(BIVN) – The Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa marked its first day operating under a new name with a traditional Hawaiian blessing on Wednesday.
In February 2020, it was reported that the Outrigger Hospitality Group was finalizing a deal to acquire the existing 509-room oceanfront Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay. The resort leases the ocean-front land from Kamehameha Schools. The transaction was reportedly delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this summer, the Outrigger group announced its plan to purchase the Kona resort had been revived.
On Wednesday, the Outrigger group shared this media release:
Outrigger Hospitality Group today welcomed Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa into its portfolio of premier beach resorts with a traditional Hawaiian blessing and ceremony.
Perched above the lava-rock cliffs on the sun-kissed Kona Coast of Hawai‘i’s Big Island, the captivating 22-acre resort offers an idyllic home base for vacationing friends and families, as well as business and leisure groups of all sizes. Introductory rates up-to 30 percent off are now available on Outrigger.com.
“Outrigger has provided heartfelt hospitality in Hawai‘i for nearly 75 years and our commitment to this destination remains steadfast; we’re proud to invest in our island home – especially amidst these challenging times,” said Jeff Wagoner, president and CEO of Outrigger Hospitality Group. “Vacations offer precious time to reconnect and recharge; it’s an honor to serve our guests, and we look forward to welcoming travelers to experience this special place renowned for its Hawaiian heritage and healing.”
“We deeply appreciate land-owner Kamehameha Schools for entrusting Outrigger with the stewardship of this culturally significant land and look forward to showcasing its illustrious past throughout the resort’s design, artwork and guest activations in an authentic and captivating way,” added Wagoner.
On this first day of the resort being an Outrigger, a traditional Hawaiian blessing was led by Kumu Keala Ching and Kumu Kaipo Ho, alongside the resort’s long-time cultural advisor, Rolinda Bean. There was also a sharing of mea ‘ai (symbolic foods) – including ‘ulu (breadfruit), ‘uala (sweet potato), kalo (taro), niu haohao (young coconut), pua‘a (pork) and pa‘akai (sea salt) – followed by an exchange of gifts: 4 Koa paddles engraved with each of Outrigger’s Values and a framed copy of a chant that was written by Kumu Keala Ching for the hosts of the former Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort, now regifted to the new Hosts of the Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa.
Hospitality veteran Steve Solberg, the resort’s new general manager, is conversant with the values of Outrigger Hospitality Group as he led Outrigger’s resort in Guam for six years.
“The energy and splendor of this destination are palpable; I’m grateful for the opportunity to be part of this resort’s next chapter and work alongside a dedicated team to create unforgettable experiences for our guests,” said Solberg.
With more than 500 spacious rooms/suites with private lānai, the grounds also feature Ho‘ola Spa, a wedding chapel, fitness center and two restaurants. Kids and kids at heart will get a kick out of the 200-foot winding waterslide at the oceanfront pool and enjoy Outrigger’s Coral Kids Club – set to open later this year.