Forget About Kailua

Gloria Garvey
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Gloria Garvey

BY GLORIA GARVEY – The Hawaii Tourism Authority has announced that it will take steps to permanently erase all references to Kailua in its visitor information, including all print, broadcast and social media.

The HTA’s effort is in response to the Kailua Neighborhood Board’s resolution requesting that the State’s leading promotional organization abandon its efforts to tell people about Kailua.


The Kailua Neighborhood Board has been working towards this goal ever since the First Tourist showed up by accident in the small town on the windward side of O`ahu.  At the time, Kailua was a broken down little town which offered its residents no real place to shop, forcing them to go over the mountain to the “other side,” to procure anything but groceries.

Although the Kailua Neighborhood Board thinks of Kailua as an independent entity, the town is actually a throwback to plantation days, with most of the commercial space owned by a single landlord since time began.  That landlord, the Castle Family and its avatar Kaneohe Ranch, has developed the town into a successful, bustling place since the First Tourist’s accidental arrival at the intersection of Kailua Road and Kailua Road.

“After years of resident complaints about the pathetic retail and restaurant offerings in Kailua,” said a Castle family spokesperson, ” We got sick of it and decided to show them what their whining would mean.”

As part of its effort to drive Kailua from the collective visitor memory, the Kailua Neighborhood Board will demand that small businesses which serve the visitor trade close their doors.  This will allow Kailua to revert to the bleak little burg discovered by the First Tourist.  Additionally, the Kailua Neighborhood Board will ask The President and his family not to take their usual Christmas vacation in Kailua.  Talk is afoot about taking advantage of the disappearing shoreline to eliminate Kailu’s popular beach altogether.  ”After all,” said one Board member, “Residents don’t go there because there are too many visitors.”  The Neighborhood Board, it turns out, is responsible for the bumper stickers which say “I Liked Kailua Before You Came.”

Other solutions to this most egregious situation are being explored by the Kailua Neighborhood Board, which is actually powerless to do anything:  its members were baffled that the Hawaii Tourism Authority agreed to their request to stop promoting Kailua.

This move by the Kailua Neighborhood Board and the Hawai`i Tourism Authority is receiving broad press coverage here in Hawai`i, across the nation and throughout the world.  Word has it that Foder’s will feature Kailua as Hawai`i’s best kept secret in its 2014 Guide to Hawai`i.





  1. I wonder how Garvey forgot to mention she owns a tourist-oriented retail store? She also didn't read the Kailua Neighborhood Board resolution. If she did, she would have commented that the resolution requested the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) to stop promoting Kailua’s "VACATION RENTAL" which are predominately “ILLEGAL”. The facts are Kailua’s neighborhoods are zoned residential, not resort. It’s wrong for the HTA to be pushing visitors into Kailua's local neighborhoods when the vast majority of these lodging businesses are illegal. At the very least, HTA should be warning visitors to not stay in illegal vacation rentals and explain that doing so causes Kailua’s local housing supply to shrink and housing cost to sky-rocket for residents. I applauded the unanimous Kailua Neighborhood Board for supporting Kailua’s residents and not just the tourist-oriented businesses who see $ signs only!

  2. resort or residential i believe this is america people have a right to sub rent a room or their home…. i also think the hta and authorities have much more urgent matters to worry about.

  3. I like the way Kailua has evolved. I have lived here for 43 years. I liked it back then and I still like it. I will like it no matter what happens. period!! Try living on the mainland then complain.

  4. The Kailua Neighborhood Board as a whole are retired, bored wanna-be politicians with a bully pulpit. The only reason they are still in office is because nobody with a brain in their head would run for an office that has ZERO power except to be able to yell louder than their neighbors. Sadly, those with common sense know not to even waste their time going to the meetings. Yes, the resolution was focused on TVRs, but Gloria nailed their attitude in this piece!

  5. How does an online paper that touts "Top Investigative Reporting" at the top of the page allow this kind of twisted "reporting". The third to last paragraph in particular contains flat out lies. And clearly the business owner who wrote the piece has a serious bias.

