Scaled back plans unveiled for new Laie hotel

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It’s been four years in the works.

And now we get a first look at what a new hotel in Laie, next to the Polynesian Cultural Center, will look like.

It’s a little different from the original plans.

This was the past.  This is the present.  And this is the future.

“We are so excited for the hotel.  We’ve been waiting for this for a couple of years,” said Kevin Schlag, Laie Community Association.

He remembers when the old 49 room Laie Inn used be here.

It closed and was torn down in 2009, to make way for a new and bigger hotel.

“In the meantime we’ve had to have everyone staying at our house.  My in-laws are staying at our house right now,” said Schlag.

Although the permit allows for 222 rooms and four stories, only 144 rooms and three stories will be built, at least for the first phase.

“I think the primary reason for the height difference is a sensitivity to what we’ve heard through the community input process.  And then there’s also the market demand that’s out there,” said Eric Beaver, Hawaii Reserves, Inc.

The plan also calls for Chevron and McDonald’s to be torn down.

“So the entry road that comes in towards McDdonald’s, on the other side of these buildings, that’ll be the entry to the hotel.  The main lobby and front entry to the hotel is where Chevron and McDonald’s are.  And the building with the main rooms, will be one long building this way with a little bit of return,” said Beaver.

McDonald’s will close in about six months, and is expected to move to the north side of the hotel.

And Chevron will close in about a month, with a plan of re-locating it to Laie Shopping Center.

“The community was concerned about the Chevron being closed for a little while,” said Schlag.

The nearest gas station is about 2 1/2 miles up the road, near the old Kahuku Sugar Mill.

“We’ve talked to the owners there and they said rest assured, we’re open 24-7.  They even added diesel fuel to their offerings and they’re ready to serve the community,” said Beaver.

The hotel is still expected to be branded a Marriott.

“With a Marriott name — that recognition, reservation system, and the power of that will be a great boom,” said Beaver.

Construction will likely begin at the end of this year, with the new hotel expected to open sometime around the beginning of 2015.

This is all part of a re-development plan for the area that’s owned by the Mormon Church.

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