HOGAN TO THE RESCUE
Kodak Hula Show
The Hogan FoundationBy Russ Lynch
will finance the show under
the same name
The Kodak Hula Show has been rescued by a foundation set up by Edward J. Hogan, whose Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays brings about 370,000 visitors to Hawaii each year from the mainland.
In a joint announcement, the Hogan Family Foundation and Eastman Kodak Co. -- which started the show 62 years ago -- said they have reached an agreement with the city to keep it going under its old name.
Ken Phillips, a spokesman for Pleasant Hawaiian, said today the nonprofit foundation will finance the free show by itself.
"It's over half a million a year. They're funding the whole thing and operating the whole thing," he said.
Ed Hogan's son Gary, a Honolulu resident and head of Pleasant Hawaiian's operations in the islands, will have overall responsibility for the show. It will stay in Kapiolani Park and no changes are anticipated in staffing or performance schedules.
Honolulu Entertainer Kimo Kahoano will continue as emcee, the announcement said.
The show has been working through the last days of a one-month reprieve that Kodak gave it, after initially announcing it would no longer fund it after June 30.
Ed Hogan, who is traveling on business and could not be here for a planned public announcement at the show this morning, said in a recent interview that he liked the show when he first came to Hawaii in 1954.
The show has been running since 1937.
"They've been here even longer than we have," said Pleasant Hawaiian spokesman Phillips.
The company has brought more than 5 million tourists to Hawaii since Ed and Lynn Hogan started a small travel business in New Jersey in 1959.
Phillips said the Hogan Foundation likes the association with the Kodak name and the history of the popular show.
Featuring the Royal Hawaiian Girls Glee Club, the show employs 41 dancers and musicians and runs three times a week on part of the Waikiki Shell property.
Rochester, N.Y.-based Kodak said it had to quit funding the show for economic reasons but, aware of its history and popularity, the company hired consultants to find a replacement sponsor.
Tim Ryugo, a Kodak spokesman, said in a press release that with the Hogans, the show "remains in good hands."
Pleasant Hawaiian is part of Pleasant Holidays LLC, now based in Westlake Village, Calif., which grew from the original Hawaii-specialist business to include holidays to Mexico and Tahiti. Ed Hogan is its chief executive officer.
The overall business employs 1,700 people and has annual revenues of about $380 million.
In 1994 it began operating its own scheduled airline service to Hawaii from the West Coast, using aircraft and crews chartered from American Trans Air.
The company now has 250,000 seats each way available each year in that service and sells air-only tickets as well as air-hotel-ground tour packages.
The company also has access to seats on more than 35 airlines. In 1997, Pleasant Holidays bought Japan & Orient Tours and now offers travel programs to Asia, Europe, the islands of the South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand.
The company also owns four hotels in Hawaii.
Pleasant Holidays said its business is growing fast, adding about 400,000 customers a year.
The Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays subsidiary has reported a strong increase in Hawaii bookings this year, boosted by the strong mainland economy and competitive pricing.
The Hogan Family Foundation was set up by Ed and Lynn Hogan and other members of their family in 1987 as a nonprofit organization to "promote peace and commerce through tourism and travel throughout the world."
Earlier this year, the foundation announced funding for the Pleasant Travel and Tourism Institute, which underwrites a tourism education program at Loyola Marymount University near Los Angeles and develops ways to educate the public on the importance of tourism.