Does the tourism landscape here differ from other locations where you’ve lived and worked?
Hawai‘i is one of a kind. I have lived and worked in this business throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. We are keenly aware of the power of social media and committed to staying ahead of other destinations through our genuine aloha. The aloha spirit is no longer a nicety, it’s an expectation—it is what separates us from other resort destinations throughout the world.
What other trends and industry dynamics have you observed over the course of your career in hotel management?
So much has changed in this industry.
Many of us have staff to specifically interact with Facebook, Instagram, TripAdvisor and Yelp as a means of communication and exposure. Hoteliers have become champions of energy conservation and sustainability, and not just because it helps the bottom line—it’s also a responsibility. We work more closely with our owners and asset managers than we ever have in the past. It’s a business after all—a business that is still quite demanding and so, so rewarding. It’s a passion, not a job.
What was the vision for Turtle Bay when it first opened in the early ’70s and how has that vision changed over the years?
I can only assume that the vision for Turtle Bay was to provide a luxury resort in an awesome location—the pristine North Shore of O‘ahu. That vision hasn’t changed over the years, however I do think it has transitioned with the change in generational priorities. Today, guests are not simply looking for a luxury resort in a beautiful location. They’re looking for an experience with nature, culture and environment.
Experience is more important than ever.
How does Turtle Bay set itself apart from other resorts?
In 2013, we completed a $52 million renovation. We no longer consider ourselves simply a luxury resort. We have become an active, adventurous, experiential resort offering helicopter tours, Segway tours, kayaking tours, surf and stand up paddle lessons, golf, tennis and horseback riding along an amazing four and a half miles of beachfront property. We also offer farm tours, mountain biking trails, bike rentals, guided hiking tours and so much more, all on site within our 850 acres. Our mission is to give our guests the time of their lives here, a vacation to talk about with friends and family forever.