Annals of pure bullshit - Coco Palms

SUBHEAD: Coco Palms redevelopment is going Green and means 2,000 new jobs and a quarter $billion for Kauai!

By Juan Wilson on 22 June 2014 for Island Breath -

Image above: Early promotional photo at the Coco Palms Lagoon. From (

At the time the Coco Palms was built in 1953 there was no "traffic" on Kauai. There wasn't a red-light on the island to stop at. Conveniently there was a 2,000 tree coconut tree grove on the marshy property. A featured lagoon would be easy. So, in 1960, in "Blue Hawaii", when Elvis Presley and his bride to be rode a flower bedecked double-hulled canoe to the resort's Wedding Chapel, the myth of the Coco Palms was born.

Image above: Elvis Presley arriving in 1960 at the entrance to the Coco Palms to film "Blue Hawaii". From (

Entertainers from a half century ago gave the Coco Palms some glamor. That would include stars like Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley and lesser celebrities like Kauai's Larry Rivera (who has shilled for a renewal of the resort).

But renewal of places like the Coco Palms have to be framed in restorative historic terms. They are laden with false promises and nostalgia.  This is because no one in their right mind would seriously consider building a new, expensive resort in a tsunami floodplain on an eroding beach experiencing ocean rise at the busiest traffic bottleneck on Kauai. It would be insane to do so.

It could only be sold as a restoration of some glorious past that is bathed in a golden light of reflectance.

Image above: Elvis in wedding scene from finale of "Blue Hawaii" at the Lagoon of the Coco Palms. From (

In 1991 Hurricane Iniki did great damage to Kauai. The Coco Palms Resort, facing the Pacific Ocean on Wailua Beach has been closed since. Some damaged hotel facilities, like the Sheraton in Poipu were rebuilt - with reinforced cement bunker technology. The fragile wood Coco Palms was left to rot - and with good reason.

Image above: The Coco Palms after Hurricane Iniki devastated Kauai in 1991. In months the resort was officially closed for good. From (

Every few years for the last decade or so we've gotten some sunlight and green smoke that have been blown up our skirts on plans to resurrect the dead Coco Palms Resort into 21st Century.

Needless to say, the schemers and speculators who come up with these plans are not hotel operators. They are grifters and sideshow hustlers. They want to "GET IN" by obtaining property rights at a penny-on-the-dollar and then "GET OUT" by having to be bought out and leaving others holding a bag of turds.

Code words these "developers" use are:
  • New Jobs
  • Restoration
  • Smart Growth
  • Green Energy
  • Public Amenities
  • Cultural Integrity
  • Historic Preservation
These words are, if not meaningless, untrue when evoked for the purpose of securing money and permits for speculative development. Older, faded celebrities are commandeered to invoke nostalgia and bring a blessing to the project. Political hacks join in for free publicity photo-ops.

This is all hype by con-artists' flacks to lull the public while the commons and cultural heritage is plundered.

There was a recent article on the latest Coco Palms scheme in Pacific Business News dated 6/18/14.  The "reporter" Duane Shimogawa parrots the project's developer:
"The redevelopment of the iconic Coco Palms Resort on Kauai, which will be branded as a Hyatt resort, could mean up to 1,970 new jobs and $230 million infused into the Garden Isle’s economy"
 Of course over two-thirds of those jobs would be short term construction. The bulk of the rest would be maids, groundskeepers, bellboys, kitchen staff etc.

The article goes on to say: 
Coco Palms Hui LLC, which is headed up by Honolulu investors Tyler Greene and Chad Waters, is raising EB-5 funds for the renovation and reopening of the famed resort in East Kauai, which has been shuttered for more than two decades after being destroyed by Hurricane Iniki. The report says the funds could be raised by close to 200 EB-5 investors.
The EB-5 immigrant investor program, a federal program that puts foreign investors on the fast track for permanent U.S. residency, gives green cards to foreign nationals who invest between $500,000 and $1 million in a U.S. company or project and $1 million in a U.S. company or project that will create at least 10 American jobs within two years.
In recent years, the Mainland has seen a flurry of activity in this program from wealthy foreigners, particularly from China, South Korea and Great Britain.
 Well at least they are going to import their suckers this time. I imagine it will mostly be Chinese "mad money" since the real estate bubble over there exploded. Although, it would seem Macau would be a better spot in that it has legal casinos. Kauai does offer gambling but its hard to build a resort around chicken fights.

Image above: Today a casual sign advertized a "business" that operates a tour of the Coco Palms grounds at 2pm on Monday through Friday. From (

See also:

Ea O Ka Aina: Coco Palms Travesty  4/10/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Wailua Beach "Elephant Path" 12/22/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Wailua Bike Path Consideration  12/12/12
Island Breath: Annals of False Advertizing - Kauai Lagoons 3/18/08
Island Breath: Coco Palms Developers Break Promises 1/14/07
Island Breath: Coco Palms & Traffic Problem 3/1/06
Island Breath: Coco Palms Review 1/8/06
Island Breath: Kauai Coconut Coast Overdeveloped 11/12/05
Island Breath: Coco Palms Development 12/28/04


No comments :

Post a Comment