The state has finally decided following a week of befuddled messaging.

West Maui Reopens October 8: Gaffes Lead to Deals

On Friday, Hawaii’s governor finally put a stake in the sand and set October 8 as the day visitors to West Maui may return. But there’s more to follow, and expect travel deals to start immediately. Alaska Airlines is the first one out of the chute.

Press release clarifies missteps and widely wavering reopening dates.

“West Maui communities of Kā‘anapali, Nāpili, Honokōwai, and Kapalua will fully reopen on Sunday, October 8, two months after the August 8 wildfires that destroyed Lahaina…Hawaii residents and visitors are encouraged to make travel plans to Maui.”

Governor Green said, “Beginning October 8, all travel restrictions will end, and West Maui will be open to visitors again, so people from Hawaii and around the world can resume travel to this special place and help it begin to recover economically. This difficult decision is meant to bring hope for recovery to the families and businesses on Maui that have been so deeply affected in every way by the disaster.”

This follows a week of befuddled messages and frustration at the hands of the state.

Earlier this week, the governor could not decide exactly what date was appropriate for officially reopening West Maui, weighing all considerations. We say officially because West Maui has never actually been closed.

The state first asked that visitors not go to West Maui until October 17. Then, other dates that went as far out as December 1 were floated. But clearly, the businesses and workers in West Maui were having no part of that, and to avoid a revolt, the state did yet another about-face and moved the date to October 8.

It has been exhausting for all concerned, and we’ll cut the state some slack due to the disaster, although how Hawaii manages such things, as seen when trying to reopen post-Covid, is abysmal.

Even as the governor did the about face on opening dates, it caught the Maui mayor off-guard. Apparently, he was not a part of the decision-making that led to the reversal.

Widespread sales start now to mark a return to Maui.

Those of you awaiting a return to Maui can expect ubiquitous airfare and accommodation sales for the period from October 8 until November, or even beyond until the holidays begin mid-December.

Alaska Airlines Maui sale $99 or 10K miles.

Longtime Hawaii loyalist Alaska Airlines has come out first with a sale for the return to Maui. We received notification of that late Friday from Daniel Chun, Alaska Airlines Regional VP – Hawaii.

Alaska Airlines’ $99 airfares are available from Los Angeles to Maui and San Jose to Maui when traveling from October 8 through November 15. Seattle starts at $129 each way, San Diego $149 each way and Portland $169 each way.

The last chance to book online is September 11. Travel dates are October 8 to November 15. Go to Alaska Airlines for more information and book soon.

Those are the basic economy prices, and the regular economy is an additional $40. We would also not be surprised to see those dates extended.

Other airlines will follow this sale, so stay tuned for those. As of this evening, Hawaiian Airlines had not updated its website.

Maui accommodations will see major discounts this fall.

West Maui and, in fact, all Maui accommodations will be on sale for fall travel. We expect to regularly see discounts of up to 25% announced. Stay tuned for more.

Are you ready to return to West Maui and Maui in general this fall?

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21 thoughts on “West Maui Reopens October 8: Gaffes Lead to Deals”

  1. We are going to West Maui in January. I’m excited to go back. We go every year. It’s heartbreaking what happened to Lahaina.

  2. Interesting that once the Gov announced Oct 8, the comments dried up on the topic. There were so many who were following the story waiting for a sign. Now it’s off to the races (myself and my family included). Years ago we had planned a family reunion in Kaanapali which got cancelled because of the pandemic. Now, years later, we were understandably postponed by the tragic fire. Before we confirmed our return, I discussed with family members that we will likely be living and circulating alongside displaced families who have endured great misfortune and that we need to be sensitive to their needs. A suffering resident alongside a vacationing guest is, to say the least, awkward. For us, we all agreed we will do everything we can to make those we meet part of our extended ohana, in as respectful and helpful way as we can. As we get closer, a day or days of service through Maui Helping Hands is another plan. Before all of this there was talk of coaxing tourists (including a tourism fee) to leave Maui/Hawaii better than they found it. Here is a chance to start.

  3. We have visited Hawaii since 2006 yearly. We love the hospitality provided. Our favorite places to visit Maui & the Big Island where relatives and locals live to enjoy how were are treated as family members. Our hearts ache for the lose of life and property. Several of my wife’s family members have be laid off due to reduced Maui vacationers. My sister, wife and I agree with the governor’s declaration of no sales of property to non-resident of properties owned by Hawaiians.
    We will visit next year. Aloha, Stay Safe and God bless you all.
    George&Adelaida P

  4. We have held onto our Diamond Resort (Ka’anapali Beach Club) reservation of Oct 19-26 since the fire in hopes it would somehow reopen in time! We were so happy to read about the “new” West Maui reopening date of Oct 8… only to have our dreams crash when Diamond Resorts emailed us last night to announce that the Kaanapali Beach Club would remain closed to new arrivals indefinately at this time. I can only hope this is due to their size and ability to continue to house those affected by the fires…. Guess we are officially rescheduling somewhere else. 😞

  5. Mahalo Nui Loa Beat of Hawai’i for this update.
    I heard Thursday from a few people in the meeting with Josh. He’s wise to start letting more in tune people make the decisions from here on out. (He needs to resign like all the other sheep that shouldn’t have been put in a place to make life and death decisions.
    Look how much death and destruction is resting squarely on their shoulders.
    Dispicable human beings, politicians.
    My heart is shattered and my mind is blown at the inept “leaders”. They’ll never be able to undo what they let happen.
    I’d like to continue to comment on your incredible blog, if you’ll allow me to. I’m not going to try to rebuild until everyone stops fighting and trying to steal our homes and property.
    Please people, come back to the islands with kindness and respect. Change your wicked attitudes and treat our islands with care, compassion and Aloha.
    Blessings to you Rob and Jeff.
    God’s Angels on earth.

