Business Briefs


POSTED: Thursday, March 18, 2010

Time-share sales begin on Kauai

Sales of units at Marriott's Kauai Lagoons time-share properties have begun, as it prepares for occupancy starting in August.

The 1,300-square-foot two-bedroom, two-bathroom units are furnished and have a fully equipped kitchen as well as multiple flat-screen televisions, a washer-dryer and large lanai.

Each unit can accommodate up to six guests.

The 520-acre property offers several amenities as well.

Prices start at $40,900 a week, depending on the season and type of view selected.


Atebara to lead Big Island YWCA

The YWCA Hawaii Island has appointed Jeanine Atebara chief executive officer.

Atebara has worked in radio and newspaper advertising and management on the Big Island for most of her career.

“;With over 25 years of business management experience and three decades of active involvement in our Big Island community, Jeanine is an ideal leader for the YWCA,”; board President Lorraine Godoy said in a statement. “;She embodies the YWCA mission of empowering women and eliminating racism.”;

Atebara was raised in Oregon and has lived in Hilo since 1979.


Facebook overtakes Google in hits

Facebook Inc., the world's largest social-networking site, surpassed Google Inc.'s search engine in weekly hits to become the most visited Web site in the U.S. for the first time, according to research firm Hitwise. accounted for 7.07 percent of visits in the week ended March 13, topping's 7.03 percent, New York-based Hitwise said in a blog post Monday. Facebook almost tripled its visits from a year earlier, compared with 9 percent growth at Google, the most popular search engine.

Facebook, started in 2004, has lured users by adding games and making it easier to check messages, notifications and friend requests. To compete, Google added a social-networking feature called Buzz to its Gmail e-mail service last month, allowing users to share photos, comments and clips from its YouTube video site.


Old Navy returns to good value roots

Last spring, retailer Old Navy launched new spokespeople: the “;supermodelquins.”;

This spring, the company is putting its stores under the knife with a “;racetrack”; layout and value wall.

All this cosmetic surgery is Old Navy's attempt to bring back customers lost after the chain strayed from its value credo around 2007. The redesigned stores will have a racetrack design to help shoppers save time, a play area for kids, dressing rooms in the center of the store, and a “;fundamentals”; wall with new, low-priced products, Gap spokesman Daniel Rubin said.

San Francisco-based Gap Inc. launched Old Navy as a lower-cost sister brand in 1994. Gap Inc. also owns Banana Republic, Athleta and Piperlime. Gap expects to spend $575 million on capital expenditures in 2010, including the Old Navy store changes.

Old Navy remodeled 50 stores last year and will do 200 more this year, for about a quarter of its 1,000-plus stores.

Old Navy hit a valley in 2008 with store sales of $5.2 billion, compared with $6.6 billion in 2005, financial reports show. The chain recovered some in 2009 with sales of $5.3 billion. Gap Inc.'s sales in 2009 were $14.2 billion.


On the Move

; » Hawaii Central Credit Union has hired Drake Tanabe as president. He has 20 years of credit union experience and was previously director of Support Services at University of Hawaii Federal Credit Union.

» Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel has announced that:

Rod Lau was appointed to director of sales. He has more than 20 years' experience with Hyatt Resorts in Hawaii and served as director of sales at the Orchid at Mauna Lani, Princeville Resort, Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club, and Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows.

Bernadette Worley was named catering manager. She has more than 15 years of sales and marketing experience, including working at the Ala Moana Hotel, Makaha Resort Golf Club, Island Air and Sato Travel.

Gladys Sim-Avergonzado was hired as sales coordinator. She was previously a sales and marketing coordinator at Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Palm Springs, Calif., as well as working at La Quinta Resort & Spa and as wedding coordinator at Maui's Grand Wailea Resort & Spa.