Businesses brace for traffic changes ahead of major world conference in Honolulu

Hawaii Convention Center

The World conservation congress is just three weeks away. The global event will take place Sept. 1 to 10 bringing around 5,000 delegates to the state that represent 170 countries.

The summit is projected to generate up to $62 million in total economic impact for the state. With the event comes an international spotlight.

With the 10 day World Conservation Congress set to come to the Blaisdell Center and Hawaii Convention Center, local businesses are being notified of lane closures planned for the event. Streets including Kapiolani Boulevard and Ward Avenue will be impacted. Richard Nakama, general manager of Doraku, one of the businesses along Kapiolani, is hoping crowds from the event make their way to the restaurant. “We are lucky were one of the fortunate ones we do pretty well with their happy hour is from 4 to 6 p.m. so it’s a tricky time for us. So it all depends on when it happens and then from there if it does affect business we’ll close a little earlier.”

Here’s some of the closures for the entire 10 day conference: The Ala Wai Canal will be shut down between Ala Moana Boulevard and Kalakaua Bridge. The promenade behind the Hawaii Convention Center will also be blocked to the public. DOCARE and HPD will be monitoring the area and trees will be trimmed to provide a better vantage point.

The City has said it’s number one priority is safety for the event. Director of Transportation Services Mike Formby says although there will be lane closures to provide safe transport for the dignitaries, it will still be possible to get around. “If you’re not going in the area look for another path of travel. If you are going in that area, you can still get where you want to go but you have to go another route.”

Businesses like Bluetree on Kapiolani have already looked into working with a smaller staff during the congress. Andrew Buckley, who works at Bluetree says parking will be a hurdle they’ll have to overcome. “I’m going to have to find somewhere else to park and have to walk here and kind of figure out how I’m going to go about that.”

For a link to the closures, click here.


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