Volume 5 No.2 Summer 2009 800.574.1909 

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The New Waikiki

Of all the resort areas in Hawaii, none has more happening at once than Waikiki on the island of Oahu. Here you can hit the beach, shop-‘til-you-drop and then recharge from a busy day by dining at a trendy restaurant all without having to go more than a few blocks. But the truth is the area was starting to feel a little tired and was in need of some TLC. And now, after several years and millions of dollars, new life has finally been breathed into Waikiki.

Waikiki Reborn

After several months and nearly $13 million, Kuhio Beach (Waikiki’s main strip of sand) has been reinvigorated with a new sidewalk promenade complete with landscaping and fountains. Kapiolani has gotten a major shot in the arm, too. Over $10 million was spent improving the Honolulu Zoo and a new bandstand was erected for special events and the Sunday afternoon Royal Hawaiian Band concerts.

They’re not done yet, though. At the other end of Waikiki $135 million is going towards upgrading and beautifying the open space by Fort DeRussy. An additional $3 million will be spent on upgrading the landscaping and sidewalks along the beach as well.

Recommended Properties with Excellent Accommodations:

Sunset Torch Lighting and Hula Show

One of Waikiki’s new attractions is the nightly torch lighting ceremony you’ll find throughout the Waikiki. Men garbed in ancient clothing run down the street and through the hotel grounds lighting torches as evening sets in (usually around 6:30). Over at Kuhio Beach Park you’ll find a free nightly hula pageant which begins with a torch lighting ceremony and the call of conch shell. The show runs from 6:30-7:30 each evening.  There’s also an hour-long show starting just before sunset on Waikiki Beach which features the young “Men of Hoea” in a torch lighting ceremony, followed by the award-winning hula hulau schools dedicated to hula and Hawaiian culture.

Royal Hawaiian Center

The Royal Hawaiian Center, formerly known as The Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, is top dining, shopping and entertainment destination in Waikiki. This 4-level, 3-block behemoth sits along the main strip of Kalakaua Avenue and features over 310,000 square feet of some of the best shops, restaurants and entertainment anywhere in the state. Though it’s still being worked on, once completed it will have 110 shops, 10 anchor restaurants, state-of-the-art live performance showroom and the largest open garden space in the heart of Waikiki. The Royal Hawaiian Center remains open during its revitalization.

Waikiki Beach Walk

We’ve saved the biggest change for last. The Waikiki Beach Walk is the largest development project ever completed in Waikiki’s history. Over $530 million was spent on the almost eight acre area creating 41 new shops, six restaurants, five hotels and an outdoor entertainment plaza.

Waikiki Beach Walk just celebrated its first anniversary.  “In it’s first year, Waikiki Beach Walk has become an icon for Waikiki’s revitalization and a symbol for the area’s successful renaissance,” said Barbara Campbell, vice president of retail development for Outrigger Enterprises Group. “As we wish Waikiki Beach Walk a happy birthday, we are reminded of what was once narrow streets and aging buildings and is now a bustling shopping and dining destination for thousands of visitors and restaurants.”

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