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Big Island resort damaged by tsunami plans 2022 reopening

The Associated Press
Big Island resort damaged by tsunami plans 2022 reopening

KAILUA-KONA, HAWAII — A Big Island resort known for its Polynesian-style, thatched-roof bungalows plans to reopen in 2022 after it closed because of tsunami damage.

Real estate investment firm Kennedy Wilson has brought on Rosewood Hotels & Resorts to manage Kona Village.

Rosewood announced recently that the renovated property about 30 kilometres north of Kailua-Kona will have 150 standalone guest hales.

The resort plans to reopen the original Shipwreck Bar and Talk Story Bar and add a spa, multiple swimming pools and other amenities.

“We have a long history of investing in Hawaii and we are humbled to be the next steward of Kona Village,” Bill McMorrow, chairman and CEO of Kennedy Wilson, said in a statement. “Rosewood Hotels & Resorts shares our vision for creating a resort that honours the history of the region.”

This will be the first resort in Hawaii managed by Rosewood, which operates 24 properties in 15 countries.

The resort originally opened in 1965. The March 2011 tsunami damaged utilities, 20 of the 125 bungalows and other resort facilities.

Kennedy Wilson acquired the resort in 2016 after a foreclosure lawsuit was filed against the property’s former owner, Kona Village Investors LLC.

“Looking ahead, completion could occur faster or slower depending upon a myriad of circumstances related to the construction process,” Dave Eadie, senior vice-president of entitlement and development at Kennedy Wilson, told West Hawaii Today.

The investment firm did not give a price tag for the renovations.

“We are conducting a major renewal of the original resort that includes deconstructing numerous existing structures by hand and associated utility work throughout the property,” Eadie said.

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