Make Way for Molokai

The often-overlooked island promotes new programs

By: Marty Wentzel

Anyone who is interested in Hawaii will be interested in Molokai,” said Marlo Nishimoto, a sales and marketing spokesperson for the Lodge and Beach Village at Molokai Ranch. “It’s the unknown factor that stops them from going there.”

With that in mind, Nishimoto and her associates have come up with a series of new programs to help agents generate enthusiasm for Molokai and enhance their clients’ visits.

Sprawled across 65,000 acres, Molokai Ranch features two distinct accommodations.

Located on a white-sand crescent, the Beach Village is comprised of 40 deluxe canvas “tentalows” (platform tents), each with queen or twin beds, private bathroom with hot water shower, solar-powered lights and a lanai with ocean views. The 22-room Lodge, meanwhile, is located at the entrance to historic Maunaloa town, home of a working cattle ranch. In the dining room, clients can sample local meat, seafood, vegetables and herbs courtesy of an all-new menu. Lodge niceties include a Great Room, swimming pool, day spa and wrap-around verandahs with ocean and pasture panoramas.

Clients can time their trip to Molokai with the island’s first-ever Summer Milky Way Star Party from Sept. 15-16. Thanks to its unpolluted views, the Beach Village provides a perfect vantage point for witnessing the sights of the night sky, said Nishimoto.

“It wouldn’t be a star party without Barry Peckham, vice president of the Hawaii Astronomical Society and our star wrangler for the weekend,” she said. “He uses high-powered telescopes to bring the Milky Way into perfect focus.”

Guests can also attend a series of afternoon sessions to learn more about navigating star charts and drawing constellations.

From Oct. 13-14, The Lodge and Beach Village presents its first annual Paniolo Festival, with food booths, games, crafts and an exhibit about the life of the paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy). Culminating the event is the Paniolo Heritage Rodeo, with bull riding, team roping, barrel racing, cattle sorting, team penning, poll bending and steer undecorating. During the festival, clients can attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Molokai Paniolo Cultural Center, followed by demonstrations of cattle work by bona fide ranch hands.

Additionally, agents can entice clients to Molokai by telling them about its Hawaiian music camps, in 2007 scheduled from Feb. 4-10 and June 24-30. Renowned slack-key guitarist Keola Beamer immerses students in the music, dance and culture of Hawaii during the days and presents concerts on the beach in the evenings. Other participating teachers and performers include Beamer’s famous mother, Nona, his brother Kaliko and good friend Mark Nelson.

Molokai is best suited for travelers who want to slow down while on vacation, venture into the untainted environment and, most of all, have fun, said Nishimoto.

“It offers the sort of qualities that have lured visitors to the islands for years, like beautiful beaches, breathtaking cliffs and a laid-back lifestyle,” she said. “It’s perfect for clients who have been to Hawaii before, travelers who are now looking for the experience that their parents and grandparents enjoyed many years ago. It exposes them to a natural landscape, uninterrupted views and the kindness of Hawaiian people.”

When planning a vacation that includes Molokai, agents should schedule the Lodge and Beach Village with the end of the trip, said Nishimoto.

“Your clients will return home relaxed and thank you for your recommendation,” she said.

No matter what time of year they visit, clients will discover that Molokai is a place of healing, Nishimoto added.

“It offers visitors a connection to the great outdoors, whether they are horseback riding with fourth-generation paniolo Jimmy Duvauchelle or kayaking amid marine life,” she said. “It’s different from the rest of Hawaii in so many wonderful ways.”


The Lodge and Beach Village at
Molokai Ranch
Maunaloa, Hawaii

Commissionable packages include the Allure, providing the best available rates during specific dates. From July 15-Aug. 31, nightly Allure rates start at $158 per couple at the Beach Village and $238 in the Lodge. From Sept. 1-Dec. 20, rates start at $148 and $208, respectively.
The Lodge Adventure, with deluxe accommodations, comes with a daily $50 dining credit and $30 activity credit. Rates start at $219 per person, per night, based on double occupancy.
The Beach Village Adventure, with tentalow accommodations, provides breakfast and dinner at the open-air dining pavilion and a $30 activity credit ($179 per person, nightly).
The Fourth Night Free promotion is based on a minimum four-night stay at published rates, which start at $288 at the Beach Village and $418 at the Lodge.
Timed with the Summer Milky Way Star Party on Sept. 15-16, clients can book a Beach Village package for $90 per person, per night, including daily buffet breakfast. Rates are good from Sept. 12-19.
Throughout the year, the property offers travel agents a reduced rate of $98 per night for a tentalow and $128 for a room in the Lodge.