Friday, October 31, 2008
Alaska Airlines today began thrice-weekly nonstop service between Anchorage and Kahului.
The flights, which operate three days a week, continue through April 25. The flights run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Each flight has a capacity of 157 people.
Thanks to the owners of D108, today I'm sharing some photos of their just updated unit.
A few things to note:
- The dropped ceiling in this first floor unit eliminates the popcorn and has a cleaner, more up-to-date look. Additionally, the ceiling change also allows for recessed lighting in this first floor unit, again updating the look.
- The cabinets are a natural finish cherry in a Shaker-style door design. The natural wood tones and the simple door design lend themselves to a more timeless, classic look.
- For the sake of modernity and durability, granite was used as the counter material.
- Walls in the kitchen and bathroom are covered in a grasscloth-look commercial vinyl. While I am not a fan of residential grade wallpaper, this wall covering is both durable and appropriate for this type of use.
- Living room fabrics are the poly/acrylic/cotton blend that works so well in our rental environment. Most owners get tired of the fabric before it wears out.
- The master bathroom of this unit was converted from a tub to a shower. The tub remains in the second bathroom. This is an ideal arrangement for a two-bath unit; tubs are generally out of favor in hotels these days due to safety and comfort concerns. Retaining the tub in the second bathroom allows for a more family-friendly unit.
- The colors and materials say "tropical" in a very understated way. The owner did not use pastels, large floral prints or any of the other cliche decorating devices. The entire look at once says "updated Hawaiian".
Now is the ideal time to update your unit. Please contact us to get the ball rolling so that you too can be ready when the tide turns.
Check out the latest review:
I saw the show last Saturday. Great music, great acting and an interesting story - "South Pacific" this isn't!
The show runs three more weekends. Go see it - "Don't be the bunny!"
Thursday, October 30, 2008
There are many definitions of hospitality. Some definitions are more simple, some are complex. I'm afraid that, today, the concept of hospitality is in danger of becoming extinct as hotels focus soley on the bottom line and guests are concerned only about star ratings and hotel amenities.
We are familiar with hospitality that is granted to guests but, again lost in our modern world, is the guest's responsibility to receive hospitality gratefully, even if it is offered by the host in a manner that is different than what was expected by the guest.
Here on Maui, we look to the word "aloha" as a definition of the Hawaiian spirit of hospitality. I always think of hospitality as the welcome the guest receives upon arrival and the attention they experience throughout his stay.
Jean Keijdener, Country General Manager, Executive Office, Somerset Palace, Seoul, South Korea, defines hospitality thusly:
H = home: the original ‘Public House’ was exactly that: a house where the inn- keeper welcomed strangers to stay with him: at a (fair) rate
O = openness: a place where one is welcomed with openness: genuine and caring
S = secure: where you are ensured that you can indeed sleep without a worry
P = peaceful: in order to be refreshed upon departure
I = intelligent: a place where they have given your stay more than a good thought
T = trust: the re-assurance that you are ‘not taken for a ride’
A = able: where there are ‘able’ men (and women) there to serve you
L = listen: where one is being listened to
I = informative: where you can gather news and information as well as share it
T = together: in the sharing warmth of other travelers and providers
Y = YOU: are our Number One: the Guest
What do you think? What does hospitality mean to you?
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Hawaii Superferry today announced that, due to economic conditions, they are delaying the delivery of their second ship for about a year.
The new ship, which was to start service to Hawaii Island in May, 2009, is almost completed and will perhaps be leased to another ferry operator or to the military in the interim.
Service between Maui and Oahu will continue as scheduled.
The delay in implementing the new ship is expected to save the company about $10 million.
Friday, October 24, 2008
I met with Kim Rogers today, who is the editor for our new outriggerhawaii.com website.
You really should take a minute to visit this new site if you haven't already. It approaches the potential guests in a more experiential way, very much in the way guests asked questions when I answered the phone in my days in Denver Reservations.
Kim was visiting us to get a better idea of how she should approach the Outrigger Maui Eldorado's presence on the site. She asked many good questions about who are our guests and, in many ways, who we are as a property. And we talked about ways to enhance our marketing efforts through our existing electronic channels.
Kim writes her own blog about Hawaii, which you can see here: http://outriggerhawaii.com/view_from_here.aspx. You'll probably want to add it to your favorite blogs; I have. If you forget the address, I've added a link under Other Places You Might Enjoy, just to the right on this page.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
WestJet Airlines, the Canadian airline, is increasing the number of flights from Vancouver to Hawaii by a factor of 3.
