◊UH Foundation at UH Maui College
The “Breath of Life”: The Hospitality Academy of Maui
The Hospitality Academy of Maui will be a renovation of the former student housing site, called Hale Haumana, at the corner of Ka’ahumanu Avenue and Wahine Pi’o Avenue in Kahului, across the street from the UH Maui College campus (and just inland from the Maui Arts and Cultural Center) into a “Educational and Training Hotel” that integrates several courses in lodging operations, provides 1) an authentic hands-on career-related job experience for students and 2) an outstanding experience for guests.*
The “HA of Maui” will be used as an acronym with a very suitable double meaning. The proposed name of this renovation project and hospitality lab will be called HA, which means “the breath of life” (in ‘olelo Hawai’i or Hawaiian language).
As a backdrop, the Hawai’i visitor industry is the economic engine and largest employer in the State. The University of Hawai’i Maui College Hospitality & Tourism Program (HOST) presently conducts its classes in classrooms and does not possess any lab facilities on campus. Other UHMC programs with labs have increased in student enrollment while HOST enrollment and graduation rates have been lower.
Currently, many Maui’s hotels recruit their managers from the mainland — an expensive process — and one that involves high turnover. This “teaching hotel” will help the UHMC Hospitality and Tourism program educate and train management-level candidates for local Maui hotels, thus providing better-paying jobs to local Maui residents. Simultaneously, the Hospitality Academy of Maui will provide reasonably-priced rooms for visitors, convenient to the Wailuku/Kahului area.
An unprecedented opportunity exists: the facility has three two-story buildings, each with four units, kitchens, lounge areas, and laundry facility — each unit is 33’ by 27’ (891 sq. feet). These units will be transformed into a LEED-certified hotel, where students can gain hands-on experience in hotel operations.
In addition to the hotel itself, the larger facility will include edible gardens and orchards, an aquaponics pond, and ornamental landscaping that demonstrates “Best Practices” for water conservation, use of native/non-invasive plants, storm water retention and catchment, and renewable energy sources.
Ultimately, the HA of Maui can become State-of-the-Art Facilities with accommodations that mirror premier resorts, with Executive Suites and connecting rooms with Green Design and Sustainability planning, along with LEED Certification, Energy Efficiency, and Focus on exceptional service. The HA of Maui will take a Industry-Standard approach to teach the qualities, behaviors, competencies and expectations of Maui’s premier resorts with emphasis on the Host Culture.
The Executive Suites are envisioned as Modern/contemporary in design –- focused on sustainability with 1-3 bedroom configuration (lockout option). Suites will be utilized as the “Housekeeping lab”. The Lobby will have Internet workstations, WI-FI, and cutting edge technology, including property management system (Opera), Saflok, Ving card system, PBX, Point-of-Sale system, and Energy Management system.
In Partnership with the Visitor Industry — partners are Maui resort hotels – such as the Grand Wailea, Honua Kai Resort & Spa, Four Seasons Resorts Maui, Makena Beach & Golf Resort, Westin Kaapanali Ocean Resort Villas, and Hotel Wailea the HA of Maui will be the result of in-depth collaboration, with an Adopt-a-Room Program that showcases Maui hotels and resorts.
Furthermore, a partnership has been launched with the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association (NaHHA) — and other partnerships are being developed with local Community Agencies. The Hawaii Tourism Authority also supports this project, and has awarded the HOST program a $25,000 grant for curriculum design, development of marketing collateral, and website design.
The HA of Maui will also include students from other UHMC departments and programs for an inter-disciplinary approach:
- Agriculture students to design and maintain the landscaping and irrigation systems
- Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology students to install and maintain Wi-Fi access and other HOST-related computing needs
- Culinary Arts to produce menus and cuisine in the Culinary Arts facility,
- Business Careers and Business Technology students to develop marketing plans as well as operate authentic reservations and point of sales systems,
- Accounting students to review and analyze financial data
- Sustainable Construction Technology students and interns will install, monitor, and maintain quality facilities, air conditioning systems and PV panels to reduce power requirements
Blueprints for the facility are completed and the project is “shovel-ready,” thanks to the support of the Hawai’i State Department of Labor, UH Community College System, Pyramid Group, Shimokawa & Nakamura, Munekiyo & Hiraga, Maui Hotel & Lodging Association, Gilbert & Associates, and community partners. The project has received many in-kind donations, however, in order to really start the renovations, Hotel HA needs about $4 million more in total funding. Gifts are needed for the HA of Maui, especially for naming opportunities, development and sustainability funding.
*When completed, the HA of Maui will be Hawai’i's first “Educational and Training Hotel” and would be the showcase for the State’s hospitality and tourism teaching programs. The world-renown Cornell University hospitality program students have had training opportunities at an on-campus hotel for decades — so too will students on Maui.
Support Hawai’i State’s First Hospitality Laboratory! Keep jobs on Maui for Maui’s young people!
For tours, presentations, and more information on this transformational project, contact Director of Institutional Advancement Ray Tsuchiyama at Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: +1 (808) 984-3471.