The Naniloa Resort has seen better days. The Big Island’s mayor calls it an eyesore.
Operator Ken Fujiyama secured a state lease seven years ago, but let the property fall into disrepair
There were high hopes of a major infusion of cash, and plans for an upgraded upscale property.
But it never happened.
On a recent inspection requested by the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the county found multiple electric and plumbing violations-- including elevators that don't work and the discovery of an acupuncture school operating illegally on the fifth floor.
"It’s currently indefensible on why we have a property like that in the condition that it is in, There is absolutely no excuse for it," said Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi.
The mayor said the sorry state of the Naniloa Resort is holding Hilo economic hostage and is jeopardizing a direct daily flight from LA to Hilo.
"We are in danger of losing that flight which provides tremendous economic advantage and benefit to the people of East Hawaii. We are in danger of losing that because of the deteriorating condition of the Naniloa," the mayor said.
The fate of the hotel is now in the hands of bankruptcy judge.
"It's been an asset that been ignored for far too long, and it’s an asset that needs to be fully utilized to benefit everyone in the community," said Kenoi.
The mayor wants to see the property sparkle again and hopes it happens soon.
Operator Ken Fujiyama is expected to appear before the land board Friday to talk about conditions of his lease.