Maui Fire Victims Replace Visitors In Hotels, Airbnbs, Timeshares

Housing of Lahaina fire victims in West Maui is evolving, which will continue to change availability, for the next couple of months, or longer.

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66 thoughts on “Maui Fire Victims Replace Visitors In Hotels, Airbnbs, Timeshares”

  1. Thank you for the opportunity to express my sadness for all effected by this tragedy. My husband and I love visiting Maui. Is there any thing we can do to help in person? We don’t have a lot of money but we are compassionate and physically healthy and have time to give.

  2. Major major kudos for getting those Maui shelters emptied and closed quickly.

    More major kudos for the Honolulu convention center shelter. Immediate response, and wrap-around support (airport bus, services). HCC shelter wasn’t widely used, but was a brilliant response.

    I certainly expected hoards of tourists to get off Maui ASAP. Evacuation to Oahu was sensible.

    Better to be over prepared than overwhelmed.

    There should be an award here, somewhere.

  3. Aloha again BOH, I was trying to reply to you regarding the email from Hawaiian Air. I thought it was odd that if we don’t make a change by September 1 (less than a week away), for our October 9 reservation, we lose some of the options. It doesn’t seem like much time to make a decision that could end up costing a lot of money. We’re trying to figure out is we should go to West Maui and when. We don’t want to intrude, take resources from locals or put anyone in danger. I guess that’s the way airlines operate.

    We’re now leaning toward going at the end of October or early November. We’ll lay low, as we always do, be kind and tip generously.

    Thank you for your responses.
    Much Aloha.

  4. We have reservations at the Westin South in late sept. We are also willing to serve at a local church which our church is supporting financially! I would hate for the Governor to set policies against those who are wanting to serve local businesses and employees from coming to support!!

  5. Something I don’t understand.
    We are hearing that South Maui needs tourism dollars to maintain it’s economy.
    Yet, we also hear that tourism is unthinkable at this time.

    What is the best way to support Maui?

    We have visited Kihei 4 times, and want to help, (“voluntourism?”), but don’t want to be resented, (donations have been sent).

    Don’t know what to do.

    1. Maureen,
      There are a lot of people on Maui quite concerned that tourists will avoid Maui. They will lose their ability to feed their families and make enough money to recover from this tragedy. They want to get back on their feet as quickly as they can. Any resort that has room for you will benefit from your business. Restaurants that are open could use your business, etc. etc. People need to work and feel productive for their financial and emotional well being. I can’t imagine anyone in Kihei resenting you being there, you mentioned voluntourism, I suspect that will be a growing component in tourism to Maui. Your heart is in the right place and Maui needs people like you.

  6. I’m not sure where to leave this comment. This is horrendous for the people who have lost friends/family/property in the fire. Everyone is searching to blame someone, eg., Hawaiian Electric. Infrastructure in HI is not the best; however, who planted invasive grasses that fed the fire? Who designed such tight housing and narrow streets? Everyone wants to blame someone, but this was a natural disaster. Only lawyers will benefit from lawsuits.

    1. I beg to differ.

      If a doctor is incompetent and botches a few surgeries, maims a few people, and gets away with it, because someone like you convinces the doctors patients not to sue, sure, the lawyers will not benefit.

      I’ll give you that.

      But nobody besides the bad doctor benefits.

      To imply or suggest that victims of this terrible tragedy should not want or attempt to hold those rightfully responsible accountable for their incompetence or negligence is absurd.

      1. Brian,

        I think I’m more with Dot on this. But with a somewhat different take on responsibility.

        I think before any lawsuits should be allowed to go forward, the plaintiffs should be required to present evidence to the judge. What evidence – that formal complaints have been made, in the past, and no action was taken if it’s likely that had the complaints been addressed the fire would not have spread as much.

        In others, stop frivolous lawsuits early. Also, legitimate lawsuits to go forward.

        On a related item – insurance. It’s one thing to have insufficient insurance, quite another to not have any insurance (fire in this case). Folks who own property but don’t insure it, should not be made whole by the taxpayer. Property owners have responsibilities. Ditto for life insurance.

        1. That is very confusing to me. I would think that most of those homeowner in Lahaina have a mortgage and lenders do require homeowner’s insurance (even condos have fire and hazard insurance) before lending money ….

  7. Once again BOH leads the way with on-the-ground travel info. Maui Vacations Worldwide (lots of properties in West Maui including Ocean Villas) sent a letter to time-share holders stating, like many other resorts in this BOH report, they are currently housing displaced families (workers and refugees) with no timeline for reopening to tourism. The scope of the task at hand is monumental, and FEMA/Red Cross/State of Hawaii appear to be doing mostly the right things in mostly the right order. So what if we go by “models” of assistance? It’s better than making it up as we go – and there is a modicum of that surely happening because that is what is needed as well. Here’s a reality check: Three years ago a wildfire, much like Lahaina’s, ripped through the Oregon town of Detroit. 700 homes lost. At the same time another grass-fed wildfire blew through the town of Phoenix, Oregon taking another 2,500 homes. FEMA/Red Cross had trailers and motor homes within weeks for the thousands of displaced. The point I am making is that we can’t just expect trucks hauling manufactured homes to show up two-weeks post disaster to an island 2500 miles from the mainland. They will need to be shipped in. This will take a while. We should be praising and encouraging those who are helping in the now. PS. Those fire ravaged Oregon towns are still rebuilding but look better than ever – tourism is back. A glimpse of the future?

    1. Maleko, great post in many ways….totally void of finger pointing and a great example of future potential. The more people that feel this way the better the recovery will go. I’m not giving the Maui Government a pass, there will be a lot to learn and I have my own ideas on their shortcomings. But simply put recovery and rebuilding is what’s important now and as always the conspiracy theories and finger pointers just hamper the process.

  8. It has been barely two weeks since an unprecedented disaster.
    You complain the housing situatation is disjointed and disorganized. What is your first-hand experience to support these broad claims?
    It has been barely two weeks since August 8. How would you have stepped in personally to make the temporary housing situation for over 4000 individuals run more smoothly? Please provide specific details.

    Today, Maui County annouced they are closing shelters since nearly all displaced persons have been transferred to temporary, better houseing. August 25. Less than 2 wks after the disaster.


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