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Maui Hotel Remains Open During Ownership Transfer

July 14, 2010 By: Jena Tesse Fox

After several months of uncertainty about the resort's future, Maui Circuit Court Judge Shackley F. Raffetto has confirmed the sale of The Makena Beach & Golf Resort. The lender group prevailed with a bid of $95 million after Judge Raffetto agreed to reopen the bidding at the confirmation hearing this morning to allow two additional bidders the opportunity to bid on the Resort.

With the confirmation now complete, ownership of the property will transition from court receivership to a new owner designated by the lender. As recognized by Judge Raffetto, through the efforts of receiver Miles Furutani, there will be no interruption in operations at the property through the ownership change. The doors remain open, and resort staff continue to accept reservations. Completion of the final documentation of the sale is expected within 45 days.

Willie Kennison, Maui director for the ILWU that represents the majority of employees at the resort, said, "We feel very positive about this outcome. We have talked to representatives of new ownership and we know they are really committed to Makena and to Maui. That is good news for employees and good news for our island guests."

Miles Furutani, the court-appointed receiver over the past year, noted that "all hotel and recreational activities have dramatically improved despite the foreclosure process. Occupancy is now more than double what it was a year-ago, the resort is in better condition and morale is high since we were
able to rehire most of the employees who had been let go when the prior owner went into default on its debts. The lender group continues to prove to me that they are committed to being here for a very long time."

At the commencement of the foreclosure process in September 2009, Benchmark Hospitality took over hotel operations and will continue to operate the Resort through the transition to new ownership.

The Makena Beach & Golf Resort, formerly known as the Maui Prince Hotel, is a 310-room hotel on 1,800 acres located on a secluded beach on the southwestern Maui coast.

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