Sunday, April 19, 2009

Life After Molokai Ranch

In March of 2008, the Molokai Ranch announced that it would mothball its properties and close its doors by the end of month. See Molokai Ranch Closing Its Doors.

The Ranch owns approximately 65,000 acres of the 165,800 acre island of Molokai (pop. 7,404), including 22 Luxury Rooms, 40 Beach Front Tentalows, and an 18 Holes of Golf. The Ranch ceased operations completely after its efforts to build a project at La'au Point on the west coast of the island were stymied by public opposition. The project would have included 200 homes, open space, and conservation areas. It would have generated approximately 100 jobs and the Ranch would have built 1,100 affordable homes, renovated Kaluakoi Hotel, and turned over 51,000 acres of Ranch land to a perpetual land trust for conservation or agriculture.

In, Molokai Ranch: A year after closure, times are hard but spirit is alive, the Maui News reports that "[t]he closures put 120 residents on this island of 7,500 people out of work[,] and that ". . . Molokai has the state's highest unemployment rate, at 12.7 percent, about twice the state average[.]" The former employees are living off of unemployment insurance (which ends soon), while a state taskforce investigates ways to help Molokai with its dire economic challenges.

Adding to Molokai's economic woes, a recent report shows that the median value of single family homes on Molokai dropped 67 percent from 2008 values. See Prudential's First Quarter 2009 Sales Activity.

No comments: