KO OLINA MARINA RAISES THE STANDARDS FOR MARINAS
May 13, 2009
When Ko Olina Marina in Kapolei, Hawaii, completed the second and final phase of its marina project in 2006, it brought a whole new standard of world-class service to the state’s industry. This year’s winner of MDA ‘s 2008 Marina of the Year award for marinas with 250 or more slips raised the bar for all of Hawaii ‘s marinas. The 330-wet slip marina built on the Pacific Coast paradise was the first new marina in Hawaii in more than 30 years. Moreover, the marina has changed the way local and transient boaters view Hawaii.
A model for Ko Olina
Marina Manager Russell Doane pointed out that boaters in general never considered Hawaii the friendliest place for boating. “A lot of boaters didn’t stop in Hawaii because there was no place for them to moor their boats,” said Doane. When Ko Olina Marina opened in February 2000, it became an instant success with the boating community. “We became that luxury marina that every boater wac; looking for,” Doane said. To run the marina, Jeff Stone and Kevin Showc, the owners, hired AI mar Management. Randy Short, Almar ‘s CEO and president. said A lmar knew how to create not only financially successful marinas but also marinas with world-class standards.
In Ko Olino, which in Hawaiian translates as “place of joy,” Hawaiian boaters hove found just that. In implementing the vision for Ko Olina, Short turned for guidance to an Almar marina already built in Cabo San L ucas, Mexico. When this marina initially opened, Mexicans occupied only five percent of their country’s first marina, which is no longer the case. Short attributed this shi ft to creating demand for the marina based on Almar’s high quality standards. Short expects the same thing to happen in Hawaii.
“We really had to spend a lot of time creating an image for our people internally in order to know how to keep a marina in world-class condition,” said Short. ” I think we’re following the same footsteps in Hawaii, really creating a level of service and a level of maintenance in a marina that is far beyond anything that you experience anywhere else in the Islands.” Short also brings experience from the ski resort industry and recognizes a lot of similarities in what he does now in the marina industry. Short hopes to provide his marina customers with the resort like experience found at skiing vacation destinations. “Some rHawaiianl marinas look at themselves as parking lots for boats. We don’t,” said Short.
**FOR A COMPLETE COPY OF THE ARTICLE DOWNLOAD THE PDF**
MAGAZINE: Marina Dock Age
ISSUE: April 2009