I just wanted to share this upbeat article from Pacific Business News with you:
Kauai has reasons to be optimistic about its economy as the tourism, real estate, filmmaking, and agricultural sectors improve, according to economist Leroy Laney at the 36th-annual First Hawaiian Bank Economic Outlook Forum at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort on September 22, 2010.
“Kauai can look forward to better times…,” said Laney, an economics adviser to First Hawaiian Bank and a professor of economics and finance at Hawaii Pacific University. He noted that more nonstop flights are arriving at Lihue Airport, with more on the way as Canada’s WestJet brings seasonal service to Lihue and Hawaiian Airlines begins flying to Seoul, South Korea.
Other tourism developments include Kauai being ranked the second best island in the world by Travel+Leisure magazine, increased activity in Kauai vacation rentals, and new restaurants, such as Roy Yamaguchi’s The Tavern at Princeville and Merriman’s opening on the South Shore.
Kauai’s residential real estate market is recovering, Laney said. Sales are increasing this year after declining moderately in 2009, he said, while Kauai’s trend is to outperform the rest of the state, based on recent year-over-year results. The Garden Isle saw healthy year-over-year increases both in sales volume and median selling prices, for both single-family homes and condominiums. Condo sales were up 53.3 percent and home sales were up 34.8 percent in August. Buyers paid more for these properties — the median price of homes sold rose to $607,500, 29 percent over last year, and the condo median sales price hit $334,000, up 6.7 percent over last year.
In the agriculture sector, Laney reported that the seed corn industry is expanding, and three Hollywood films — Descendants, Just Go With It and Pirates of the Caribbean — all filmed on Kauai. All of this economic activity signals that Kauai’s economy is rebounding and attracting more attention, locally, internationally, and on the mainland.
[Pacific Business News & the Hawaii Information Service contributed to this article.]