|By Robbie Dingeman, The Honolulu
AdvertiserMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Aug. 26, 2009--A foreclosure complaint was filed this week against Makena Hotel LLC, the owner of the Maui Prince Hotel, but resort operators yesterday told employees and guests they plan to continue normal operations.
"We were informed by the lenders this afternoon that a foreclosure complaint was filed against Makena Hotel LLC, the owner of the Maui Prince Hotel, yesterday morning," said Donn Takahashi, president, Prince Resorts Hawaii. Prince Resorts operates the Maui Prince Hotel and the Makena North golf course.
Many Hawai'i hotels have been suffering financially as a result of more than a year of declines in visitor arrivals.
Takahashi said the legal action in Maui courts is the beginning of a lengthy process to restructure and reorganize the ownership of the Resort, which Makena Hotel LLC acquired in 2007.
"Our primary concern is our employees and our guests," Takahashi said. "We plan to have immediate discussions with the lenders to understand their plans for the resort moving forward."
He said the company has about 380 employees, including full-time, part-time, and casual workers.
Takahashi added, "the foreclosure action is a legal process that we have no control over and we are hopeful that it will not interfere with how we are currently operating the hotel and golf course."
He said the resort will continue to accept reservations "until the owner or the lenders advise us otherwise."
In 2007, the Japan-based Seibu Group sold the Makena Resort and the upscale Maui Prince Hotel for $575 million to Honua LLC, an entity ultimately owned by Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund and Dowling Company Inc. of Maui.
The 1,800-acre property includes the 310-room Prince, one 18-hole golf courses, another in development and 1,300 acres of undeveloped land.
In June 2007, title to the Maui Prince Hotel was conveyed to Makena Hotel LLC, as Honua LLC's designee, which then retained Maui Prince Hotel LLC to manage the hotel through March 31, 2008, while the new owners were finalizing plans for the resort.
Reach Robbie Dingeman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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