Area wins with
its latest makeover
By T. Foster Jones
IF YOU’VE BEEN to Oahu, you know what
kinds of delights await you. The last time I was
there, about four years ago, I was amazed by
the diversity of the island.
Over the centuries, with its trade winds
and coconut palms, its honey-scented air, the
reddish glow of Diamond Head at sunset and
the sight and sound of the rolling surf, the
island has had something to offer an equally
diverse multicultural crowd.
From the commerce and nightlife of
Waikiki to the surfing mecca of the North
Shore, the island has attracted Hawaiian
royalty, movie stars, surfers, shoppers,
marathon runners, sunbathers and honeymooners
to its balmy shores.
As this island continues to draw people from
around the world, the powers that be felt it was time to
invest new energy and new
capital into the area.
“There were some
parts of Waikiki that were
beginning to look a bit
tired,” admits Christina
Aldanese of the Hawaiian
Visitors and Convention
Bureau. The challenge,
she says, was how to bring
in the new without destroying the old—
how to modernize without losing the area’s
After three years of refurbishing projects,
the result has caught even the most cynical by
surprise. Not only has the traditional been
preserved, but other elements have been
introduced that many are heralding as a
The changes range from the modest, such
as upscaling some of the older hotels, to the
monolithic, such as the Outrigger Enterprises
Waikiki Beach Walk™ redevelopment.
Still others are meant to restore some of
what Hawaiians call the area’s manu, the
intangible spiritual power of a special place.
For instance, new cultural events are
sweeping the neighborhood. The Return to
Romance Music Festival in March brings
crooners from the islands and the mainland.
The annual Kokua Festival at the Waikiki Shell
in April brings artists from the neighbor
islands to jam with mainland stars. And
the resurrected Diamond Head Crater
Celebration in May showcases classic rock acts.
The Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center on
Kalakaua Avenue has embarked on an $84 mil-
lion renovation, replacing concrete walls with
walls and trestles made of wood and planting a
grove of palm trees, which
connects the shopping center and Kalakaua Avenue to
the grounds of The Royal
So, did all this work?
Has the area been transformed, while retaining the
charm that has brought
people back year after year?
“We’re very excited
with all the positive comments we’ve been receiving,” says Nancy Daniels
Musicians are up close and per- of Outrigger Enterprises.
sonal on the Waikiki Beach Walk. “It’s great to see so many
people strolling in the
area, checking out the new stores and enjoying the open-air plaza.”
“I was afraid we were going to lose a lot
of our past,” says Aldanese. “But I really fell in
love with what they’re doing. You have the new,
but they’ve kept the history. They’re staying
accountable to the culture. As a local person,
I love it more today than 10 years ago.” C
Four-night vacation includes:
• Fresh flower lei greeting
• Round-trip ground transportation
from airport to hotel
• Accommodations in an
Ocean-View Room (upgrade from
Partial Ocean-View reflected in price)
• One free night (reflected in price)
• Daily breakfast for two
From $470 per person*
Valid for travel 5/1 – 5/31/07 and 9/4 – 12/23/07.
Must book by 6/30/07.
Other travel dates and prices are available.
Executive Members receive a $65
dinner credit at Kuhio Beach Grill.
One per room, per stay. Valid for primary cardholder only.
Visit costco.com or call Costco
Travel toll free at 1-877-849-2730.
The Costco Connection
For more information about Waikiki vacations available through Costco Travel, call
toll free 1-877-849-2730 or visit costco.com
and click on “Travel.”
*Price is per person based on double occupancy and
includes hotel taxes. Free night is already reflected in price.
Price is valid for travel as specified. Prices and inclusions are
subject to change without notice. Executive Member offer is
valid for primary cardholder only. Travel purchases are not
included in the Executive Membership 2% Reward program.
Seasonal surcharges, availability, blackout dates and restrictions
may apply. All prices are in U.S. dollars. Costco Travel disclaims
liability for any inaccuracies or typographical errors. Costco
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(CST 2054248-50). Registration as a seller of travel does not
constitute approval by the state of California. 07TR0703_B 4/07