Friday, July 30, 1999

Dress down for tours
of the plantation

By Anthony Sommer


MAKAWELI, Kauai -- If there's a Truth in Advertising Award out there, this week's winner has to be Gay & Robinson for its candid promotion of plantation tours set to begin Monday.

They tell you right up front you'd better plan on coming back filthy.

"Visitors will be taking home more than an enriching experience,"' according to a Gay & Robinson news release issued this week by tour supervisor Chris Faye. "The famous Makawali red dirt finds its way into everything.

"Plan on wearing old and/or dark clothes when visiting Gay and Robinson plantation."Old tennis shoes are recommended.

The half-day tours include a bus tour of Gay & Robinson fields and a walking tour of the sugar mill. The public tours of fields being harvested and cane being processed are the first in several decades. The cost is $40, with discounts available for seniors, children, military and Hawaii residents. Small children will be allowed to take the bus tour of the fields but will not be allowed inside the factory. For visitors who don't have time for a full tour, there are displays showing the company's history at the Gay & Robinson Field, built around 1900 and still being used.

Gay & Robinson has been a major sugar grower on Kauai since 1889 and is the island's largest private landowner. It is planning to build the state's first sugar refinery over the next several years.

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