Crazy Shirts was founded by Rick Ralston back in 1964, at the recently demolished International Marketplace. His T shirts were the bomb until the copycats from SE Asia arrived, undercutting his prices, and surpassing his creativity. Any of us who traveled to the islands in the 70s and 80s have purchased one or more of his creations. But I hate advertising for him, since his prices are rather high compared to the competition. They have 22 stores in the islands, as well as a few in San Francisco, Nevada, Florida and Colorado.
Jams World is another business turning fifty. They popularized the modified pajama look for board shorts. Again, they are on the pricey side, and many knock offs exist now. Santa Monica raised Dave Rochlen asked his wife to sew him a pair of shorts from his old pajamas. There are six stores scattered around the islands. And I think Macy’s carries the brand.
Among hotels turning fifty are the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel and the famous Kahala Resort and Hotel with its royal tea service. The downside is that rooms are $422 per night, compared to around $100 in Waki-Waki. New Otani is great for business trips, by the way. Further down the road, Sea Life Park turned fifty in 2014.
Over in Maui, the Kaanapali Beach Hotel is still iconic after fifty years in business. It is still moderately priced, and boasts a great location in the heart of Kaanapali. Over toward Hana, the Kahanu Garden was chartered fifty years ago. If you have never visited any of the lush tropical gardens on Maui or Kauai, I strongly suggest an afternoon visit.
On the Big Island of Hawaii, the famous Merrie Monarch Festival turned fifty last year. In honor of King David Kalakaua (yes, the street in Honolulu is named after him) who proclaimed hula is the language of the heart, therefore the heart beat of Hawaiian people. The Festival is a week of hula competitions, coffee tasting competitions, and general perpetuation of traditional Hawaiian activities. It is well worth a visit during this time, despite the crowds.
My favorite island of Kauai is much quieter, but has the National Tropical Botanical Garden. Another big step forward was the founding of Kauai Community College. Many of you remember Hurricane Iniki, which it the island back in 1992 with winds of 145 miles per hour. Its effects are still seen on the island, with shuttered buildings, and abandoned homes and businesses. It caused $1.8 billion in damage on this island. Our dear friends on the island were impacted to various degrees.