Deal in works to sell
the Sheraton Kauai

The sale to Starwood Corp.
could close on Feb. 18

LIHUE >> Starwood Corp. is in negotiations with Obayashi Corp. of Honolulu to purchase the Sheraton Kauai Resort, Kauai's second-largest hotel, a Starwood official confirmed yesterday.

Obayashi filed a letter with the state Department of Labor notifying it of the possible sale, with a planned closing date of Feb. 18. Large employers in Hawaii are required to give the state and their employees 60 days' notice if they intend to end their ownership. In its letter, Obayashi said the new owner plans to hire all 300 employees.

The buyer will also honor the existing contract with Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Local 5, the letter said.

Starwood is the management company for the hotel and also owns the Sheraton trade name along with several others, including Westin, Luxury Collection and W.

Keith Vieira, Starwood's senior vice president and director of operations for Hawaii and French Polynesia, confirmed yesterday that negotiations for the sale are under way. He stressed that no deal has been struck.

"We are an interested buyer and it's in discussion," Vieira said. He would not discuss price, saying there are still some matters, including hurricane repair costs, yet to be resolved.

On the beach in the Poipu resort district on the island's South Shore, the Sheraton Kauai was one of Kauai's most severely damaged hotels in 1992's Hurricane Iniki. It did not reopen until 1997.

With 413 rooms, the Sheraton Kauai is the second-largest resort on Kauai after the Hyatt Regency Kauai, which has 601 rooms and also is located in Poipu.

Room rates at the Sheraton Kauai range from $325 to $1,200 a night. Vieira said it has the highest occupancy rate of any hotel owned or managed by Starwood.


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