A petition gaining thousands of signors seeks to delay the reopening of West Maui. As you know, after much wavering, Hawaii’s governor set October 8 as the date on which he asks visitors to return again following the Lahaina fire. It was previously expected to be October 17, which was then moved a number of times before arriving at the current one.

Many feel that October 8 is far too late in helping West Maui’s economy.

In countless comments, those in West Maui have begged visitors to return immediately in order to avoid financial ruin. Some visitors have heeded those suggestions and here’s one such example:

“We arrived to Maui on Sept. 15 at our timeshare in Kaanapali. Hearing all the news about the people of Hawaii—those wanting tourists and those who think West Maui need to stay closed makes you wonder how the reception upon arrival would be. Oh My!!! Everyone was so happy to see us and the few others that were checking in……..…All the employees were excited to back to work. Yes, some of them had lost family members and homes in the fire. Others had not. They said the need to move forward. Each of them thanked us for coming and said we’re part of the recovery….. So please come.”

While for others, October 8 is way too soon.

The petition has amassed nearly 5,000 signatures in short order, with a goal of 6,400. The reason stated for the petition is that “the voices of our displaced residents, who have endured immeasurable hardships, have not been adequately heard.”

A closed-door meeting with limited participation resulted in the latest West Maui.

“The private meeting at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, which exclusively represented select business interests, has been cited as the basis for this decision.” We wrote about this curious closed-door meeting recently attended by the Governor, Maui Mayor, and state officials. It isn’t clear why there wasn’t more widespread input solicited during the decision-making process. Especially under these extraordinary circumstances.

You can see the petition’s headline below and view it at Lahaina Strong.

Even the governor clarified last Friday that the planned reopening details are anything but complete.

Scurrying about, the state is trying to find places to consolidate fire victims’ accommodations while still reopening to visitors in the planned time frame. Without visitors, there is no way for those working in hotels, restaurants, activities, and a host of ancillary occupations to stay fully employed.

Others have said that it isn’t a great time for visitors in West Maui.

Your comments have included that many times. Such as whether it is appropriate for visitors and residents to be placed into such an awkward situation so soon after the fire devastation in nearby Lahaina town.

What exactly does reopening of West Maui mean?

Regular Pat asked, “What does “reopening West Maui” actually mean? Isn’t a lot of it already open?” That is absolutely true. What is means is that the State of Hawaii has asked visitors to refrain from visiting West Maui until such a date, currently set for October 8.

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