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Coastline along Wailea Beach Path near Polo Beach Park, Maui, Hawaii
Photograph: Shutterstock

West Maui is reopening to travelers this weekend

The area will reopen in phases following the devastating fires

Written by
Gerrish Lopez

West Maui will soon reopen to visitors in a phased approach outlined by Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen. The western region of the Hawaiian island of Maui has been closed to visitors after devastating fires this summer but is now ready to welcome them back gradually.

Tourism is a vital part of the Maui economy, and the return of visitors to the island will help with the area’s recovery. But officials want to ensure the reopening is manageable, so the area will reopen in three phases, starting Sunday, October 8. The first phase will include access from The Ritz-Carlton Maui in Kapalua and south to Kahana Villa.

“Our priorities have focused on the well-being of our people and will continue to be critically important,” Mayor Bissen said. “Six weeks ago, we focused on searching for unaccounted loved ones and supporting the safety and health of survivors. As we take careful steps forward in an unprecedented disaster, addressing our West Maui visitor industry, their employees, and the local businesses that work in conjunction with the industry requires planning that will get us to a manageable re-opening. Our goal is to introduce a phased approach that will begin on October 8 and allows for housing needs to be clearly addressed.”

Officials will assess the phase one reopening before moving on to phase two, including the area from Mahinahina to the Maui Kaanapali Villas. Phase three will include the area from the Royal Lahaina Resort to the Hyatt Regency. The historic town of Lahaina, hard-hit by the fires, will remain completely closed.

Other areas of the island have been open to visitors while also assisting displaced residents, and continue to welcome visitors as usual.

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