Sep 10, 2013

Forget About Kailua

The Hawaii Tourism Authority has announced that it will take steps to permanently erase all references to Kailua in its visitor information, including all print, broadcast and social media.

The HTA’s effort is in response to the Kailua Neighborhood Board’s resolution requesting that the State’s leading promotional organization abandon its efforts to tell people about Kailua.

The Kailua Neighborhood Board has been working towards this goal ever since the First Tourist showed up by accident in the small town on the windward side of O`ahu.  At the time, Kailua was a broken down little town which offered its residents no real place to shop, forcing them to go over the mountain to the “other side,” to procure anything but groceries.

Although the Kailua Neighborhood Board thinks of Kailua as an independent entity, the town is actually a throwback to plantation days, with most of the commercial space owned by a single landlord since time began.  That landlord, the Castle Family and its avatar Kaneohe Ranch, has developed the town into a successful, bustling place since the First Tourist’s accidental arrival at the intersection of Kailua Road and Kailua Road.

“After years of resident complaints about the pathetic retail and restaurant offerings in Kailua,” said a Castle family spokesperson, ” We got sick of it and decided to show them what their whining would mean.”

As part of its effort to drive Kailua from the collective visitor memory, the Kailua Neighborhood Board will demand that small businesses which serve the visitor trade close their doors.  This will allow Kailua to revert to the bleak little burg discovered by the First Tourist.  Additionally, the Kailua Neighborhood Board will ask The President and his family not to take their usual Christmas vacation in Kailua.  Talk is afoot about taking advantage of the disappearing shoreline to eliminate Kailu’s popular beach altogether.  ”After all,” said one Board member, “Residents don’t go there because there are too many visitors.”  The Neighborhood Board, it turns out, is responsible for the bumper stickers which say “I Liked Kailua Before You Came.”

Other solutions to this most egregious situation are being explored by the Kailua Neighborhood Board, which is actually powerless to do anything:  its members were baffled that the Hawaii Tourism Authority agreed to their request to stop promoting Kailua.

This move by the Kailua Neighborhood Board and the Hawai`i Tourism Authority is receiving broad press coverage here in Hawai`i, across the nation and throughout the world.  Word has it that Foder’s will feature Kailua as Hawai`i’s best kept secret in its 2014 Guide to Hawai`i.


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Gloria. Circa 1955.

Gloria. Circa 2012.

Other than working for the American Red Cross in Korea for two years, Gloria Garvey has lived in Hawai`i since 1971. Her opinion and other writing has appeared in: The American Philatelist. Honolulu Weekly, The Honolulu Advertiser, The Honolulu Star Bulletin, The Star Advertiser, Hawai`i Reporter, Pacific Business News, Island Scene, The Design Management Journal.

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