Tuesday, September 28, 1999

DFS project should
rejuvenate Waikiki

Bullet The issue: DFS has announced construction of a retail and entertainment complex in the heart of Waikiki.

Bullet Our view: The project should help Waikiki emerge from stagnation.

Waikiki has needed something to jolt it out of stagnation. DFS' announcement that it will spend $65 million to expand its duty-free store and create a spectacular retail and entertainment complex will certainly help.

The project will include a walk-through aquarium, lei makers, live entertainment, shops, restaurants and a mockup of a 1920s-vintage passenger liner with escalator "gangplanks" leading into the existing DFS Galleria store in the Nippon Shinpan Building. That store, which occupies 112,000 square feet, will be expanded to 182,000 square feet.

The 70,000-square-foot development is located at the corner of Kalakaua and Royal Hawaiian avenues, in the heart of Waikiki. It will take over space formerly occupied by Woolworth's.

The announcement comes a month after Hilton Hotels Corp. announced plans for a $95 million hotel at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, the first major hotel project in Waikiki in 10 years.

Bob Coe, president of DFS Hawaii, said he hopes his company's project will prompt other owners to redevelop their properties. Many would agree with Coe's statement that Waikiki needs "a dramatic recharging of its tourism engine."

More than the neighbor islands, Waikiki has suffered from the decline in visitor arrivals from Asia. This has to do in part with Asia's recent economic problems, but Waikiki's failure to provide new attractions is also probably a factor. The DFS and Hawaiian Village projects should help to reverse the perception of Waikiki as an aging, unappealing tourist destination.

Quayle exits GOP race

Bullet The issue: Dan Quayle's withdrawal from the Republican presidential race narrows the field.

Bullet Our view: George W. Bush's fund-raising success and high poll ratings make him the lopsided favorite to win the GOP nomination.

FORMER Vice President Dan Quayle's withdrawal from the race for the Republican presidential nomination was hardly a surprise. George W. Bush's fund-raising success has put the Texas governor at what Quayle came to regard as an insurmountable advantage.

Most candidates remaining in the race seem ideologically committed to running in defiance of any realistic chance of winning, but it is too early to anoint Bush.

Quayle's exit was preceded by those of Rep. John Kasich of Ohio, former Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander and Sen. Bob Smith of New Hampshire. Conservatives Steve Forbes, Gary Bauer and Pat Buchanan -- if he decides to remain in the GOP instead of trying to obtain the Reform Party nomination -- may pick up most of Quayle's support, but that will be hardly enough to stop the Bush steamroller.

Quayle hasn't overcome the assessment that he was not to be taken seriously, stemming from his verbal blunders in the vice presidency. He has been unable to raise enough funds to mount a strong campaign, even if his pipe dream about being able to win the first primary election in New Hampshire were to have come true.

He figures he still would have been "up against a candidate who can outspend you 100-to-1 if he wants to." Bush has raised up to $50 million while Quayle had been running a debt since early in his campaign.

Bush's most serious remaining competition comes from Elizabeth Dole, the former Red Cross president and wife of former Sen. Bob Dole, and Arizona Sen. John McCain. Most opinion polls show Dole a distant second to Bush. McCain, who avoided Iowa's nonbinding straw-vote charade, where Quayle finished eighth out of nine, announced his candidacy on the same day Quayle withdrew.

If Dole or McCain shows significant strength in the first few primary elections, Bush may run into trouble. At this point, however, barring a huge gaffe, Bush's fund-raising success and high poll ratings make him appear to be virtually unbeatable.

Academy of Arts

Bullet The issue: The Honolulu Academy of Arts has launched its most ambitious fund-raising campaign.

Bullet Our view: The academy is a major educational resource that deserves the community's support.

THE Honolulu Academy of Arts has announced plans to raise $25 million for new construction, renovation and an endowment to cover operating costs. It is the academy's most ambitious fund-raising effort, but it is already well on its way toward its goal.

Thus far $18.8 million has been raised in gifts and pledges from members of the museum's board foundations and major supporters. More than 50 percent has come from mainland foundations and private donors -- impressive evidence of the academy's national reputation.

The most tangible goal is construction of the $8.5 million Luce Pavilion complex in what is now the academy parking lot, made possible by a $3 million gift from the Henry Luce Foundation.

The academy is not only an exceptional museum with particular emphasis on Asian art. It is also an invaluable educational resource for Hawaii's people. The current campaign is aimed at making it even more effective.

Published by Liberty Newspapers Limited Partnership

Rupert E. Phillips, CEO

John M. Flanagan, Editor & Publisher

David Shapiro, Managing Editor

Diane Yukihiro Chang, Senior Editor & Editorial Page Editor

Frank Bridgewater & Michael Rovner, Assistant Managing Editors

A.A. Smyser, Contributing Editor

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