort on securing the SMA permit and approvals.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.