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Kapaa, Hawaii

Coco Palms Resort

Kaua'i's very first resort is now an abandoned relic. 

Hawaii is known for its lush resorts and the booming tourist economy that keeps them afloat. However, not every resort thrived in the island sun. 

The Coco Palms was the very first resort on Kaua’i, built in 1953, and in its heyday, it was the hottest place around.  Frank Sinatra was known to have stayed there, and it was also one of Elvis Presley’s favorite spots. Elvis actually shot the wedding scene from his film Blue Hawaii at the resort.  However, this luxury didn’t come cheap with even the most modest rooms going for over $400 a night. 

That all changed when Hurricane Iniki hit in 1992.  Iniki was a Category 4 hurricane and its eye passed directly over the island.  Because of the massive devastation across the whole island, the insurance companies went bankrupt and as a result, the Coco Palms was never repaired. Even after the Kaua’i economy got back on its feet, the Coco Palms was simply sold and resold as its condition deteriorated.

The Coco Palms Resort is still abandoned although it is currently owned by a company that intends to remodel and reopen it.

Update July 2016: Funding and permits were acquired and demolition has begun, so they can rebuild.

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