Ilikai parishioners just praying for survival


POSTED: Monday, March 09, 2009

A group of visitors, residents and supporters of the Ilikai Hotel is turning to prayer to help the 1960s icon.

The Ilikai Protestant Chapel held a prayer walk at the Ilikai Hotel yesterday, hoping for a new start for the hotel and the condominium owners of the Ilikai property.

The Ilikai has 1,009 rooms, including time-share units, condominium rentals and units individually owned by 600-plus homeowners.

On April 15 the hotel side of the operation, which includes 203 condominium units and 16 commercial properties, will be auctioned off at Circuit Court.

The condominium units will be sold off in bulk. They are part of the foreclosed property purchased by developer Brian Anderson in 2006.

“;We've journeyed the journey of the hotel,”; said Carol Oliver, administrative coordinator of the chapel.

The chapel primarily serves guests and residents of the Ilikai and has seen its congregation decrease amid confusion under a new hotel owner.

After the hotel closed down its wedding chapel, where the group worshipped, they had to move to a ballroom on the hotel's second floor. Membership dwindled to half.

“;Nobody really knew what was going on. It was the fight for survival,”; Oliver said. “;It's far more optimistic now.”;

She said the group's size has begun to return again to about 100. At the prayer walk yesterday, about 12 people showed up and stopped on the 20th floor, the second-floor ballroom where the group practices, and the front of the hotel.

“;We want to heal some of the pain that we've encountered here in the building,”; said Ilikai resident Charles Carroll, who has been coming to the Ilikai since 1968 and purchased a unit about five years ago. “;Things have been so contentious here.”;

Homeowners grew upset with Anderson's allegedly unpaid electrical and maintenance bills.

“;We want to restore the harmony that we've shared with the hotel component,”; Carroll said. “;It's always been a harmonious relationship.”;