Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell needs a little voters’ approval booster — currently at 28% in a Civil Beat poll — and maybe this will help.
Ko Olina Resort and the Ko Olina Community Association tossed in the towel and gave up the fight to close off its lagoons to the general public and reserve them for high-paying guests who will be coming in under Oahu’s new opening to tourists from the mainland and the Pacific.
The resort and its condo residents really didn’t have a good legal leg to stand on, although it tried to bluff its way by saying it was just trying to protect local people’s health by not exposing them to visitors. Everyone got a good laugh over that one. What the resort really was saying was that people paying $1,000+ a night would not want to share the lagoon beaches and waters with hollering local kids, tattooed people with coolers and generally those not of their class.
We made a big mistake when Ko Olina was permitted and only had to surrender a small number of public parking spaces. Those spaces became ever more valuable as more condos were built and the Disney hotel moved in alongside Four Seasons. The developers wanted to skirt around our open-access-to-coastlines traditions and laws. Ko Olina is not within walking distance of any residential area, so limiting parking was limiting local access.
Its big mistake was recently closing parking areas, allegedly to prevent any Covid transference. That was a laugher from the get-go. It would be a presumption that only the maids, bartenders, waitresses, guards and grounds people working there could withstand exposure. Not we of the other hoi polloi.
The bluff was just making local people mad as hell and not likely to take it. Things like this can turn nasty in an eye-blink.
So Ko Olina announced today that the parking ban is off. Here’s what’s now open:
- Lagoon 1 at 50% capacity: 20 public parking stalls available.
- Lagoon 2 at 100% capacity or 20 public parking stalls available.
- Lagoon 3 at 100% capacity or 20 public parking stalls available.
- Lagoon 4 at 50% capacity or 51 public parking stalls available.
Rack up one for the people. Now about those Waikiki hotel beach-sand refills and groins …