Extension sought for Pau Hana hotel deal
By Timothy Hurley
Advertiser Maui County Bureau
The company trying to purchase Moloka'i's Pau Hana Inn is asking for an extension on its sales contract so it can pull together the financing that will help turn the property into a community-based economic development project.
A spokesperson for the owner, Moloka'i Ranch, said yesterday that no decision has been made yet on whether to extend the contract.
Fabrizio Medosi, general manager of C&K Hawai'i Inc., said he remains optimistic a deal can be put together within a 60-day extension.
The investment group has already spent $40,000 in nonrefundable fees, he said, and may be willing to put up another sizable sum if the contract is extended.
If approved, this would be the second extension of the contract. The first one expired Aug. 15.
Under an agreement with C&K, the Pau Hana 'Ohana Community Foundation is expected to raise $875,000 of the sale price, which Medosi would not disclose.
DeGray Vanderbilt, of the foundation, said he is confident the money can be raised during the extended period. The group, he said, is talking to both lenders and investors. Working with the group as fiscal agent is the nonprofit organization Na Po'e Kokua.
The Pau Hana Inn in Kaunakakai, which served as the social center on Moloka'i for more than 50 years, closed two and a half years ago.
The foundation wants to revive the old inn to establish the state's first hotel operated as a community-based economic development project.
The plan is to reopen under the guidance of a qualified hotel management team in a nonprofit setting. Money from the hotel would be used to help pay for social and environmental programs.
The group also wants the Pau Hana Inn to be a "teaching hotel'' where students can learn to run a real hotel.