Residents, working groups speak out on Maui resort expansion project
WAILUKU — Residents and professional association members have spoken out over a resort’s expansion plans that would make it the second-largest hotel on Maui.
Several residents attended a Maui Planning Commission meeting Tuesday to speak against the expansion of the Grand Wailea Maui, The Maui News reported Thursday.
Others at the meeting voiced support, including members of a lodging association and the carpenters union.
The 776-room resort on 36.6 acres along Wailea Alanui Drive plans to add another 224 rooms, including up to 40 bungalow units. The proposal also calls for construction of new pools, a parking garage expansion, removal of a chapel and other renovations.
The project’s cost is estimated at $91.5 million over five years.
Maui already exceeds the recommended 3-to-1 resident-to-visitor ratio, said resident Dick Mayer said.
“We do not need any more hotel rooms on this island; we need to control it,” Mayer said.
Lisa Paulson, executive director of the Maui Hotel and Lodging Association, said the 30-year-old resort is “due for a refresh.”
Bruce U’u of the Maui Chapter of the Hawaii Carpenters Union said he supported the project if it went through “the due diligence.”
Wailuku resident Noelani Ahia said the hotel is on the site of ancient burials.
“So how you going to sell that to the tourists?” Ahia said. “Welcome to our ancient burial ground where you can have mai tais with the disturbed spirits of my ancestors.”