    1. I can’t imagine any of these elected officials ran for office with a wildfire in mind. We can assume none of them ran with a global pandemic in mind, either.

      You’re unhappy with their performance during a crisis, vote.

      It takes a very special set of skills (training?) and experience to expertly handle a crisis in real time. It also takes a high performing organization. Sorry, “island time” doesn’t cut it.

      The day after, weeks after, months after, of course people evaluate (government) performance. What people need to think about what they would have done in that situation, in that moment, with that information. Learn about the fog of war.

      The poor emergency manager was outmatched by the crisis. That’s a position that should have had all the above ingredients. A system happily put him in place and kept him. That system was tested and failed.

      Maui seemed perfectly happy to lead a life of innocence, which is fine, but now you know the threat, so, tragically, Maui (Hawaii) needs to grow up.

      Our hearts go out to those affected, and all of Hawaii. Losing innocence is rough.

  6. By all means hold your elected officials to a high standard.

    Don’t be afraid to hold all services, even those _you_ provide to a high standard.

  7. Our hearts go out to all those affected by the tragedies.

    Just information (people of Maui do what you will) Paris had a problem attracting tourists some years back. They determined that the locals were treating tourists with disdain. A public plea went out to locals. Their attitude changed and eventually tourists returned.

  8. I’m not sure Hawaii “officials” ( lower case was on purpose) could organize their way out of a wet paper bag on a good day. So I’m really not surprised at the dogs breakfast they made of the situation thus far.

  9. A lot of lessons to be learned here, that’s for sure. My take is communication is Hawaii’s biggest issue in so many ways. We’ve seen some major gaffs obviously in not being prepared for this, but at a smaller level, intra department communication has always been an issue in business’s and government. “Office politics” and “turf protection” is an issue everywhere, but it seems worse here. Fortunately the underlying Aloha spirit of so many people helps overcome this and a lot of good people are doing a lot of good stuff. The conspiracy theorist’s and the people with an agenda not necessarily in Maui’s best interest will continue to cause havoc but ultimately Lahaina will be rebuilt and the focus of the Governor seems to be focused on rebuilding without selling out. The natural beauty of Maui and the many good people that do live there is core.

    1. Hi John.

      Hope you guys are doing well wherever your travels are taking you! Thank you for nearly 900 comments including this one about how things work here in Hawaii.


    1. It most definitely is Beth. You can read all the comments here and form any opinion you choose, but there is plenty of beautiful places and powerful examples of the Aloha spirit in Maui right now….and shorter lines at the airport!

  10. Truly hoping reopening of West Maui will help the healing and rebuilding of the Lahaina community. Heart and prayers to all suffering from this unthinkable tragedy.
    I appreciate this forum and hearing and learning from man perspectives. I fell in love the beauty and aloha spirit of Maui over forty years ago and have been blessed with visiting Maui many times. I too grieve and am heart-broken. My experience over many years is the Aloha spirit respect has been two-way to those humans who respect the the beauty of Maui and its people. Peace and good wishes to all!

  11. We have never wavered on our resolve to come to West Maui on October 19th as planned and support the people who have experienced so much devastation. We look forward to enjoying your beautiful Island and your magnificent culture. Maui Strong!
    Aloha, Ward G

  12. Does anyone know if Maui still as the Tourist tax of $ 35.00 per day to use the beach ? I was there 2 years ago, drove 10 miles to the beach and when I got there it was $ 10.00 to park the car and $ 5.00 per person just to walk on the beach. In the past 2 years I’ve read that the fee went up to $ 35.00. If that is still in place I can take my travel dollars else where.

  13. Aloha,
    In one of the past comments, a local asked tourists to come and leave a satchel of much-needed items for the victims. Where can tourists find a list of the items tourists can bring? And if any help is needed while we are visiting?

    1. The beaches in Maui are free and open to the public. Many if beaches you can park for free and go to the beach . You d have to pplan ahead and do some reseach However, some state beach parks and natural reserves may charge for parking or entry. These fees help manage overcrowding and preserve the shoreline.
      For example, Waianapanapa State Park charges $5 per person and $10 per vehicle. If you’re not staying on Kaanapali, there are several pay-to-park lots. Some resorts also have beach access lots that are open to the public.
      You can validate your parking ticket for up to three free hours of parking at stores in Whalers Village with most purchases. After three hours, parking is $2 per half-hour.

  14. I think this is great news and a step in the right direction. Be also, please be “respectful” especially those who have never been to Maui be for.

    Much aloha, and mahalo! 🌺🤙🙏

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