The airline currently has seven flights a week and is planning on increasing that frequency to 23 flights a week, starting November 1, including one flight a day to Kahului (OGG).
The recent strength of the Canadian dollar has boosted that country's buying power. Canadians spend about $150 per day and, while that may seem low, their average length of stay is a whopping 12.3 days, compared to the approximately seven days for mainland US visitors.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
President Bush has decided to lift the visa requirements for a number of allied countries. Most notably for Hawaii, the affected country is South Korea.
Even with a visa process described as "arduous", approximately 40,000 South Koreans visited Hawaii last year. Most visitors stayed on Oahu, with about 14,000 venturing to Maui.
Tourism officials expect that, once the visa restrictions are lifted probably sometime in January, 2009, the annual South Korean visitor count will double each year for two years.
While not entirely replacing the now-gone, once seemingly omnipresent Japanese visitors, the South Korean visitors should help to given Hawaii tourism a much needed boost.
Monday, October 20, 2008
You already know that Maui is the best island in the world.
For the fourteenth time, Conde Nast Traveler magazines Reader Choice awards seconded your vote.
"We are extremely proud to receive this honor yet again," said Terryl Vencl, Maui Visitor's Bureau executive director. "Maui's stunning natural beauty, our cherished host culture and the gracious aloha of our people continue to make this possible. This is wonderful recognition for our industry and most importantly, for the residents of Maui."
The awards will be published in the November edition, which will be available later this month.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
The festival will include Hawaiian and Scottish games, food and music. There also will be presentations by historians, a fashion show and other exhibits.
Even if you only go for an hour or so, the breathtaking drive to Keokea is a worthwhile Saturday diversion. From the highway as well as from the church (at an elevation of about 3500' above sea level) the vistas of Maui's isthmus and both coasts are staggering.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Hawaii's newest promotion is now outlined on the HVCB's website.
"Discover more of Hawaii for less than you imagined" is the headline on the web page highlighted a number of the special promotions available from numerous sources, including airlines, online travel agencies and wholesalers.
The link below to the article regarding the promotion in today's Honolulu Star-Bulletin even mentions our Foodland grocery certificate promotion.
If you have friends who have been thinking about a trip here but who have been concerned about the costs, now is the time for them to look into the serious bargains available in Hawaii right now. And with the economy continuing to look bleak for '09, these values will likely continue through next year.
This video on the Hawaii Visitor's Bureau website is a short story of Sig Zane and his Aloha designs. Check out http://www.gohawaii.com/stories/stories.html?video=8. If the video doesn't start right away, look for the "Authentic Alohawear" pane under the video list.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Today a guest came to the front desk with an envelope. She said that she couldn't remember her housekeepers name but she wanted to be sure that the housekeeper received her tip. Now I don't talk to the housekeepers about tips every day, but I am pretty sure that most guests do not leave a gratuity. So I did a little research.
It seems that, among those with a preference to tip, there are two schools of thought. Some folks like to leave the tip at the end of their stay. Some prefer to leave a tip every day, since their room may be serviced by someone different each time.
In any case, should you be inclined to tip your housekeeper, the best way to go about it is to leave the money in an envelope with a note expressing your thanks. Leave the envelope in a conspicuous place. Don't leave the tip loose on the dresser. Housekeepers are generally pretty honest and are wary about taking money that is just left out in the open. Think about it - what if you had left $20 on your nightstand and the housekeeper thought maybe it was a generous tip? The best advice is not to even put the housekeeper or yourself in that position.
How much should you tip? Most suggestions are that you should tip $3 to $5 per day, and more if you've made a particularly big mess.
Remember, this advice is only for those who feel they want to tip the housekeeper. You will most likely receive the same service whether you tip or not. But, if you feel the need, those housekeepers do have a very difficult job and a little tip will go a long way. The entire discussion regarding the appropriateness of tipping housekeepers and, in fact, the reasons and need to tip for any service at all is way too big a can of worms to open here, but if you have any thoughts on the matter, I'd like to hear them.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
The other day, I found this quote from Serge Trigano, the son of Club Med’s founder, who believes that “people no longer want to wait for hours in airports in order to fly to exotic locations which are no longer especially exotic. The new tourism will be urban tourism, the discovery, or the re-discovery of great cities such as Paris or Amsterdam or London.”
