Fresh from the success of beautification projects along Kalakaua
Avenue, the Waikiki Improvement Association is moving forward with
plans to bring the rest of the Oahu resort up to the same
For 30 years, the nonprofit organization of tourism leaders,
property owners and business professionals has been working closely
with government officials to strengthen the overall vitality of
Most recently, the results of their efforts can be seen in the
multi-million-dollar makeover of Kalakaua Avenue and the adjacent
Kuhio Beach Park. Along with physical improvemetns, the area now
features free evening hula and torchlighting ceremonies and
programs for the public such as Brunch on the Beach and Sunset on
the Beach. Kapiolani Park boasts a new bandstand, and the new
Waikiki Historic Trail tells the story of the area on
surfboard-shaped bronze markers.
Now, association President Rick Egged and his members are
turning their attention to improvements along Kuhio Avenue, one
block mauka (toward the mountains) of Kalakaua. Long considered
Waikiki’s primary service route, Kuhio will be under construction
throughout the rest of the year.
Wider sidewalks, shade trees and street furniture will be added
in an effort to transform Kuhio into what the association’s agenda
calls “an integrated and inviting pedestrian experience where
visitors and residents alike can enjoy shopping, dining,
entertainment, strolling and relaxing.”
Once Kuhio is completed, work will move mauka again to the Ala
The canal, which is being dredged after a lengthy delay, will be
further developed for competitive water sports and landscaped
pedestrian and bike paths will line the banks.
The association intends to ensure that the side streets linking
Kalakaua, Kuhio and Ala Wai are maintained properly and that the
whole area has consistent signage so visitors can find their way
without difficulty. Another goal is to establish a network of
walking and biking paths throughout the area.
Once the work is done, Egged said, Waikiki will be promoted as
one continuous resort rather than a hodgepodge series of hotels,
shops and restaurants.
According to the association’s agenda for 2003, “Waikiki’s
hotels, retail shops, residences, beaches, open spaces, landscapes,
sidewalks, streets and public infrastructure must be kept
up-to-date so that Waikiki’s reputation as a resort of
international renown is not lost to old age but is continuously
“More than any other single area, Waikiki impacts the state’s
economy,” the agenda continues.
“All of Hawaii’s people benefit from Waikiki and are responsible
for assuring its continuing attractiveness in order that Waikiki
may compete successfully with other destinations.”