Holiday Inn to get signs

  • The current sign at the Holiday Inn Express on Sarona Road in Kailua-Kona hangs as the hotel continues to wait for approval to hang the franchise's trademark sign.(LAURA RUMINSKI/West Hawaii Today)

HILO — More than five years later, the Holiday Inn in Kailua-Kona is about to get its signs.

The County Council Public Works and Mass Transit Committee voted 9-0 to advance the hotel’s sign variance, Resolution 92, to the council, where it faces one final vote. That marks the end of a long saga, where the application gathered dust in the Department of Public Works, was postponed by a previous council, took two trips to the Kailua Village Design Commission and has now returned for a final approval.


“This was something that had been within the Department of Public Works for more than five years,” Hilo Councilwoman Sue Lee Loy, chairwoman of the committee, said during the committee hearing Tuesday.

Lee Loy, who had been pushing to get the variance completed, during an April committee meeting took department officials to task for their inaction. Other council members also expressed frustration with the department’s sloppy handling of documents.

The Seattle-based owners, Kona Hospitality LLC, Han Gyu Kim and Mihyung Kim, had first proposed to erect three signs: a 43-square-foot, 32-square-foot and an 18-square foot one, two of which would front Sarona Road and one on Kuakini Highway. They wanted to put one on a pedestal. That has all changed in the revised application.

Now, after one more hearing by the County Council next week, four downsized signs will be cleared for installation.

Two wall signs are allowed, one above the entrance on Sarona Road and another about 5 feet above the third floor level along the east property frontage at the south end of the building.

Two directional signs will be allowed, one 20-square-feet and one 14-square-feet no higher than 48 inches off the ground.


Kona architect Fritz Harris Glade, representing the applicants, said Monday he’s pleased and especially appreciative of Lee Loy’s efforts.

“Councilwoman Lee Loy was instrumental getting this through and I applaud her for that,” Glade said. “But I still don’t understand why it took five years. … There was no apology; no one took responsibility.”

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