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Turtle Bay Resort gets OK to finish $116M renovation

HONOLULU (AP) — The owners of Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu have received preliminary approval for a permit crucial to completing a $116 million renovation project on the aging North Shore complex, city committee officials said.

The Honolulu City Council’s Zoning, Planning and Housing Committee approved the major special management area use permit Thursday, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Saturday.

The permit will allow the North Shore resort owners to complete $26 million in improvements as part of the larger renovation project, including relocating its entryway, extending a reflecting pool, adding a garden and new pool, expanding its golf cart barn and replacing a chain-link fence with a wood fence, resort executives said.

“We believe that by upgrading our facilities the visitor experience will be enhanced,” resort Vice President Jerry Gibson said. “We need to continuously reinvest in our product which we provide to our visitors.”

The full council is expected to provide a final vote May 6. If it is approved, Gibson said major improvements could begin by the end of summer.

“The Turtle Bay hotel definitely needs a face-lift and this project would accomplish that,” committee chairman and councilman Ron Menor said. “More importantly, the city needs to support construction projects that can help to revitalize the economy given the severe and devastating economic downturn that our island and our state are currently experiencing.”

Turtle Bay currently has 410 hotel rooms and suites in its main hotel and 42 beach cottages.

In 1986, the resort’s former owners won approval to build 3,500 additional units, including five new hotel sites, but plans were halted because of community opposition, officials said.