Erika Engle

Sunday, August 1, 2004

Kid care, Kona brew
and traveling consumers

Direct from the "what took them so long?" department, Ala Moana Center will open a drop-in child care center tomorrow.

The Kids Club, sort of a mainlandish-moniker, is on the upper level, near Tommy Bahama. It will operate during normal center hours, 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

The kamaaina rate to drop the keikis off while shopping or dining is $15 an hour, with valid local identification.

The standard rate is $22 an hour, but for shoppers with two or more children the center offers a 10 percent discount.

Kids Club staff members speak English and Japanese to serve a range of center customers from East and West.

No reservations are required, but the number for more information is 942-9194. A Web site is in development.

Upscale reading material

Two new magazine titles are being prepared by a company catering to visitors.

Guest Informant, publisher of hotel room visitor books, will unveil "Living in Paradise" and "Dining in Paradise," in January.

Given the years-long trend of mainland-based individuals of high-net worth buying second or third in Hawaii, the publications are mainly for them.

"Living in Paradise" is for affluent travelers looking to buy. It will be distributed to upscale residential neighborhoods, Hawaii real estate companies and at trade shows.

"Dining in Paradise" will feature Hawaii's fine dining restaurants and award-winning cuisine as well as a restaurant directory. It, too, is designed for the affluent, but in a statement, Guest Informant also mentioned locals as well as travelers.

It will be distributed at airports, to hotel concierges and to residents.

The two publications will also be bound into the Guest Informant book found in more than 30,400 hotel rooms and condominiums in the state.

Bytes, bites and beer

Just in case anybody needs to check e-mail while knocking back a brewski, Kona Brewing Co.'s Koko Marina Pub is wired for WiFi.

"Patrons can come in to our beautiful pub, dine on gourmet pizza, sip an award-winning handcrafted beer and surf the Internet or check e-mail on their wireless-enabled computer," said Mattson Davis, company president, in a statement.

Different companies have different WiFi policies and pricing structures, but the Koko Pub access is free. Kona Brewing's original Kona pub is also a WiFi hotspot.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at:


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