Atlantis hotel to be built in Ko'olina, student worry for impact on the local community

Written by: 
Stephanie Soto

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Atlantis, a hotel chain with resorts in Dubai and the Bahamas, announced plans to build a new resort in Ko&lsquo;olina on the vacant lot next to Disney&rsquo;s Aulani Resort.</div>
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According to Hawaii News Now, Jeff Stone, the Hawaii developer, said, &ldquo;The resort will be similar to Atlantis Dubai, with amenities like a dolphin encounter, shark habitat and hotel rooms with a front row seat of a giant aquarium.&rdquo; The Star Advertiser said the hotel will cost 1.5 billion dollars to build and will supply over 1,800 jobs.</div>
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David Preece, the academic director in the Center for Hospitality and Tourism, said, &ldquo;With its 1,800 jobs, Atlantis will certainly create new career paths for our students in HTM and other business programs, including internships.&rdquo;</div>
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&ldquo;The venture brings a new brand into the market with a huge investment that basically fills out the rest of Ko&lsquo;olina as a destination,&rdquo; Preece added.</div>
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Preece said the hospitality and tourism management (HTM) program faculty will talk to the developers about opportunities for HTM students once the hotel is done. &ldquo;However, the HTM program&rsquo;s current challenge isn&rsquo;t a lack of internship opportunities&mdash;we actually don&rsquo;t have enough HTM majors to meet the industry demand for qualified interns,&rdquo; said Preece. &ldquo;We need more students in the program.&rdquo;</div>
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Benjamin Kaivalvatana, a junior HTM major from Thailand, said, &ldquo;I think Atlantis is going to destroy small hotel or small local business here. I don&rsquo;t think it will have a good impact on the island here.&rdquo;</div>
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Kaivalvatana said one of the positive aspects is it will create jobs for the local people. He said he respects the local people and their mindset of preserving the country, but believes it&rsquo;s going to benefit the school.&nbsp;</div>
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Lillian Meng, a senior from China studying business with an HTM minor, said, &ldquo;I think it will be nice, and the tourists will have more choices. But on the other side, there are a lot of hotels in Hawaii already. I don&rsquo;t know if it&rsquo;s a wise decision.&rdquo;</div>
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Meng said she has a positive outlook towards the hotel. &ldquo;I think for the HTM program, it would be a great opportunity since all the HTM students are required to do an internship. It would be nice for them to see different hotels and how they operate.&rdquo;</div>

Date Published: 
Monday, October 3, 2016
Last Edited: 
Monday, October 3, 2016