HILO, Hawaii – As of midnight, there will be hotel on Banyan Drive – sort of.
The 145-room Uncle Billy’s Hilo Bay Hotel, under new ownership and management, will now be called Pagoda Hilo Bay Hotel.
Uncle Billy’s nearly closed at the start of the February but was instead purchased by Honolulu-based developer Peter Savio. On Friday, the Board of Land and Natural Resources approved the transfer of the land lease under the hotel to Savio. Castle Resorts & Hotels will take over the management of the property.
“For all intents and purposes, it will be business as usual at the property,” said Savio in a media release. “We don’t anticipate making any staffing changes at this time, and all reservations on the books will be honored. We also look forward to maintaining the local traditions established by Uncle Billy.”
Hawaii County officials are creating a “redevelopment area” designation for Banyan Drive in the hopes of returning Hilo’s resort area to prominence.