Billionaire purchases historic Hotel Lanai
LANAI CITY, Lanai — Billionaire Larry Ellison has purchased the historic Hotel Lanai for an undisclosed price.
The deal that closed July 7 now makes Ellison the owner of every hotel room on the island, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.
Mary Charles’ Lanai Hospitality Partners LLC had owned and operated the hotel in Lanai City since 2007. She told the Maui News that she believes most of the 28 hotel staffers remain employed at the 10-room hotel.
Ellison’s company Pulama Lanai confirmed the deal but declined further comment.
Ellison, the CEO of Oracle Corp., purchased 98 percent of Lanai in 2012, including the two other hotels on the island.
Lanai Hospitality Partners had been trying to sell the hotel since last year.
“Doing business on Lanai was hard on a good day,” Charles told the Maui newspaper, saying it was difficult to compete with the other hotels and the changes taking place under Ellison’s leadership affected business.
Charles’ company was about to sell to a Maui entity when Ellison’s Lanai company offered to buy it, Charles told the Honolulu paper. After reviewing both offers, “we decided it would probably be best in their hands.”
Hotel Lanai, built in 1923 for Dole Plantation executives, is less expensive than the two upscale Four Seasons resorts.
The island has short-term residential vacation rentals, but Ellison now owns all Lanai’s hotel rooms, consulting firm Hospitality Advisors LLC President Joseph Toy told the Star-Advertiser.
“It’s a fun little hotel,” he said. “A charming place.”