A lot of people who have been writing about the land grab and the land wars in Hawaii are now writing about a new deal to put the state on the map.
The deal, which would create more than 200,000 new jobs and help the state make a push to become the nation’s third largest economy, is inked Thursday by Hawaiian Pacific Holdings, a giant hotel and entertainment company.
The companies are also hoping to attract private investment in a way that would give the state a stronger foothold in a global economy that is looking to attract talent.
Hawaii would become a hub of international entertainment, said the company’s president, John W. Daley.
“I’m really excited about that,” he said.
“We’re really excited to be here and to be part of the next wave.”
Hawaii is currently the only state to be awarded a contract to manage and develop the new $3 billion stadium, the largest ever built in the United States.
But Daley said Hawaii’s push into the entertainment industry is just beginning.
“The next step for us is to get to know the community and really understand what the issues are,” he told CBC News.
“And the next step is to figure out how we can work together.”
Daley noted the company is working closely with the Tourism Infrastructure Development Authority, a state agency that oversees development of Hawaii’s resorts and entertainment venues.
The new deal is a step forward for Hawaii, Daley added.
“If you look at the history of the Hawaiian Islands, they’ve always been a destination for tourism.
We are going to continue to make our way through the process of development to make sure we have a strong, strong economy,” he added.
The company, which has operations in the U.S. and other countries, said it is aiming to create 1,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2019.
“In Hawaii, we have more than one million visitors a year, and that’s an area that is really looking to grow, especially in the hospitality sector,” Daley explained.
“So we are really excited that we are going into the hospitality and entertainment business in a very strategic way.”
The company has also developed partnerships with local developers, including the Kauai County Government and the Hawaii Community Development Corporation, and is in talks with a major construction company, Hawaii Pacific Holdings.
It has also made several investments in the local real estate market, which is already a hot one in the state.
In the last year, the company has secured a $2.5 million loan for the construction of the new Hawaii Stadium, the biggest-ever public sports facility in the country.
And Daley expects the new agreement to boost the state’s tourism revenue.
“Our economy has been very dependent on tourism for a very long time,” he noted.
“But we are seeing that tourism is not as big as it used to be.
That’s really what it’s about for us as a company, to help make sure that we make the most of that,” Dale said.