The presidential election has dominated the news all week. But there was also a dramatic development this week in Hawai‘i’s visitor industry. Pacific Business News Editor in Chief A. Kam Napier has more on the latest from Outrigger Hotels & Resorts.
This week, David Carey, president and CEO of the Outrigger Enterprises Group announced that Outrigger will be selling all of its Outrigger Hotels & Resorts properties to a Denver-based private equity firm, KSL Capital Partners.
The sale is still pending shareholder approval and a purchase price has not been disclosed.
It’s a dramatic change for the Outrigger brand, which has always been locally owned ever since Roy and Estelle Kelley founded it in Waikiki in 1947.
Outrigger currently operates or has under development 37 properties with approximately 6,500 rooms. It has expanded outside of Hawaii in recent years, becoming a regional player specializing in beachfront hotels. Outrigger is now in Guam, Fiji, Thailand, Mauritius and the Maldives.
Carey says he and his management team will remain in charge of the Outrigger brand and the headquarters will remain in Hawaii.
Industry observers, such as Andre Tatibouet, founder of the Aston Hotels in Hawaii, and Mufi Hannemann, president of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, say this is a vote of confidence in the Outrigger brand. They speculate that an infusion of cash from KSL will help Outrigger complete projects already promised, such as the revitalization of the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort, or other future expansion.