Gateway hotel gets new operator
The Waikiki Gateway Hotel at the Ewa end of Kalakaua Avenue is getting new management as renovations for the 17-story hotel are under way.
Nomura Financial Ltd., which acquired the 180-plus-room hotel at 2070 Kalakaua Ave. in 2004, will take over operations from Principle Hotels and Resorts LLC beginning Oct. 1.
Principle will be retained on a contract basis to provide reservations, sales, marketing, accounting and human resource services for the hotel.
Rex Akutagawa, general manager of Nomura, said the Honolulu-based company plans to reposition the hotel for a different target market.
"We're trying to give it a better feel," he said. "We're trying to upgrade it to a different type of product -- make it a little more contemporary."
Approximately $3.6 million worth of renovations are under way for the hotel's lobby and penthouse suites.
The penthouse suites are being reconfigured so that there are only six, rather than eight penthouses.
Nomura Financial is also planning to expand its holdings in Hawaii -- with the operation of Waikiki Gateway being the first step in its expansion plans.
Most of the 55 employees at the hotel will be rehired, according to Akutagawa, but some may transfer to Waikiki Sand Villa Hotel, which is operated by Principle.
"It's still being sorted out," said Akutagawa.
Nomura Financial acquired Waikiki Gateway from AI Hotels Corp. in October 2004 for $10.4 million.
Waikiki Gateway Hotel is marketed as an Internet-friendly hotel and home to Nick's Fishmarket. Its rooms are being advertised for between $68 (when booked over the Internet) to $160 a night (with an ocean view).