  6. I can sense the "ironic" or "facetious" tone to the article. I live in Kailua. More needs to be done to accommodate the visitors not less. Our economy depends on visitors. We need a Costco or Sam's Club in Kailua. Why isn't Target finished yet? Why hasn't a larger parking lot been built for the beach? Close some areas and make them pedestrian and bicycle only. Upgrade the infrastructure and build some accommodations. Open the vacation rental market and make it easier for people to stay in Kailua. Don't allow high rises and keep the feel of the town as a town that is laid back and slow paced.

    Why do I have to plow through piles of traffic, burn $10 in fuel, and spend half my day to go buy some reasonably priced things like sunscreen or underwear? Here in Kailua, we have to drive to the other side of the island to find anything reasonably priced because all of these boutique stores that are owned by rich people as a hobby or something to do during their Winter vacation, jack up the prices on the simplest little things and they try to run anyone out of town that could possibly want to provide a product at a reasonable cost. How in the hell did Whole Foods get built so quickly yet Target cannot get built? I can't afford Whole Foods. I don't go there. Why should I when in the same square mile, we already have Foodland, Safeway, Times, Down to Earth, and a massive Longs Drugs? Build a Costco. We need more on this island.

    These same people that want Kailua to revert back in to the plantation days are so filthy rich that they don't need visitors. They are the people that have multi-multi million dollar homes. They are the people that can afford whole foods and a $20 bottle of sunscreen. They don't need to rent out a room to pay their electricity bill and their stupid property taxes.

    Just grow the town already and take advantage of the popularity. Make the roads bigger and knock down those old junk buildings. The entire island benefits from it.

    • you have it backward. the expensive boutiques serve the tourists and them only. Garvey is so blinded by her personal interests, she doesn't understand balance.

    • Dave, if you truly live in Kailua, you should pay attention to what's going on in Kailua. Then you'd know that the majority of Kailuans don't want a Costco or Sam's Club. Besides Kailua is too small for a Costco, as their Hawaii Kai store already has problems attracting enough customers.

      You'd know that Target isn't finished because of the discovery of iwi on the property which prevents Target from building as big a store as they want, and were forced to use the existing area, plus they had to redesign the building.

      Where would you build a bigger parking lot for the beach? Maybe take away some of the park?

      As for the height of the buildings in Kailua, the maximum height has been set at 40' for several decades, after the outrage of the construction of the 19 story condo.

      Where are you going to grow the town? We have Kawainui Marsh which prevents any expansion, and Kailuans had building on the slopes of Olomana banned.

      Dave, you must be a malihini to Kailua, and/or you don't pay attention as to what goes on in Kailua.

    – People own cars and their tax dollars help fund the roads … it's okay to drive as fast/slow as they want (FALSE)!
    – It's their body … it's okay for them to put illicit drugs into it (FALSE)!
    – They have interest in privately-owned preservation land … it's okay for them to build anything they want on the land (FALSE)!
    – They smoke cigars/cigarettes … they can smoke anywhere they want (FALSE)!
    – It's their house … it's okay for them to run an illegal short-term rental or illegal B&B out of it (FALSE)!
    – etc, etc, etc …

    The residential community of Kailua doesn't have the infrastructure to handle more capacity … so what, it's a free country and it's okay for all the tourists in the world to visit Kailua (TRUE … but just not stay in illegal short-term rentals and illegal B&Bs, some of which the HTA advertised).

    Through advertising, what would happen if State Agencies began to give the appearance they support driving too fast, doing illicit drugs, disregard for zoning laws, or smoking in restaurants? Would we want the KNB to act in the same way as they have with HTA?

    This issue is not about driving cars, doing illicit drugs, owning property, smoking, tourism, business, nor the capacity of a residential town used for comparison in the above analogy. It's not about biased news reports nor Bloggers with hidden agendas.

    It's about the law, silly! You may not agree with the law yet, until it changes, we must abide by and enforce the law, starting with HTA advertisement.


    • Stop posting nonsense. The HTA did not tell anyone to stay in an illegal vacation rental. Should the law be enforced? Sure. But good luck doing it. What are you going to do? Knock on someone's door and ask to see the rental agreement? There is no good way to enforce the vacation rental rule. The KNB needs to accept reality and move on. And I'm not sure what you're implying with infrastructure. If a single family lived in the rental, Kailua would still have the same amount of people.

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