Famed Ilikai Hotel to reopen, but with smaller staff


POSTED: Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Ilikai Hotel, which closed this month, reopens on Friday with a smaller staff.

New York-based iStar Financial Inc. shut down the 45-year-old hotel on July 9. However, a subsidiary of the company later reached agreement with Unite Here Local 5, the hotel workers union, to save the hotel and jobs of 50 senior workers.

“;IStar Financial would like to thank the union and its members for their commitment to find ways to help us provide the continued employment opportunities we all desire,”; said Andrew G. Backman, iStar Financial's senior vice president of investor relations and marketing.

Hotel workers recently ratified a new contract paving the way for reopening the Waikiki property, best known outside of the islands for its association with the “;Hawaii Five-0”; television show.

“;While it's always a sad day when a hotel worker loses a job, Friday will be an exciting day for the remaining workers who have spent decades making the Ilikai a success,”; said Cade Watanabe, a spokesman for Unite Here Local 5.

IStar bought the 203-room hotel and 16 adjoining commercial spaces at an auction in May after former owner Brian Anderson defaulted on a $115 million loan. Hotel Management Service LLC will now manage the hotel, which will receive a variety of support services from Aqua Hotels & Resorts.

The hotel will honor past reservations and take new ones. Callers may direct questions to 949-3811 or toll free at (866) 406-2782.