We are the lucky neighbors of a vacation rental home here in Kona.
This is a regular neighborhood, with regular people working regular jobs. This particular vacation rental home is large — yippee, the more the merrier — and it’s advertised to sleep lots of people using every available sleeping surface, plus even more people if, according to online information, the rollaways, blowups, pullouts, and futons are used, too.
The owner of the vacation rental home next door does not live here, has never lived here, and has zero interest in this neighborhood, its residents, Kona, or the Big Island. We have reached out to the owner on several occasions to open a dialog. He has never replied.
The “property manager” of this home is not on site. He also has zero interest in our neighborhood. We know this because when we called to inform him of excessively loud and drunken renters, we were told that we should simply pack up and leave our home for the day.
We could almost get behind the idea of an enforced beach day if weren’t for the fact that the renters partied all day, every day, while “enjoying Kona.” Or should we say, while enjoying Kona from the the bottom of yet anther empty cocktail glass? This property manager is not listed as a licensed Realtor, according to the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. The “owner,” according to the website, has a fictitious name under a photo of a generic man.
The owner and property manager do share a common interest: making money. They are making lots of money. It’s easy to check the online website to see just exactly how much. This money is being made at the expense of the neighbors’ quality of life. Multiply just this one unsupervised vacation rental home by hundreds like it all over our town and that equals a community filled with frustrated neighbors and citizens.
We are asking all of you out there who are impacted by this situation to speak out on behalf of the quality of life here in the neighborhoods of our town. We are asking all of you out there who may have a For Sale sign posted on the house next door to also speak up as this letter could be from you a few months from now.
We are planning to speak at the county council meeting when the issue comes to the table. We hope to see all of you there or to see your letter on this opinion page.
Chris Fulien is a resident of Kailua-Kona.