Princeville Resort to close in September for upgrades
A recent downturn in occupancy levels at Kauai's Princeville Resort has led to a decision to close the hotel for seven months starting in September for a major renovation, hotel executives said yesterday.
The renovation, which has been planned for years, will be the most substantial overhaul of the north shore resort since Hurricane Iniki hit the Garden Isle in 1992.
The work will involve a complete transformation of the 252-room hotel, including a redesign of guest rooms, meeting and public areas.
It is unknown how much the total overhaul will cost, said Stephanie Kaluahine Reid, spokeswoman for the Princeville Resort.
When it reopens in April 2009, the hotel will be renamed the St. Regis Resort, Princeville.
The temporary closure will affect approximately 366 employees, many of whom recently voted to join the International Longshoremen's Worker's Union in late December.
The ILWU vote, however, had no affect on the decision to close, Reid said.
Originally, the resort was to remain open as the renovations were made. But the decision was made yesterday after looking at a drop in occupancy levels over the past six weeks, Reid added.
"Recent economic conditions have impacted our business levels, prompting a decision to close rather than remain open", said Kelly Hoen, general manager of the resort, in a press release. "This approach will not only complete the renovation faster, but also get our associates back to work sooner."
The ILWU was notified yesterday after the decision was made to close the resort.
The employees are "very, very, important to us," Reid added. "We need for them to return in 2009."
The hotel management is also developing plans to relocate any hotel reservations and catering functions that will be affected by the closure, officials said.