On Molokai, A Development is Stopped

The plan: 200 luxury homes on Molokai's waterfront, in exchange for jobs and preserving thousands of acres of land. Locals fought the compromise, and the economic shift brought an abrupt halt to the project- dragging other businesses down with it.
December 9, 2008, 2pm PST | Tim Halbur
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"'It wasn't going to be perfect; we all knew that," said John Sabas, 61, who grew up on Molokai and worked for a while as the ranch's communications manager. "But it would set us on a path of providing a sustainable future for the island."

Others, though, chose the more familiar path of resistance. Some distrusted yet more outsiders promising a better future. Others feared disturbance of the holy compact between the land and its people."

"In late March, the battle abruptly ended. Molokai Ranch, which was losing an estimated $300,000 a month, announced that it was shutting everything down: the hotel, the tentalows, the movie theater, the golf course, the development plans. More than 100 jobs lost, just like that.

In explaining the decision to 'mothball' the ranch, its chief executive, Peter Nicholas, said, 'Unacceptable delays caused by continued opposition to every aspect of the master plan means we are unable to fund continued normal company operations.'"

Thanks to ArchNewsNow

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Published on Sunday, December 7, 2008 in The New York Times
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