County gets lot for hosting the Maui Jim Invitational

The county Board of Ethics is looking at the ditty bag and tickets given to the mayor and County Council members by Kemper Sports, promoters of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational basketball tournament. They are a thank-you for these people for the time it takes to work out all the details for the contract for the tournament.

But what does the county get from Kemper? Nine to 15 million dollars’ worth of revenue from the three days before Thanksgiving, which isn’t a busy time without the tournament. Thirty-six hours of national TV time with the name Maui mentioned every four minutes and it is twice now with Maui Jim as title sponsor. On the floor the logo with Maui is prominently displayed on center court. The security is so tight that you need a ticket or pass to get into the gym, so if the mayor doesn’t have one he can’t give the mayor’s trophy to the championship team.

Also, the council can see where the money is spent from the Lahaina parks budget to get the civic center into outstanding shape for a three-day tournament with 10,000 people a day attending. They also see the fans that the tournament brings from the Mainland. Also, the council could see how a well-run special event is run.

Yes, it is a thank-you but they need to see what is going on to keep it going on.

Steve Ashfield