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William Weinberg, Owner of the Kahala Hilton
from 1977 to 1993, Dies at 81

By Rick Daysog - The Honolulu AdvertiserMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

December 3, 2009 - During the 1980s and early 1990s, William Weinberg could be seen frequently at the Kahala Hotel & Resort mingling with guests and encouraging hotel workers

Weinberg, who owned the hotel at the time, was a rare breed of real estate investor who believed in quality development and hotel management, longtime associates said.

The developer and philanthropist died on Nov. 21 in Camarillo, Calif., according to an obituary in the Los Angeles Times. He was 81.

"He was a nice boss," said entertainer Danny Kaleikini, who performed at the hotel from 1967 to the early 1990s.

"I learned a lot from Mr. Weinberg I could really talk story with him on a one-to-one basis."

Weinberg owned the Kahala hotel from 1977 to 1993, which was then known as the Kahala Hilton.

Famed for its dolphin lagoons, the hotel was a popular resort for visiting Hollywood celebrities, sports stars, rock stars, foreign dignitaries and presidential guests.

During the Weinberg years, the hotel's beach bar was used as a set for the Magnum P.I. television series and Kaleikini was in the middle of his long-staying run at the exclusive resort.

Weinberg sold the hotel in 1993 to a group that included local developer Bill Mills, attorney Jon Miho and Japanese investor Katsumi Iida.

The sale came after a leasehold dispute with landowner Bishop Estate, in which an arbitration panel raised the hotel's annual lease rent from $96,000 to $5.6 million.

In addition to the Kahala hotel, Weinberg owned the Nuuanu Shopping Center and developed the 3660 Waialae Building, both of which were later sold.

"He was one of the pioneers in Hawai'i's development history," said local real broker Steve Sofos, which managed and leased properties for Weinberg's WKH Corp.

Weinberg, who is not related to former Isle dealmaker Harry Weinberg, relocated to California during the mid-1990s.

Weinberg is survived by his wife, Doris; daughter, Liz; sons, Dale, Marc, Bob and Richard; and eight grandchildren.

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