New Cars in Town

Alamo holds blessing of new Molokai location.

From left to right: Alamo District Manager Thomas Tang, Station Manager Yoli Uahinui, Kahu Anna Lou Arakaki, Alamo Vice President and General Manager Paul Kopel, Kahu Reynolds Ayau, and Hawaii Region Group Vice President Chris Sbarbaro.

By Catherine Cluett

The airport rental car industry is back on its feet, and Molokai residents, airport employees and rental car officials gathered for an official blessing of Alamo’s newest Hawaii location last week.

Alamo opened at the Molokai Airport June 1, after Budget and Dollar rent-a-car companies closed their Molokai operations at the end of May.

“The community has been great to work with,” said Thomas Tang, Alamo District Manager. “We know we can do positive things here.”

Alamo’s Molokai location stocks about 175 vehicles, with an average rental of 45 cars per day, according to Station Manager Yoli Uahinui.

Alamo offered employment to previous employees of Budget and Dollar. Tang said all of the operation’s 14 employees are from Molokai, and all the Budget and Dollar workers who expressed interest in Alamo’s job offers were hired.

The Molokai location is also receiving rave reviews from customers. Uahinui said Molokai received a 78 percent customer satisfaction rate in its first month of operation, according to a statewide customer survey. That rate ties for first place among all Alamo operations in Hawaii.

Alamo is considering offering a special to Molokai residents, according to Tang. Uahinui said the special would probably run for rentals Sunday through Wednesday. She added that most business comes from outofcountry and mainland customers, but some local business people also use rental cars for the day.

The blessing, held on Tuesday, June 23, was performed by Kahu Anna Lou Arakaki and Kahu Reynolds Ayau. Guests, including airline and state airport employees, Alamo officials and island residents, enjoyed food catered by Kualapu`uCookhouse.

Uahinui would like to send a big mahalo to County Council Chairman Danny Mateo for sending two dozen roses to honor Alamo’s Molokai opening, and to Keith Kaulia from the Big Island for the maile leis used in the blessing ceremony.

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