HONOLULU – Lāna‘i Resorts, LLC, today announced the appointment of Hawai‘i resort industry veteran Kurt Matsumoto as chief operating officer.
Matsumoto was born and raised on Lāna‘i and, as vice president of resorts and administration for Lāna‘i Co. Inc. from 1991 to 2000, was in charge of The Lodge at Koele and the Manele Bay Hotel, as well as the island’s two signature golf courses.
“We are very happy to welcome Kurt as COO of Lāna‘i Resorts at an exciting time for the island of Lāna‘i,” said Paul Marinelli, vice president of parent company Lanai Island Holdings, LLC. “We took the time and proceeded very thoughtfully to find someone with the professional qualifications and background to be Lāna‘i Resorts’ top executive in Hawai‘i. Kurt embodies the Lāna‘i Resorts cultural standard – professional excellence, community awareness, deep appreciation of the island’s past, and a strong commitment to an amazing future.”
Matsumoto will be leaving his position as general manager of The Club at Kukui‘ula on Kaua‘i, where he has been for the past five years, to assume the Lāna‘i Resorts, LLC, position on December 1.
“I’m honored to join Lāna‘i Resorts, LLC,” Matsumoto said. “Lāna‘i is my home. I never imagined I’d get an opportunity like this. It’s a blessing for Lāna‘i to have someone like Larry Ellison come in with a great appreciation for the island as well as the willingness to work with the community.”
Matsumoto’s roots are deep on Lāna‘i. His parents, Yukio “Shoe” and Matsuko (Kaya), were married on Lāna‘i in 1952. Kurt and his older brother Colbert both left the island after graduating from high school. Kurt has had a distinguished career in the travel and hospitality industry. Aside from running the two world-class resorts on Lāna‘i, and serving as general manager of The Club at Kukui‘ula, Matsumoto was also general manager of Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows on the Big Island of Hawai‘i.
“I’ve worked on the mainland, in the Caribbean and on three different Hawaiian islands,” Matsumoto said. “It’s as if those experiences were leading me to this place and preparing me for this position.”
Marinelli said Matsumoto was uniquely qualified for the Lāna‘i Resorts COO position because of his extensive expertise in resort industry management and his experience in every aspect of operations on Lāna‘i including hospitality, construction, human resources, conservation, permitting and community relations.
Ellison purchased 97 percent of Lāna‘i from Castle & Cooke in June. Lāna‘i is often called the largest privately owned island in the United States, although individual homeowners, Maui County and the state government own approximately 3 percent of the land. Nearly 3,000 people live on the island. Since Ellison bought Lāna’i, the island has already seen economic growth, with more than 100 new jobs created. The number of visitors to Lāna‘i has also risen in recent months, with more than 8,400 visitors so far this year.
Submitted by Communications Pacific