Skip to Content

Parts of West Maui to reopen to tourists on Sunday

<i>Rick Bowmer/AP</i><br/>An empty Kaanapali Beach is shown
Rick Bowmer/AP
An empty Kaanapali Beach is shown

By Forrest Brown, CNN

(CNN) — Parts of West Maui are still on track to begin a phased reopening to tourists starting Sunday, October 8 – but the action comes with some controversy.

A portion of the popular Hawaiian island was devastated by deadly wildfires in early August, and some residents of hard-hit Lahaina have petitioned Hawaii Gov. Josh Green to delay reopening, saying the community needs more time to heal.

But as of 5:30 p.m. ET Friday, the phased reopening was still on schedule according to the Hawai‘i Visitors & Convention Bureau and the office of Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen.

Here’s where things stand for the tourism-reliant island heading into the weekend:

What’s opening on Maui

Areas of West Maui – including Nāpili, Kāʻanapali, Honokōwai and Kapalua – are part of the reopening, according the Hawai‘i Visitors & Convention Bureau.

However, the return of vacationers to resorts will be staggered, according to a news release from Bissen’s office. Phase I will encompass the northern Kapalua area from the Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua to Kahana Villa.

After an assessment of how Phase I has worked, the area from Mahinahina to Maui Kaanapali Villas would open under Phase II.

And Phase III includes the area from Royal Lahaina Resort to the Hyatt Regency. This is where the majority of displaced residents are sheltered, Bissen’s news release said, and therefore will be last to reopen.

“We advise travelers to check with the individual accommodations in West Maui for their reopening plans,” the Visitors Bureau said.

What remains closed

Historic Lahaina, which took the brunt of the disaster, “will remain fully closed to the public until further notice out of respect to the town’s residents,” according the Visitors Bureau.

“County, state, and federal emergency responders continue with efforts to identify victims and the missing, and conduct clean-up efforts of debris and hazardous materials resulting from the wildfires.”

What has been open

Much of the island escaped direct damage in the August wildfires. Tourists have been able to visit these areas, including Kahului, Wailuku, Kīhei, Wailea, Mākena, Pā‘ia and Hāna, according to the Visitors Bureau.

Also, other Hawaiian islands – Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Lānaʻi, and Hawai‘i Island – have been welcoming visitors all along.

™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Style

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content