What was the vision for the hotel your grandparents opened in 1947?
What was the vision for the properties that subsequently opened under the Outrigger brand?
In 1929, my grandparents, Roy and Estelle Kelley arrived in Hawai’i with little more than a few dollars in their pockets and a lot of determined optimism. They saved, invested, started a family and 18 years later, built their first hotel in Waikiki, the Islander Waikiki. My grandparents’ vision was to offer modestly priced hotel rooms in Waikiki as airline service sparked mass tourism in the 1950s. As it says in Kelleys of the Outrigger, what made the difference in the Kelley success saga was a diligent eye on the guest while never losing sight of the cigar box that held the day’s cash.
The vision for the resorts that opened under the Outrigger brand was one related to the vessel of discovery that transported ancient navigators across uncharted seas: Outrigger. The spirit and dedication of those navigators is embedded in our logo and a reminder of our mission: My Dad said, “The movement of the waves, the feeling of exploration and the Pacific-Polynesian symbolism all convey the qualities of our company.” It inspires us to look forward and to embrace all that we discover with open arms and minds.
This vision resulted in our expansion first to the neighbor islands and then beyond to the Asia Pacific, Oceania and Indian Ocean regions and in running a multi-branded portfolio of hotels, condominiums and vacation resort properties.
How has your experience growing up and learning the family business from the inside out informed your current approach at the company?
Family is weaved throughout the history of our company. All the kids worked in the hotel from folding laundry to washing dishes so I have a deep appreciation for the work that is done by our hosts – from housekeeping, to numbers crunching, to sales. I think it’s important that our hosts are happy. When they are, they work hard because the want to be a part of Outrigger’s success.
How do Outrigger’s properties set themselves apart from other resorts?
At Outrigger, we build a promise that encompasses three operational pillars of our business: Host – Guest – Place. We celebrate and share our local culture (HOST). We provide world-class hospitality (GUEST).
In destinations set in premier beachfront locations (PLACE). These pillars are at the heart of our brand promise: Where local culture meets world-class hospitality.
Please describe your guest demographic.
Has it changed over the last 10 years? If so, have you expanded your amenities/ services or utilized any specific marketing strategies to cater to this new demographic? If not, what are your strategies for maintaining your consumer base?
Our primary guest demographic are upwardly mobile young adults and extended families seeking genuine experiences in iconic destinations. In the past 10 years we’ve focused our attention on true beachfront locations throughout the world, so now we see a greater proportion of international travelers.
More and more travelers are seeking authentic, localized experiences—in what ways has Outrigger met the growing demand for experiential, eco-conscious, adventure and/or slow travel?