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Tourism resuming in West Maui near Lahaina as hotels and timeshare properties welcome visitors
The area around the historic Maui town largely destroyed by wildfire two months ago is scheduled to welcome back travelers
HONOLULU (AP) — The area around the Maui town largely destroyed by wildfire two months ago was scheduled to welcome back travelers on Sunday as the mayor and Hawaii’s governor pushed ahead to restart tourism to boost the economy despite opposition from some Lahaina residents.
Five hotels in West Maui were accepting reservations again, according to their websites and the Maui Hotel and Lodging Association. In addition, eight timeshare properties — in which visitors have an ownership stake in their room — were opening across the region early this month, including some a few miles from the devastation.
The reopening fell on the two-month anniversary of the wildfire that killed at least 98 people and destroyed more than 2,000 structures, many of them homes and apartments.
Many local residents have objected to resuming tourism in West Maui, which includes Lahaina town and a stretch of coastline to the north. Opponents said they don’t want travelers asking them about their traumatic experiences while they are grieving the loss of their loved ones and processing the destruction of their homes.