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jlfernandez5
07-11-2006, 11:57 AM
Maui moving to discourage time shares
By Kristen Consillio
Pacific Business News (Honolulu)

Updated: 8:00 p.m. ET July 9, 2006

With nearly 2,300 new time-share units set to be built by 2010, Maui County officials are trying to discourage more development by imposing higher taxes, even though a new study they commissioned found that time-share owners weren't a drain in the economy.

Despite the study's findings, some county officials say time-share development is out of control and threatening the direction of Maui's carefully tended upscale tourism industry.

"I don't see it being a need in our county to have time share," said G. Riki Hokama, Maui County Council chairman. "That's not the visitor I want here."

The dramatic growth of time-share projects prompted the county last year to create Hawaii's first property tax category specifically for those properties. The tax is $14 on every $1,000 of a property's assessed value. Officials on Kauai and the Big Island are considering similar taxes.

The Maui County Council also proposed that time shares have their own zoning category so that government can regulate development. But state legislators shot down the proposal earlier this year.

Even as brands like Ritz-Carlton get into what they call the "fractional ownership" of luxurious condominiums at Kapalua in 21-day increments starting at $300,000, Maui officials say they are convinced time-share owners are contributing less in taxes than hotel guests and requiring more public services like roads and water.

Officials say they also are concerned that converting hotels to time shares will put people out of work and will lead to more people crowding the highways because time shares are usually booked 52 weeks a year, unlike hotels that rarely hit 100 percent occupancy.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa said the objective of the tax is to discourage wholesale conversions of large resorts into time shares, which he believes takes away from the convention business and will send the wrong message to affluent visitors.

"We have to be careful that we don't overdo it and don't destroy the very industry that's brought us to the top," Arakawa said.

The council paid Hospitality Advisors, a Honolulu-based tourism consultancy, $75,000 to prepare a report reviewing the impact of time-share conversions. The study, based on state data, found that time-share visitors account for only 1.8 percent of the daily island census and that what is really driving the overcrowding is the number of people moving to Maui.

While time-share visitors spend less than hotel guests, they stay slightly longer and spend more per person per day on nonlodging than condominium visitors, the study found.

"There's no question that tourism contributes to the pressure on Maui's infrastructure," said Joseph Toy, president and CEO of Hospitality Advisors. "However, we were asked to look specifically at impacts from time-share conversions, which appear to be a small part of the overall market."

Executives of time-share properties say they already are paying their fair share in taxes, which are passed on to customers through the transient occupancy tax applied to maintenance fees. Time-share managers are still unhappy about the jump in the new property tax from $8 per $1,000 in 2005 to $14 this year.

"When you jump it up 75 percent in one year that's a real shock," said Chad Jensen, general manager of Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club and chairman of the Hawaii chapter of the American Resort Development Association. "It certainly doesn't help time-share development because it adds to costs for developers because they're responsible for paying for the unsold weeks."

Hotel executives contend the foremost benefit of time share is its high and consistent occupancy, which tends to be less affected by world events and downturns in the economy.

"What it does for the local economy is keeps people employed," said Craig Anderson, general manager of the Westin Maui. "If this wasn't something people were interested in it wouldn't be selling. People are voting with their pocketbooks and companies are responding to market demand."

URL: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/13796096/

bigfrank
07-11-2006, 12:11 PM
I wonder if the sales reps will use this as a selling point. Better buy it while you can.:biggrin:

mshatty
07-11-2006, 12:29 PM
Seems awfully provincial and short sighted on the Maui official's part.:sad:

Glitter Brunello
07-11-2006, 12:43 PM
"I don't see it being a need in our county to have time share," said G. Riki Hokama, Maui County Council chairman. "That's not the visitor I want here."


WOW, what an outrageous quote for a public official!!!!!!!

katiemack
07-11-2006, 01:48 PM
Very elitist...indeed...but they must like the green TS'ers spend there....what on earth is happening with society? Is it all about $$$$$ power MEMEMEMEME?

talkamotta
07-11-2006, 02:20 PM
I responded to the article. I think that misguided public official needs to know what timesharing is all about.

This is what I wrote:

We bought a timeshare on Maui last year, Sands of Kahana. I am so excited to be able to go to your state. Timesharing enables me to go. We will be renting a car, buying our food, eating out alot. Shopping in your stores. I hope that you will welcome me as much as I want to come to your state. People who rent a room are there for the day(s). People who buy a timeshare are infact, investing in your state. I consider myself a fractional resident. I am taking ownership. Its the same feeling I have with my home state, Utah. I care about the economy but mostly the environment, people and natural resources that Hawaii has been blessed with. This attitude makes a big difference.
Did I tell you I was so excited to see Hawaii?

