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Businesses reduce hours while some go on total hiatus

Regal Cinemas in Maui Mall is temporarily closing while theater at QKC remains open

Maui County businesses, both locally and nationally owned, are reducing hours, temporarily closing and attempting to reduce physical contact with customers in order to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

Whaler’s Village in Kaanapali, located among some of West Maui’s largest resorts, has scaled back hours in keeping with property owner Brookfield Properties’ actions in malls across the U.S. The company also owns Ala Moana Center on Oahu, which also reduced its hours.

Whaler’s Village will operate from noon to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays, a spokesperson said Monday afternoon. Brookfield Properties officials said that the reduced operating schedule will allow for shopping and commerce but also for “rigorous cleanings” each evening and throughout the day.

Another resort mall, The Shops at Wailea, is reducing its hours to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. All cultural instruction and live entertainment events have been postponed until further notice, a spokeswoman said.

The mall has installed hand sanitizers and increased cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces.

The shopping center is not reducing staffing, hours of security, janitorial services or maintenance, even as mall hours are being reduced, the spokeswoman said.

The Outlets of Maui on Front Street in Lahaina said it continues to be open for business, but some retailers and restaurants may have reduced hours. The mall said it has increased the frequency of cleaning of surfaces that are frequently touched by the public and monitoring information from government officials.

In Central Maui, the area’s largest mall, the Queen Ka’ahumanu Center, did not change business hours but postponed all community events until further notice. The mall said that hours for individual stores may vary.

In fact, Bath and Body Works in the Kahului mall, which at saw lines of residents last week seeking hand sanitizers, said in an email to customers Monday that it will be temporarily closing its stores in the U.S. and Canada.

The mall has increased its cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces and has shared the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 advisories with employees and tenants.

Down the street at the Maui Mall, theater chain Regal Cinemas announced its temporary closure beginning today, according to its Facebook page.

The other major Central Maui movie house, Consolidated Theatres, in the Queen Ka’ahumanu Center, remained open, according to its last Facebook post Thursday. The theater said it was increasing its frequency and extent of cleaning and sanitation and was working on creating social distancing by reducing seat count by 50 percent or more.

While encouraging social distancing, the theater will not prevent families and friends from sitting next to each other.

Other businesses are working to reduce contact with the public.

Local award-winning restaurant A Saigon Cafe in Wailuku said it will limit its food service to to-go orders only. Walk-in dining and bar service have been temporarily suspended.

“Rest assured, A Saigon Cafe is not closed for business,” said owner Jennifer Nguyen in a news release. “The health and safety of our employees and patrons is our primary concern.”

Starbucks and McDonald’s are among other national chains that have announced similar to-go only service.

Hawaiian Electric will temporarily close its payment centers starting at noon Wednesday. The company will reassess next week whether the centers, including in Kahului, will reopen on March 30.

Customers are encouraged to mail in payments; use or sign up for online payments; use Speedpay, an authorized payment service provider; or visit Western Union payment locations, if payment must be made in person.

For more information, go to www.hawaiianelectric.com/customer-service/customer-and-payment-centers.

Hawaiian Electric said it will discuss payment options with customers who may be experiencing financial hardship due to the outbreak. On Maui, people may call 871-9777, and on Lanai and Molokai, (877) 871-8461.

* Melissa Tanji can be reached at mtanji@mauinews.com.

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