The events that took place in Lahaina this week have been devastating, with so many lives lost and most of the residents of this beautiful, historic town losing either their home or their business or both. Like you, we have watched from a distance at the unspeakable tragedy that has taken place, and our hearts are hurting with those who are walking through so much loss and pain right now.
We have emails and phone calls coming through from people wondering if they should vacation to Maui or if they should cancel out of respect for this tragedy, and to best help the island and its people. The care and concern for Maui being shown is a blessing! With those questions in mind, we thought it may be beneficial to proactively share our current thoughts about vacationing to Maui that have been developed by watching what the local government is sharing and by interacting with our friends in Maui.
First of all, a bit of Maui geography is helpful. When you hear the term “West Maui”, this is the term locals use to refer to northwest Maui, where Lahaina, Kaanapali, Napili and Kapalua are located. Our condo in Wailea is about 30 miles south of this area, in the region that locals refer to as “South Maui”, even though we’re technically on the western side of the island too.
The most recent update from the Hawaiian Tourism Authority states:
Our condo was never in imminent danger of fire, never lost power, water or electricity, cell service or internet. The impact in the moment was some ash and smokey smell that dissipated by the next day.
Our understanding is that in our area, restaurants are open, grocery stores are well stocked, and gas stations have no lines. And of course the beautiful beaches are open as they are in other regions of the island.
Maui’s economy is 80% tourism and so many locals depend on the visitors who vacation on this beautiful island.
A recent letter from the owner of our housekeeping team included this message:
We recognize that there are many views on how to help Maui right now and that not everyone sees things the same way, and that’s okay! We know we all just truly want to help Maui and we believe the collective efforts from all angles will accomplish this.
Because of our condo’s location, we would agree with Margaret that it would be beneficial to the people of Maui for our current guests to consider keeping their reservations, and for future guests to not shy away from visiting Maui in order to support the businesses that rely on your presence. Of course, utmost sensitivity and respect for the tragedy and for the locals you interact with should be on your minds and hearts as you travel, and travelling to West Maui (Lahaina/Kaanapali)) is discouraged right now. But we believe that taking a vacation to South Maui may be one way you can support the community as a whole and help it get back on its feet.
Another way you can help would be to support local organizations who are set up to help those most directly impacted by the fire. If you are looking for avenues to support Maui financially, you can find a list of organizations here. In order to support the relief, we plan to donate 10% of every night booked beginning from the night of the fire until the end of the year to a local charity supporting the impacted families.
We are available for any questions that come to mind and will answer to the best of our ability the things that we can!
We so appreciate everyone who has stayed with us over the past 5 years as they explored the beauty of Maui, learned to love its nature and its people, and experienced firsthand what “aloha” truly means! And we look forward to many more warm memories made by our guests as they continue to experience how beautiful and strong the island of Maui is, even in the midst of heartache.