A New Look for Hotel Molokai
Celebration marks completion of renovation
Fellow ukulele players Auntie Ku`ulei Perez and Auntie Julia Hoe enjoyed the show from the sidelines.
“One of the nice things about Hotel Molokai is that it’s a place where the locals can hang out — that’s so important,” Hoe said.
Drew described the hotel as a home away from home. “People get off work and want to come here.”
“We loved it here. We would sit by the ocean and watch the sunset,” Molokai resident Betsey Thomson said in remembering her first visit to Hotel Molokai in 1986.
The owner of Hotel Molokai and the Travel Advantage Network (TAN), Brad Callahan also saw something special here when he bought the property four years ago.
“Come here 20 years from now and ask who’s the owner; it will still be Brad Callahan. Brad doesn’t sell anything,” TAN General Manager Keith Beck said. TAN currently owns seven resorts and 1500 other different properties, mostly consisting of condos.
In order to revitalize the property, TAN brought in an Atlanta based company to completely gut and remodel 54 units over three and a half months. 20 Molokai residents were also hired for the renovation.
“It’s a 100% turn around. Complete renovation of guest rooms. Updated furniture, new linens,” Drew said. “Now we have a property we can be proud of.”
“A lot of people have lived here for years and years and they are finally seeing a face lift for Hotel Molokai,” Hotel Molokai Employee Earl Gorton said. “It’s a wonderful thing to see someone keeping it going. That’s what makes me feel good about working here.”
“I like the changes…Big difference from what it used to be,” Sylvia Pabalan, a Molokai resident who attended the tour said.
The hotel currently employs 57 Molokai residents and hundreds of community members visit the grounds each month. Drew acknowledged that the day would not have been possible without the support of the people around him.
“This is done for the employees and the people of the community. My goal is to bring back the glory days of Hotel Molokai,” Drew said.