Petition To Delay Reopening West Maui October 8 Under Way

A petition gaining thousands of signors seeks to delay the reopening of West Maui. As you know, after much wavering, Hawaii’s governor set October 8 as the date on which he asks visitors to return again following the Lahaina fire. It was previously expected to be October 17, which was then moved a number of times before arriving at the current one.

Many feel that October 8 is far too late in helping West Maui’s economy.

In countless comments, those in West Maui have begged visitors to return immediately in order to avoid financial ruin. Some visitors have heeded those suggestions and here’s one such example:

“We arrived to Maui on Sept. 15 at our timeshare in Kaanapali. Hearing all the news about the people of Hawaii—those wanting tourists and those who think West Maui need to stay closed makes you wonder how the reception upon arrival would be. Oh My!!! Everyone was so happy to see us and the few others that were checking in……..…All the employees were excited to back to work. Yes, some of them had lost family members and homes in the fire. Others had not. They said the need to move forward. Each of them thanked us for coming and said we’re part of the recovery….. So please come.”

While for others, October 8 is way too soon.

The petition has amassed nearly 5,000 signatures in short order, with a goal of 6,400. The reason stated for the petition is that “the voices of our displaced residents, who have endured immeasurable hardships, have not been adequately heard.”

A closed-door meeting with limited participation resulted in the latest West Maui.

“The private meeting at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, which exclusively represented select business interests, has been cited as the basis for this decision.” We wrote about this curious closed-door meeting recently attended by the Governor, Maui Mayor, and state officials. It isn’t clear why there wasn’t more widespread input solicited during the decision-making process. Especially under these extraordinary circumstances.

You can see the petition’s headline below and view it at Lahaina Strong.

Even the governor clarified last Friday that the planned reopening details are anything but complete.

Scurrying about, the state is trying to find places to consolidate fire victims’ accommodations while still reopening to visitors in the planned time frame. Without visitors, there is no way for those working in hotels, restaurants, activities, and a host of ancillary occupations to stay fully employed.

Others have said that it isn’t a great time for visitors in West Maui.

Your comments have included that many times. Such as whether it is appropriate for visitors and residents to be placed into such an awkward situation so soon after the fire devastation in nearby Lahaina town.

What exactly does reopening of West Maui mean?

Regular Pat asked, “What does “reopening West Maui” actually mean? Isn’t a lot of it already open?” That is absolutely true. What is means is that the State of Hawaii has asked visitors to refrain from visiting West Maui until such a date, currently set for October 8.

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66 thoughts on “Petition To Delay Reopening West Maui October 8 Under Way”

  1. Lahaina town and village must remain closed except to owners and residents.
    The rest of west Maui can reopen to locals and tourist.
    Fires at this magnatude must never happen again.
    Elected oficials, do your job and let us do our’s. Praise God.

  2. Lahaina town and village must remain closed except to owners and residents.
    The rest of west Maui can reopen to locals and turist.
    Fires at this magnatude must never happen again.
    Elected oficials, do your job and let us do our’s. Praise God.

  3. There is no “good time” for the victims who have lost so much to this horrible fire, but I agree with the governor, we have to save Maui and get business up and going again asap.

  4. I think you should open Lahaina when the local people feel comfortable having visitors there again. We love Maui, one of our favorite places on earth to visit, but we don’t live there. So I think it’s important to let the locals decide, not outsiders, when it’s a good time to open up again. Our hearts go out to the local Maui workers/residents.

  5. As a resident of Oahu, I’ve been closely following the government response in the aftermath of the Maui fires. My biggest concern is the lack of transparency by the Maui mayor, who has basically avoided all contact with the media for the past three weeks. As for this petition, it really should be open only to West Maui residents. Only they should have a say in when West Maui should open to tourists.

    1. Yes, Mayor Bissen needs to resign and criminal investigations should be started now. Island TV- KITV, reported yesterday that Bissen had the legal duty to evacuate Lahaina and failed to do so.

  6. Those of us who were not born on Maui, but have been long time part year residents (for us 5 weeks a year for over 20 years), we have shared in the sorrow at the devastation of Lahaina and the loss of life. We may not have Maui in our blood, but we hold Maui in our hearts. We are to spend 3 weeks in West Maui in October. At the first announcement by the Governor, we were cancelling our travel, but at the second announcement we reestablished our travel plans. To try to block our travel at this time would be a major disappointment. We respect the opinions of those opposing reopening West Maui and sympathize with those still displaced, but those who had been housed on our property have obtained shelter elsewhere. Our property is open.

  7. We hope to commit to an early 2023 reservation in Napili on Oct 10. Hopefully, we will play a part in the overall economy of our favorite island.

  8. I just watched an interview with Lahania residents who like many others suffered a loss of either family, home or property. They said it was ‘too soon’ for tourists to visit and to not expect to a warm greeting. Again, conflicting messages about wanting tourists and not wanting tourists. Why don’t these folks/businesses that feel it is too soon, just stay closed, or don’t work if it too difficult? I respect that some need more time, but I’d like to support those that want my support. No one is forcing you. The only way I can tell that you don’t want my support is for you to stay closed and I’ll steer clear, but don’t penalize businesses who are opening and want the support.

  9. I will be watching this closely as we will be in Maui in late October. I want to do the best for the people of West Maui. We will be staying in Kihei, but would be happy to spend some time and money in Ka’anapali if that would help, and happy to stay away if that is what is best.

    1. Just know all the locals that depend on tourism are hurting with the visitor numbers so low, including those businesses and shops in Wailea, Kihei, Makena, Paia, etc… So whether you spend money in West Maui, South Maui, in and around Kahului or all the way in Hana, you will be helping many people.

      1. The money you spend at Marriott, Hilton, Westin, Hyatt, Walgreens, etc. helps employ people but doesn’t help them in the same proportion as the money you spend at an independent food vendor or other very small business.

  10. My daughter flew over two weeks ago to give her help and support to the Lahaina recovery groups. She stayed in Wailea area and drove up to Lahaina to help every place. She went every place she went to eat, Everyone said thank you for coming. All the restaurants in West Valley that were open and the hotel in Wailea so appreciated Her tourism. I think opening it and giving it a try. It’s worth it.

  11. We just returned from a trip to Maui from 9/9-9/15, and we stayed in Kihei. We were originally booked before the fires in Napili, but we were able to rebook away from West Maui. We did many excursions, ate out at every meal, and explored much of the island. We did go to West Maui twice during our trip. It was devastating to see Lahaina, from what we could see from the highway driving by. We respected the area and did not stop or take pictures. We stopped by many of the West Maui businesses we love and were open, and supported them with large purchases and tips. Saw more tourists on the island than we thought we would, and all were buying and supporting. Already rebooked for next year. All that can, go to Maui and help support!

  12. I am known as a rare over-conscientious individual. My tears and heart have grieved since the fires and I do not have or know anyone personally on the island. This is such a fine line. Unfortunately, I just read a post where Hawaii is seeking “mindful” European tourists with their excellent spending $$habits. As a businesswomen, I believe for the island (resorts) to thrive, they must reopen. It;s a shame they had to over build, & it would just be more rundown resorts if they dont get back to business. Government needs to get longer term housing off the resort sites and onto some local lands for the displaced. There are daily disasters anymore, and life has to go on. Habitat for humanity where are you!?!

    1. Sandi you are correct about the housing. If this had not happened in a resort town, where would the people go. They would find places for them. These people need places with kitchens as they have no jobs and just stipends. What a mess Hawaii’s Governor and Maui’s Mayor have made.

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