Media release | Kailua Village Business Improvement District
Sights and sounds along Alii Drive this Sunday morning all point to life returning to normal here in Historic Kailua Village. Just two days after the tsunami athletes were gathering at Kailua Pier for a swim – run event. Great to see.
Though the lobby, restaurant and ground floor shops at the King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel sustained serious water damage, General Manager Jak Hu’s positive outlook was infectious. “We’ll change out these carpets and get the lobby back into top shape very soon.” None of the upper floors were damaged and the hotel remains open.
Apart from a handful of shops with damaged glass windows and doors, many of the retail shops along Alii Drive cleaned up deposits of sand and ocean debris and re-opened yesterday. Several shops at Kona Inn reported that they were fine – just waiting for electrical power to be restored.
The makai side of the Kona Inn, including the Kona Inn Restaurant, did sustain damage. Workers have already replaced some decking and were on the job again early today. Many other restaurants including Bubba Gump’s, Fishhoppers, Huggo’s, and Humpy’s were open for business – some as early as Friday afternoon.
Kailua Village BID crews were out in force on Saturday removing more sand than anyone could have imagined. We are delighted to report that the new interpretive signs and publication racks all survived unscathed.
KVBID Crews were on the job Saturday joining others in clean-up efforts up in the Village. With the influx of salt water everywhere, landscaping along Alii Drive is going to look a lot worse for the next few weeks. Most of the plants will recover from the “salt burn” but it may take some time.
Kokua Kailua Village Stroll is scheduled for Sunday, March 20 from 1 to 6 p.m. It will go on as planned. We may need to adjust near the north end (Kailua Pier) where the sidewalk is damaged and we will continue to monitor that throughout the week. Please plan to participate and show your support for Village merchants and restaurants.
We understand the Kailua Pier will undergo an assessment on Monday. As we learn more, we will continue to share information with you.
The Hawaii County Council convened a special council meeting in Kona late yesterday to receive briefings on damage reports. These damage reports are important to document and will be used to meet criteria for federal funding.
Finally, a huge mahalo to Mayor Kenoi, Deputy Managing Director Wally Lau, Department of Public Works chief Warren Lee and scores of county workers who gave us 110%. The task was herculean and they got the job done.