(BIVN) – Four surf instruction companies were awarded permits to operate at Kahaluʻu Bay, following a “first-of-its-kind” bingo-style lottery on Friday morning.
The Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources utilized the lottery approach after years of contention between unpermitted companies and overcrowding at the popular Kona bay.
The four lottery winners in order of selection were:
- Kauakea LLC
- Hinaea Iliahi LLC
- Kahulu‘u Bay Surf & Sea Inc.
- Kona Town Adventures LLC
From the Hawaiʻi DLNR:
The DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) held a bingo-style lottery to select the four companies, from 17 that had entered. Those that did not get a permit were put on a wait list in the event one of the successful winners relinquishes their permit or fails to file additional permit paperwork within the next ten business days. The permits become effective on Dec. 4.
After today’s lottery drawing at the Old Kona Airport Pavilion, DOBOR leadership was peppered with questions from surf school owners. Many centered around enforcement and compliance, to whom to report issues, and the fairness of the process.
In setting up the lottery, DOBOR was transparent about the procedure, rules, and qualifications and indicated each successful permittee will have additional rules and regulations outlined in their permits.
DOBOR has been working to try and resolve user conflicts at Kahulu‘u Bay for more than five years and settled on the lottery as the fairest way to award coveted permits. Although DOBOR preferred to issue permits based on seniority, efforts to obtain such authority through a law change were unsuccessful.