Time to Shape Up

Time to Shape Up

In the Opinion section of the Maui News on Sunday, September 2, 2012
Kenneth Block of Kamuela, Hawaii wrote: “Now that Hawaiian Airlines is using
Maui as a hub, I find myself switching planes on Maui on my way to Seattle. I am amazed at the deplorable condition of the Kahului airport. All of the moving
sidewalks are out of service. Doesn’t anyone ever fix anything at the airport?
On the long walk from gate 12 to gate 39 I noticed that all the windows in the
airport are filthy. Is this the image we want to set for Kahului airport?”

I had to laugh, because I used to ask this question every time I went to the airport… then finally gave up, because nothing ever changed. There were a few years there when every time I got to the airport and went to the restroom, the lock on the same restroom door was broken. This probably went on for four years. Finally one time there was a group of what appeared to be politicians touring the Kahului airport. They had out notepads and were notating everything wrong or broken in the airport. This was about five or six years ago. I got excited because on my way back through from California, I figured that door would be fixed.

But no, there was a note on the door saying “lock needs fixed.” Guess how long that note stayed on the door? You guessed it–it was still there on my next trip! On the way back through from California, however, the note was gone. And the door was still not fixed! By contrast when I would get to my destination airport, either San Francisco or Oakland in California, everything was fixed, working, and gleaming bright.

Within my interior design business, I staged homes to get them ready to put on the real estate market. Time after time I would walk into people’s homes which would be so cluttered, and things would be broken– just shabby in general. Unfortunately, because they owners had lived there for so long, they just couldn’t see it. I would have to break the news to them that a major overhaul was going to be needed if this house was going to sell.

Is this the problem with the Kahului airport–they just can’t see the problems? I
doubt it, or that note would not have been on the door for so long. It’s just a
general lassez-faire attitude that because Maui is so beautiful, people will
come here, regardless. Perhaps Maui takes its tourists for granted.
This writer, Kenneth Block, is a Hawaii resident, and even he is disgusted.

The same problems hold true for our Maui County Park system. Each
restroom is dirty, there is no soap, there are no towels. I watched a county
worker stop with his truck, go into the restroom and supposedly clean it – and
when I used it afterwards, it looked no better than before he got there. When
tourists are only visiting, perhaps they can overlook this because they see it
as a one-time occurrence. But when you live here, you know it never changes.
Ma’alaea, Kanaha, Airport Beach…all the park restrooms are the same.

A few years ago we drove from San Francisco to LA. On the highway were a number of roadside rest parks with restrooms. When I stopped at the first one, I braced myself because I was used to Maui restrooms. Surprise! Gleaming white, smelled great, towels, soap. What a shock.

Maui can do better. It seems they just don’t care.

What is your opinion of the condition of the Kahului airport? Of the Maui parks system? What has your experience been? Please share.

A hui hou! If you would like to subscribe to this blog, please click the Follow button on the Home page. Mahalo for stopping by!

Aloha, Jamaica

1 thought on “Time to Shape Up

  1. You are SO RIGHT! I’ve been coming to Maui for years and have always noted that, for an island with a tourist-oriented economy, the facilities are horrific. Keeping visitors comfortable should be a top priority. I’m of the opinion that every buck spent on maintenenace and cleanliness would pay off in added tourist dollars. Maui is no ka oi, but should try harder nonetheless.

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