Glitter Brunello
07-11-2006, 02:35 PM
Here is Councilman Hokama's email address, I intend to use it. Perhaps he would like to apologize in person when I arrive in Maui for my first visit, albeit as an unwelcome visitor...

riki.hokama@co.maui.hi.us

ArtsieAng
07-11-2006, 02:42 PM
"I don't see it being a need in our county to have time share," said G. Riki Hokama, Maui County Council chairman. "That's not the visitor I want here."


WOW, what an outrageous quote for a public official!!!!!!!


That is an unbelievably insulting remark.....Really, how dare he say something so offensive. What nerve.......:pissed:

Glitter Brunello
07-11-2006, 02:59 PM
That is an unbelievably insulting remark.....Really, how dare he say something so offensive. What nerve.......:pissed:

My email has been sent....

Dear Councilman Hokama,

I was dismayed to read your recent comments indicating that timesharers are "not the visitors [you] want." I have been planning our family's first trip to Hawaii for the past year. We will be arriving in August and have been very excited about it. We plan to spend almost three weeks, one on the Big Island, and 13 days on Maui. Our budget for non-lodging expenses is approximately $xxxx to $xxxxx for the three weeks. Perhaps we spend more than some while on a timeshare vacation, but probably less than others...

I first started timesharing about 6 years ago. Timeshare allows family to travel with their children and stay in comfortable places, rather than be cramped into hotel rooms. In this era of family travel, it is a necessity for many, irrespective of budget. The continued growth of the industry is a testament to the demand. Every high end hotel chain is now expanding into timeshare.

We are traveling in late August due to school vacation schedules. We would not make the trip if we were limited to hotel rooms.

[Edited to delete personal info]. I am aware of the pressures of local community. Still, I wonder if you really examined this issue before making such a sweeping statement.

Reading that I am an unwanted visitor certainly makes me wonder if I will get to experience the feeling of Aloha that Hawaii is known for... surely you didn't intend to deal such a powerful blow to such a large group of tourists.

Sincerely,

ArtsieAng
07-11-2006, 03:09 PM
Avery,


Great letter...good for you. I am not even going to Maui, and I think I may send him an email....sheesh, what a jerk.

mshatty
07-11-2006, 05:00 PM
I wonder how much the Maui chambers of commerce will pay him to shut up!?:evil:

taffy19
07-11-2006, 05:13 PM
I wonder how much the Maui chambers of commerce will pay him to shut up!?:evil:
The Chamber of Commerce likes it because the proceeds are going to be used to advertise tourism, I read somewhere. :rolleyes:

We don't count. Our HOA board as well as ARDA tried to stop these taxes but very few other resort management was there to fight it. I am sure we lost and the TOT tax is charged to people who own and occupy their own timeshare unit and pay real estate taxes too which went up a lot because of higher property values.

It almost makes you not to want to go to Hawaii anymore. JMHO.

gophish
07-11-2006, 06:39 PM
I also sent him a note and hope that every timesharer who reads about this will also do so. It may not make him change his mind, but, it may make him reconsider if he wants to allianate a whole class of tourist.

talkamotta
07-11-2006, 06:43 PM
Im sure if all the timeshare owners didnt go to Hawaii, it would make a tremendous impact on thier economy. But who would be hurt. Not that rude man, it would be the locals. Ive never been to Maui but do the locals make you feel welcome?

It just goes to show you how some politicians dont have a clue. :banghead:

taffy19
07-11-2006, 06:51 PM
Yes, we feel that we are always treated well and if you talk to the local people, they will talk to you too besides being polite in their job. We like the local people and we love their culture too.

They are happy people with so much song and dance and history. They live in paradise but it is expensive for them as the tourist trade doesn't pay the best wages. We have talked to quite a few and they own their home but buying today may be a real problem for them.

Anne1125
07-11-2006, 07:00 PM
I just sent an email to the councilman.

My family just returned from Maui (stayed in Maui Hill) and had a great time.

We spent plenty of cash!!!

What nerve he has making us out to be second rate tourists!

Anne

Glitter Brunello
07-11-2006, 07:32 PM
I wonder if any of us will get a response. I will post if I get anything. Here is his email again for those of you who would like to write him, I hope his mailbox gets overloaded!

riki.hokama@co.maui.hi.us

EileenSRN
07-11-2006, 08:24 PM
Here is my contribution: I thought it would be nice to let the Governor know how we feel, as well. (Hubby and I drafted it together)

Dear Councilman Hokama,
In 2000 my wife and I experienced "Aloha" on Oahu and the Big Island for our 25th Anniversary. Ever since our return we have been reworking our timeshare portfolio so we could return to Hawaii and visit Maui for a few weeks. My wife and I have become SCUBA certified; we did not purchase equipment, however. We felt it would be more cost effective to rent once we arrived since we live on the East Coast. No small sum for one dive, let alone several days on the water. I read, with much dismay, that we are not wanted on your Island. We will not go where we are not wanted. We will find another spot of Paradise, I am sure, but it won't have the mystique of Maui. Perhaps I should be grateful that I discovered we were not welcome before we committed to an arrival date.
Sincerely,
Jack Skahill

"I don't see it being a need in our county to have time share," said G. Riki Hokama, Maui County Council chairman. "That's not the visitor I want here."