What do you think? Is Maui's day past? Are tourists in search of the excitement and discovery afforded by great cities? Will a new type of tourist become prevalent, one that has "seen it all" and is always on the hunt for a new adventure? Or do you think that the return to the familiar is the future of tourism? That tourists want to go where it's comfortable, where everyone speaks the same language and uses the same money as they do?
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
The following is a excerpt from the Maui News of October 7. It is toward the bottom of the article but, in our situation, is the most important part of the story:
Joseph Toy, who tracks the financial status of Hawaii's lodging industry at Hospitality Advisors, said Hawaii hoteliers learned a hard lesson in the downturn in the early '90s, when they reduced rates to try to keep up occupancies. "It took about seven years for the industry to regain any real ADR (average daily rate) growth," Toy reported.
As a result, hoteliers are keeping their posted rates up and discounting through perks like free meals or spa visits.
He thinks operators are managing their troubles more effectively than they did after the triple whammy of the first Gulf War, Hurricane Iniki and the sharp decline in Japanese tourism in the early '90s.
Productivity has increased, thanks to new management techniques and systems that predict staffing needs better and help improve yield management.
That has only lessened, not forestalled, the effect. Over the summer, room revenue has dropped by $92 million (a million dollars a day).
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
Economic figures for 2008 year-to-date have come out and the result isn't pretty. From April through August, Hawaii hotels were $156 million behind last year. For September, Hawaii Public Radio (HPR) reported that Maui had 30% fewer arrivals this year than last, the steepest decline of any Hawaiian Island.
April marked the beginning of steep market declines "due to rapid deterioration in air capacity, economic instability, consumer confidence and escalating fuel costs," said Joseph Toy, president and CEO of Hospitality Advisers, a local group who reports such trends.
Hawaii tourism officials will start their mainland blitz tomorrow, with a program promoting the savings offered by local travel vendors like hotels and car rental companies will offset any increase in airfare. The $ 12.5 million, multi-city mainland campaign is designed to let consumers know they can now get more Hawaii for less while focusing on those cities that have direct flights to Hawaii.
The Maui News, usually a day behind the Honolulu news outlets, should report their story on this subject tomorrow.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Two stories today merit your attention.
The first, from the Maui News, discusses a decrease in container and ship traffic at Kahului Harbor. Last year at this time, the docks were crowded to overflowing with incoming cargo. In fact, the state of Hawaii is planning on spending about $30 million on improvements to increase the harbor's capacity. Now, however, with the economic decline, there is room to spare, both on and next to the docks. Redeploying two cruise ships and fewer ships and barges ferrying autos to and from the Mainland and Oahu have also contributed to the harbor's slowdown.
The second, from the Honolulu Advertiser, reports the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of that venerable Hawaiian retailer, Hilo Hattie. The company was sold to a mainland firm three months ago and, following today's bankruptcy filing, will reorganize, hopefully for the better.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
MAUI COUNTY FAIR PARADE
* Today, 5 to 11 p.m.
* Friday, 5 p.m. to midnight.
* Saturday, 10 a.m. to midnight.
* Sunday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
* Today-Saturday - adults $5; children 5-11, $2; children 4 and under, free.
* Sunday - First 2,000 free; adults, $4; children 5-11, $1.
Free shuttle buses will be operating from:
* Kalana O Maui / Maui County Building parking lot.
* Wells Park parking lot.
* MCC soccer field.
* Keopuolani Park parking lots.
* Queen Ka'ahumanu Center has a shuttle service operating 6 to 11:30 p.m. today and Sunday; 6 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
These nene were spotted yesterday at Ukumehame, the area near the shooting range where the new subdivisions are being built. The geese are feeding on the grass seed that was planted on the side of the newly widened highway.
While there were at one time thousands of these geese in Hawaii, the numbers now place them on the list of endangered species. Usually on Maui these birds are spotted on the flanks of Haleakala but, as you can see, they are sometimes found at lower altitudes.
The nene is the state bird of Hawaii and has been since statehood. These birds are distantly related to the Canada goose and have similar markings. The nene is smaller than its relative, however, and has black markings on the face, cap and hindneck and has tan colored cheeks. The nene also has the distinctive black striped neck, caused by diagonal rows of white feathers with the black skin showing between the rows.
The nene name is onomatopoeic; "nene", a light, almost conversational sound, is the sound most often heard from the bird by the early Hawaiians, though the bird can, like most geese, honk quite loudly when provoked.