The new owner of an iconic Waikiki property that was featured in the opening title shot of the 1970s TV series "Hawaii Five-0" said Tuesday it plans to cease operations of the building's Ilikai hotel in two days.
New York-based iStar Financial Inc. said 203 hotel rooms in the nearly 1,000-unit property will be closed Thursday because of mounting operating losses. Hotel occupancy has fallen steeply around Hawaii because of the global economic slowdown.
Ilikai guests will be moved to other hotels and those with future reservations will be accommodated elsewhere, iStar said.
The company bought the hotel for $51 million at a foreclosure auction in May. In a statement, iStar said it hoped its subsidiary would be able to cut costs enough to allow the hotel operations to continue after it takes possession of the property Friday.
"Unfortunately, alternatives to reduce the operating losses at the hotel have not to date been achieved, thus leading to the decision to close the hotel," the company said.
The closure will put as many as 142 union members out of work, but it won't directly affect operations at the 806 other condominium and timeshare units.
UNITE HERE Local 5, which represents the workers, planned a Wednesday afternoon vigil to urge the company to keep the hotel operating and employees working.