Maui moving to discourage time shares
By Kristen Consillio
Pacific Business News (Honolulu)

barndweller
07-11-2006, 09:51 PM
Here's mine with a copy sent to the Governor:

Dear Mr. Hokama,
I just read an article in the Pacific Business News that included a quote from you. I have been a visitor to Hawaii every year since 1977. That year I stayed in rented condo units, not hotels, and did so every year until 2003 when I finally bought a timeshare. Every year I have rented a car, bought groceries and souvenirs, paid for snorkel trips and fishing boat excursions and helicopter rides. I have paid admission to many gardens, museums, historic homes and parks. I have eaten out at restaurants from the local lunch plate places to the ritzy 5 star places and bought tickets for every luau available including some sponsored by local schools. I always rent some videos at the local place and visit the local bookshops to buy my vacation reading material. And I have purchased untold numbers of libations garnished with paper umbrellas at the local night spots. And now that I have a timeshare I bring my whole family so we spend even more. And we stay longer.

But, you say to me that I am "not the kind of visitor I want here." I ask you, sir, to explain what you mean with that statement. Just what kind of visitor do you want?

The study suggests that the negative impact on your lovely island is from the folks moving there, not from those of us who visit, spend our money and then leave. Did you actually read the study that your council commissioned?

Why are you insulting a core group of your island's tourist economy? We middle class tourists have kept Maui's economy afloat for decades and now you don't want us anymore??

So, how will you replace our tourist dollars? You don't want me there, huh, okay then I'll spend my money in Kauai.

Aloha ( if you even understand the meaning!)
Julie Harris a Timeshare Owner

I live in an area where tourist dollars are all that keep us going. If a councilman made a statement like that one, we would lynch him!!:twisted:

Glitter Brunello
07-11-2006, 09:55 PM
Aloha ( if you even understand the meaning!)
Julie Harris a Timeshare Owner

I live in an area where tourist dollars are all that keep us going. If a councilman made a statement like that one, we would lynch him!!:twisted:

Julie,

You should've put that in your letter... :rotflmao:

Avery

zdxlc9p6
07-11-2006, 10:03 PM
Here is the email I sent:

"I don't see it being a need in our county to have
time share," said G. Riki Hokama, Maui County Council
chairman. "That's not the visitor I want here."

If this is an accurate quote, I'm very disappointed. I
still work 9-5, so limited in my opportunities to
travel. I have owned timeshares beginning in 1997, and
have been to Oahu two times, and Hawaii one time. Two
of those trips were as a "tourist" staying at the
Hilton's, and one trip as a timeshare exchange. I was
looking forward to more visits to the Hawaiian
Islands, including Maui, upon retirement next year.
I'm glad I spent my money on Oahu and Hawaii, rather
than Maui that doesn't want my tourism business. I
also will comply with your request to stay out of Maui!

shopgirl
07-21-2006, 02:00 AM
I wonder if the sales reps will use this as a selling point. Better buy it while you can.:biggrin:

The salesman tried to use that remark in a positive way at Kaanapali Resort, which used to be Embassy. (Maybe we are going to have to refer to these resorts as Poipu Point and Kaanapli, formerly known as Embassy, just like the artist formerly known as Prince used to do. Of course, he is now Prince again). He said we should buy now because the politicians were going to shut down timeshare development on Maui after Westin is done building next door. I said, "gee, Maui doesn't like timeshare, that could be BAD for timeshare owners on Maui. What taxes are they going to charge owners to make up for their lack of revenue?" That shut the guy up. He was hoping to hit the point home that the opportunity is going away. I reminded him that the costs could be higher for owners, not that he hadn't already realized it.

I have to say, though, as an owner of timeshare on Hawaii. If they want to charge another $100 for us to use their island, go ahead and do it. I don't mind paying another $100 for my week. I just want the money to do some good for the people who need it. Put it to the schools and communities, not to line the pocketbooks of creepy politicians. Politicians are such users. I hate this mayor and don't know what point he was trying to make. We dumped so much money into their economy this past week. I am angry that he does not appreciate the taxes I pay.

I guess they should institute a higher sales tax for tourists, which would certainly help their economy. If you have a driver's license in Maui, then pay the low tax. If you don't, pay 10%. Our local sales tax north of Denver is 8.4%. I cannot believe the tax is so low on the islands. That would be a good place to get money, based on what people spend. I think I will include that in my letter to the guy. I am so angry!!! :cry: :shock: :pissed:

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