WHT at 50: Tourist tax panned, hotel chain sold and Hilton grows

  • Wednesday, Jan. 22, 1969 | Volume II, Issue III

Wednesday, Jan. 22, 1969 | Volume II, Issue III



“Hotel Managers Blast Tax; Tourist Levy Opposed Here”

By Jim Langdon

The latest call for additional taxes on tourists to Hawaii — this time in the form of a room tax proposed by Honolulu Mayor Frank Fasi — has stirred considerable response in hotel- and visitor-related circles throughout West Hawaii. It comes as no surprise that visitor-related interests are very much opposed to such a plan, including spokesmen for West Hawaii’s largest hotels.

Interviewed were Bob Butterfield of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel; John McGuigan of the Kona Hilton; Bill Mielcke of the Kona Inn; and Bill Baker of the King Kamehameha Hotel. Among the men’s statements were:

“The proposal is contrary to our philosophy of the Aloha spirit. With the tax, we say Aloha to our visitors at one moment, then put out the straight arm the next. ” — Bob Butterfield

“Granted, the state needs money; there is an acute shortage of funds. And we who oppose the tourist tax can’t just say ‘No,’ we must provide an alternative. The potential uses of state lands that are presently lying dormant should be investigated. People are just begging to come in here and develop and invest money … but our obsolete zoning codes make it awfully difficult for the contractors. I think the alternative does lie, however, in some constructive use of state lands.” — John McGuigan

“In all, it would be very bad publicity for the state.” — Bill Mielcke

“Agriculture in Hawaii is fast fading. The next big business for the state is tourism. And look at the taxes that we are already paying. The tourist trade brings more revenue into the islands than other single interest. The visitors bring money into the restaurants, the gift shops, theatres, you name it. To try to attach the tourist in one breath, and then tax him to death the next, makes little or no sense at all.”

“Island Holidays Chain Sold”

No Byline

An agreement has been reached between Lyle C. Guslander and Amfac Inc. of Honolulu for $20 million in Amfac stock for the sale of Guslanders’ Island Holidays hotel chain. Involved in the sale is Kona’s 114-room Hotel King Kamehameha and the plan for the construction of a new 315-room hotel at Bishop Estates in Keauhou. Amfac would also pick up $10 million in debts of Island Holidays.

“Wing Opening Set”

No Byline

Kona Hilton’s new 128-room wing is scheduled to open Feb. 1 making the hotel the largest on the Big Island. The new wing will make for a total of 318 rooms, topping the 264 rooms of the Kona Inn, once the Big Island’s largest hotel. The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is third in size with 256 rooms.

VWeekly deals:

At K. Taniguchi Super Markets (KTA Super Stores): MD toilet tissues, eight rolls for $0.89; and Aqua Net hair spray, $0.53.

Sure Save Super Markets: Oranges, four pounds for $0.65; Kona-grown avocado, one pound for $0.07; Miko franks, three pounds for $1.29; and Meadow Gold guava juice, 1/2 gallon for $0.54.

At Kamigaki Store: Jello, six for $0.65; Log Cabin syrup, 12 ounces for $0.69; and Kona Laid eggs, one dozen large for $0.69.

N Featured films:


At Aloha Theatre: Alan Arkin and Sandra Locke in “The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter;” “Fearless Vampire Killers” starring Sharon Tate and Jack MacGowran; and “Samson &Delilah” with Victor Mature and Hedy LaMarr.

At Kona Theatre: Michael Piccoli in “Benjamin;” John Ireland in “Fort Utah;” and Doris Day “The Ballad Of Josie.” For adults only, “Kokosei Geisha” with Masako Mizuki and “The Pleasure Lovers.”

  1. 4whatitsworth January 24, 2019 7:42 pm

    The “Tourist tax” seemed to work well because soon after this was instituted no more hotels were built on the big island.

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