Kapalua Creativity

At Kapalua Resort, officials are promoting a diverse calendar, while working on a new event.

By: Marty Wentzel

KAPALUA, Maui Around the world, annual special events are an effective way to showcase a destination’s strengths. In Hawaii, this theory is in full evidence at Kapalua Resort, where officials are promoting a diverse calendar, while working on a new event to attract attention to the Northwest Maui destination.

The creation and marketing of annual events can impact a resort’s image and its business, said Kim Carpenter, vice president of marketing for Kapalua Land Co. Ltd.

“We try to emphasize our greatest assets, which include our golf courses, culture, cuisine and the natural beauty that makes Kapalua a place like none other in the world.

“Through yearly events, we can present our total resort picture,” Carpenter continued. “It’s another way we can encourage people to visit the destination and enjoy the many facets of Kapalua.”

According to Carpenter, Kapalua’s events center around four major aspects of the resort experience. Among them is an active lifestyle, demonstrated by the Mercedes Golf Championships and Kapalua’s annual tennis events. The area’s culture is feted in the yearly Celebration of the Arts. A dedication to fine cuisine is underscored by the Kapalua Wine and Food Festival, and the resort’s distinctive natural surroundings are the focus of events like the Puu Kukui nature hike.

Now Kapalua is looking at developing another major event that will tout the 23,000 acres of the resort, said Carpenter, although no details were available at press time.

Key to Boosting Sales

With 1,050 rooms, Kapalua is relatively small, so its events bring in more participants and spectators than the resort can house in its properties.

“We sell out during the Mercedes Championships and the Kapalua Wine and Food Festival, and the Celebration of the Arts will be close to a sellout this year,” Carpenter said. “We hope our new event will allow us to book the majority of the rooms during that festival.”

Kapalua officials create their calendar so that the resort hosts at least one major event each quarter, Carpenter explained. As they consider the date of each event, the goal is to drive occupancy and boost exposure, he said.

To help clients time their next visit to Kapalua Resort, following is a look at what 2004 holds in store in terms of special events:

Jan. 5-11: Mercedes Championships. An elite field of champions from the 2003 PGA Tour compete for a purse of $5.3 million.

April 8-11: Celebration of the Arts. The 12th annual event pays tribute to the people, arts and culture of Hawaii.

May 1-3: Verizon Hawaii Hall of Fame Pro-Am and Championship. This golf tournament brings together 28 teams comprised of one professional and four amateurs.

May 7-9: Kapalua Junior/Senior Tennis Championships. For over two decades, men and women ages 35 to 65 have competed in singles and doubles tennis competitions during this weekend event.

June 18-20: Kapalua Clambake Pro-Am Golf Tournament. Kapalua’s Plantation, Village and Bay courses share the spotlight during this 18th annual pro-am golf event.

July 8-11: Kapalua Wine and Food Festival. World-famous winemakers and chefs mingle with resort visitors during a series of wine tastings, festive gatherings and gourmet meals.

August: Puu Kukui Nature Walk. Maui Pineapple Company’s naturalists lead 12 people, selected by random drawing, on an exclusive hike into the largest private preserve in the state.

Sept. 3-6: Kapalua Open Tennis Tournament. Hawaii’s brightest tennis stars serve and volley during this annual Labor Day grand prix.

Dec. 1: Tree Lighting Ceremony. With the flick of a switch, more than 250,000 sparkling lights illuminate a 25-foot holiday tree.