Maui Discussion

Ask the Mayor: Is it Legal? Hotel Umbrellas on Beach

December 23, 2014, 1:10 PM HST
* Updated December 28, 7:43 AM
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Beach umbrellas and chairs in Mākena. File photo.

Beach umbrellas and chairs in Mākena. File photo.

The mayor answers questions from the public in this series.

By Mayor Alan Arakawa

Q:  Until several years ago, many of the Wailea hotels monopolized the space at Wailea and Polo beaches by setting up large numbers of umbrellas and lounge chairs for the exclusive use of their guests, so that there would be little beach space remaining for the general public that arrived later in the morning.

That practice largely stopped; I understood that County regulations may have prohibited the hotels from setting up umbrellas or lounge chairs until a guest requested one. 

However, one resort on the Mākena end of Wailea continues to attempt to control areas of the public beach in front of its property from time to time.

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Am I correct that hotels are not allowed to set up umbrellas and lounge chairs on our public beaches in advance of a guest request?  If so, why is this resort’s violations of this policy tolerated?

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A:  Beach chairs and umbrellas are usually placed in areas that are not under the county’s jurisdiction.

Even at county beach parks, anything below the high-water line is State property; however, if you notice resort amenities being placed above the high-water line at a county beach park, such as Polo Beach, you may contact the county parks department at 270-7230.

The department can follow up at the specific location to verify whether it is occurring on parks property, and can also follow up with the state if a violation appears to be occurring on state property.

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You might want to take a cell phone photo if you have one handy.

Want to Ask the Mayor?

Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email: [email protected], phone: 270-7855 or mail: 200 S. High Street, 9th Floor, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the Ask the Mayor column.

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