Taking a trip to Lanai, is like taking a trip back in time.
James Dole’s Hawaiian Pineapple Company bought the island for 1.2 million dollars in December of 1922 and construction was immediately started on a model village named Lanai City, which was to house the new immigrant workers from the Philippines, Korea and Japan. The island of Lanai would become the largest pineapple plantation in the world and at its peak produced ninety percent of the world’s pineapple.
Today Lanai City is perhaps Hawaii’s only centrally planned community. Lanai City has a central park, called Dole Park, which unifies the town; all the small businesses and banks, the post office and the school, Hotel Lanai and the recreational complex, all surround the park. There is a great feeling of community here.
Some people think we have the friendliest residents in the islands. There is a slower pace of life and locals certainly have more time to talk story. A visitor once remarked that even the teenagers say hello to strangers here.
All thirty-three hundred residents live within a one mile radius of Dole Park. It’s home to an eclectic mix of small businesses and every small business on Lanai is a Mom and Pop style operation, like most of small town America used to be.
The Blue Ginger Café is located in the heart of Lanai City across from Dole Park, on the corner of 7th and Ilima Street.
If you are staying at the Four Seasons resorts, hop on the convenient inter-island shuttle and get off at Hotel Lanai. Walk down the hill to the right, and we are across Dole Park on 7th Street and Ilima. If you want to exercise, walk down from the Four Seasons at Koele; we are a mere ten minute stroll.
Lanai has had its share of famous visitors. Bill and Melinda Gates got married here. Governor Arnold Schwarzneggar, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkely, Joe Montana, John Elway, Madonna, Oprah, Gene Hackman, Bobby Flay, Tom Selleck and many other celebrities have graced our shores. Lanai has two championship golf courses, scuba diving, world class snorkeling at Hulupoe Bay Marine Life Preserve, horseback riding, hiking, kayaking, deep sea fishing, and miles of remote beaches. If you feel like relaxing and doing nothing, Lanai is the place to be.
And yes it is true, one man, Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle Corporation, owns 98 percent of the island. It is a private island that we welcome all of you to.