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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, November 14, 2009

BUSINESS BRIEFS
Aqua Hotels acquires Maile Sky Court

Advertiser Staff and News Services

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

The 44-story Maile Sky Court hotel is currently managed by Castle Hotels & Resorts but will be handed over to Aqua Hotels & Resorts on Dec. 1. It is Aqua's fifth addition this year.

Aqua Hotels & Resorts

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Aqua Hotels & Resorts announced this week it will take over management of the Maile Sky Court hotel on Dec. 1, bringing the Waikk-based hotel management chain's inventory to 17 hotels throughout Hawai'i.

The hotel has been managed by Castle Hotels & Resorts since October 2007. Earlier, it was an Ohana hotel. Aqua has rehired all of the hotel's employees.

The 596-room Maile Sky Court hotel is 44 stories, at 2058 Kuhio Ave. on the western end of Waikk. Aqua President Ben Rafter said it is the chain's fifth addition this year.

The hotel's owner over the past two years has invested $2.5 million to upgrade the elevators, fixtures and equipment.

CASTLE GROUP POSTS 13% DROP IN REVENUE

Local hotel operator The Castle Group reported a 13 percent decline in third-quarter revenue amid continued weakness in the tourism market.

Revenues for the three months ended Sept. 30 slipped to $4.09 million from the year-earlier's $4.70 million.

The Honolulu-based company said its net loss widened to $251,000 for the third quarter from a net loss of $120,519 in the year-earlier period. The net loss for the most recent quarter included foreign exchange losses related to the guarantee of loans in New Zealand, the company said in a news release.

However, Castle reported an improvement in its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization a measure of operating profit known as EBITDA. On that basis, Castle reported a profit of $98,295 in the third quarter compared to an EBITDA loss of $91,051 in the third quarter of 2008.

MAUI FIRM TOLD TO STOP TAKING DEPOSITS

Hawai'i Commissioner of Financial Institutions Nick Griffin has issued a cease and desist order against Maui Industrial Loan & Finance Company Inc. for allegedly taking deposits in violation of state banking law.

Maui Industrial is a nondepository financial services loan company licensed by the Division of Financial Institutions to make loans, Griffin's office said in a news release. The institution is not authorized to take deposits or to borrow money from customers.

The order directs that Maui Industrial "cease and desist holding, soliciting, or receiving any funds, deposits, investments, accounts, or other instruments, or borrowing money in violation" of state law.

Consumers with questions concerning the Maui Industrial Loan may call the state of Hawai'i Division of Financial Institutions at 586-2820