COURTESY HTH CORP.
King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel, which was sold Thursday to a California Hotel company and a group of local investors, will be renovated this summer.
Kona hotel to get $25M upgrade
The new owners of King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel said yesterday they plan to spend more than $25 million renovating the Big Island property in the coming months.
HTH Corp. sold the 460-room hotel to Invest West Financial Corp./Pacifica Hotel Co. on Thursday for an undisclosed price.
The buyers, a California hotel company and a group of local investors, said they will immediately start repair and maintenance projects that have been deferred. Room renovations begin next spring.
The Kailua-Kona property, built in the mid-1970s, was last renovated in 1997 and is sorely in need of upgrades, said Joseph Leoni, one of the local investors.
The buyers plan to gut the rooms and upgrade the lobby, pool and 33,000 square feet of retail space, adding new tenants to refresh the property, he said.
Though rates, which now average $100 a night, will rise after renovations, the hotel will remain a mid-priced property.
"The rates at the King Kam haven't kept pace with level of service because the property is basically run down right now," Leoni said. "We're going to bring that property back up to where it was when it was first built as far as stature."
The property will remain open as the upgrades are completed in phases.
"We're not looking at making this into a five-star resort," said Lori Keller, Pacifica Hotel vice president of sales and marketing.
"We'll take it up a little bit."
The oceanfront hotel is the first Hawaii purchase for the company, which owns and operates hotels in California and Florida.
But the owners are interested in expanding its portfolio in the islands.
"We're certainly interested in Hawaii," Keller said. "We, as a company, are focused on leisure destination markets. This sort of fits in with our niche, but there's nothing in conversation at this point."
Pacifica said it will honor existing union agreements for its 178 workers and will retain the hotel's management staff.
Besides Leoni, the other investors are Patrick Beach, Russell Geyser and Timothy John Young, president of Honolulu-based Blackpoint Capital Advisors LLC.