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THE WESTIN KAUAI AT KAUAI LAGOONS CLOSES TEMPORARILY AFTER HURRICANE INIKI

 THE WESTIN KAUAI AT KAUAI LAGOONS CLOSES TEMPORARILY
 AFTER HURRICANE INIKI
 SEATTLE, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The Westin Kauai at Kauai Lagoons is currently closed as a result of damages caused by Hurricane Iniki, the company said today. A reopening date has not been set, but it is estimated that the resort will reopen in early 1993.
 The extent of damages to the resort is currently being assessed. Damages to the property include blown out windows, flooding and significant impact to the resort's landscaping. An estimated dollar amount has not yet been determined but is projected to be in the tens of millions of dollars. The animals at the resort's wildlife farm were secured prior to the storm.
 RESERVATIONS
 For the next 60 days, Westin is working to relocated all guests with pending reservations and will not take new reservations during this period. Westin is relocating guests to The Westin Maui and other Westin resorts located in the United States. All room rates that were confirmed at The Westin Kauai will be honored at The Westin Maui for individuals and groups based on space availability. Guests may call Westin's central reservations office at 800-228-3000 for assistance.
 On Monday, Sept. 14, the central reservations office received a record 12,000 and handled 608,000 transactions in the central reservations system. Many were in response to guest inquiries regarding the Westin Kauai.
 EMPLOYEES
 The 1,000 people employed by The Westin Kauai and over 1,000 guests of the property have been safely evacuated and many have returned home. The evacuation effort was handled in four hours. The resort will be unable to retain all employees and some will be relocated to other Westin properties. A core group of maintenance, engineering and security employees will remain on staff at the resort until services are fully restored.
 RELIEF FUND
 A relief fund has been established by Westin Hotels & Resorts to aid its employees and their families affected by the disaster. The "Ohana Fund" is based on a traditional Hawaiian term meaning family or togetherness. The Walt Disney World Swan in Orlando, Fla., raised $5,000 in 24 hours and many of the 35,000 Westin employees worldwide are expected to contribute to the fun. Some guests and travel agencies have also indicated their intention to contribute.
 TOURISM
 Westin anticipates that tourism to the state of Hawaii will not be significantly impacted by Hurricane Iniki as damage was principally isolated to the island of Kauai. Kauai will likely see a downturn in tourism in the short term, but will focus its concentrated efforts and "Aloha Spirit" to rebuild the island as quickly as possible. The natural beauty that has drawn tourists to the island of Kauai for years will continue to be a compelling attraction in the future.
 The Westin Kauai at Kauai Lagoons is an 846-room resort set on a half-mile stretch of beach fronting Kalapaki Bay. The property has 800 acres of botanical gardens and two 18-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses. The resort has received numerous awards including the AAA Four-Diamond award and was ranked in the "Top 100" by Conde Nast Traveler in 1991.
 Westin Hotels & Resorts consists of over 75 luxury hotels and resorts in 15 countries around the world.
 -0- 9/15/92
 /CONTACT: Elizabeth Vasey of Westin Hotels & Resorts, 206-443-5180/ CO: Westin Hotels & Resorts ST: Hawaii IN: LEI SU:


JH-LM -- SE006 -- 9887 09/15/92 20:11 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 15, 1992
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