Jack Tyrrell specializes in Kakaako, Honolulu, Hawaii luxury condo projects.

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Surf’s up, dollars up on North Shore

Great article by Allison Schaefers of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on the economic impacts of North Shore's historic surf contests:

The North Shore’s economy is riding high for the start of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, which was slated to begin today and is expected to pump millions of dollars into Hawaii over the next few months.

The Vans Triple Crown series, which includes the Hawaiian Pro, the World Cup of Surfing and the Pipe Masters, was founded in 1982 by local surfers Randy Rarick and Fred Hemmings. The professional surfing benchmark events are organized by the World Surf League (WSL), which broadcasts them on WorldSurfLeague.com.

Tourists and local spectators are expected to swell more than usual for Hawaii’s newly crowned WSL world champion John John Florence, who has come home to compete in all three events. The championships bring about 200 WSL athletes, their families and professional staff. It also adds about 200 production people, about 30 percent of them out-of-towners. Vendors, judges and officials make up the mix, too.

“(Surfing) is not the only thing that brings people here, but the impact has really defined the region,” said Jodi Wilmott, WSL Hawaii/Tahiti Nui general manager. “Most people know Hawaii as a whole as the birthplace of surfing and professional surfing. We’re celebrating 40 years of competitive surfing this winter.”

The most recent formal economic impact study on the event, released by Brigham Young University in 2011, estimated the six-week event brings $10.9 million in direct spending and $20.9 million in indirect spending to Hawaii, Wilmott said.

WSL’s investment in Hawaii during the entire winter season is approximately $8 million, including the women’s championship tour and the Pe‘ahi Challenge. But Wilmott said the lion’s share is delivered through the Vans Triple Crown series, which is expected to begin today with the Hawaiian Pro and will run through Dec. 20.

“Those estimates are conservative. I think you could easily double what we saw (in 2011),” she said.

The increasing popularity of WSL broadcasts adds another economic dimension, Wilmott said.

“We’ll produce 100 hours of live broadcasting through the Vans Triple Crown series, but Pipe Masters alone is the equivalent of a full season of ‘Monday Night Football,’ ” she said. “So many of surfing’s key markets are top visitor source markets for Hawaii — we’ve got large followings in Europe, South America, the U.S. West Coast, Asia and Australia.”

The North Shore is one of the main places that tourists want to visit besides Waikiki to see the waves, said Glen Moncata, Quiksilver’s Pacific Basin director of sales and marketing.

“Mid-November throughout February — that’s when the North Shore does most of their money,” Moncata said “People love to see daredevils. You know it’s like when Evel Knievel was a motorcycle rider jumping over the Grand Canyon. People are asking themselves, ‘Are these guys going to do this?’”

This year’s competitive surf season has just begun, but Backpackers, a vacation rental business, already is seeing gains, said front desk manager Anthony Parsons.

“The winter occupancy goes up about 50 percent at least, maybe even more,” said Parsons, a North Shore resident. “There’s lots of traffic on the North Shore, and business is up all over — from the food trucks to Foodland.”

Ellie Garcia, a nanny from Bellingham, Wash., and her two young charges, Jordynn and Shay Campbell, said the three plan to go down to Alii Beach to see the Hawaiian Pro.

“I’m a huge fan of surfing, but I wouldn’t touch those waves,” said Garcia, who was eating shave ice at Matsumoto’s on Friday. “I can’t wait to watch the professional surfers. It’s beautiful to watch them put their whole heart and soul into it. Without surfing, the North Shore wouldn’t be the same experience.”



Howard Hughes gets OK for $3.5M upgrade of Fisherman’s Wharf dock

Photo credit: The Howard Hughes Corporation, Kewalo Basin Harbor

Photo credit: The Howard Hughes Corporation, Kewalo Basin Harbor

Last week, Pacific Business News broke the news that The Howard Hughes Corporation had received approval from the HDCA to carry out its planned improvements on the Fisherman's Wharf loading dock at Kewlao Basin Harbor. The Howard Hughes Corp. took over management duties in September 2015.  Currently, you can visit their website here to find more information on what activities you may enjoy Kewalo Basin Harbor before the upgrades begin.

While no firm start date is yet set, the HCDA says it will be sooner rather than later.  Read more details about the renovations in Duane Shimogawa's article, below: 

The Howard Hughes Corp. has received approval from state regulators to undergo a $3.5 million upgrade on the Fisherman’s Wharf loading dock at Kewalo Basin Harbor in Honolulu, the vice-chairman of the state regulatory board for the area told PBN.

The improvements are part of a major $20 million renovation of the Kewalo Basin Harbor in the Kakaako neighborhood that includes increasing the slips at the harbor to about 170 slips when the four to five phase project is completed in about two years.

The Texas-based developer took over management duties of the harbor in September. The harbor is directly across from its 60-acre Ward Village master-planned community, which includes both residential and commercial projects.

Honolulu-based Sea Engineering Inc. has been chosen for the design-build project, with Coffman Engineers providing work on the project as well.

Kewalo Basin’s slips are in various states of disrepair and is in need of an overhaul, according to the Hawaii Community Development Authority, the state agency regulating development in Kakaako.

The HCDA assumed control of the harbor in 2009.

Steven Scott, vice-chairman of the HCDA board and owner of the popular slipper company, Scott Hawaii, told PBN that the initial work involves a lot of underwater preparations and re-supporting of the dock.

“The dock is crumbling,” he said, noting that while there is no firm start date on this part of the project, it will be sooner rather than later.

Howard Hughes also is developing two of the surrounding lots of the harbor.