Historic resort in ‘Blue Hawaii’ to be auctioned this month


WAILUA, Hawaii — The historic resort where Elvis Presley’s character got married in the 1961 film “Blue Hawaii” will go up for auction at a foreclosure sale on Kauai this month.

The Garden Island newspaper reported the abandoned Coco Palms Resort will be auctioned July 26 on the steps of the Fifth Circuit Courthouse in Lihue.

Coco Palms initially opened in 1953 next to a historic coconut grove and an ancient Hawaiian fishpond. It has been closed since Hurricane Iniki — a Category 4 storm — slammed into Kauai in 1992. Several attempts to restore the property since have failed.

The property will be sold to the highest bidder in as-in condition. The winning bidder will have to pay 10% in cash, money order or by certified or cashier’s check after bidding.

The purchaser will be responsible for all costs and expenses for the closing, according to the legal notice.

The most recent effort to revive the hotel planned to take the remaining structure and build a 350-room resort and rebuild cottages.

The county’s Planning Department initially issued permits to Honolulu-based Coco Palms Hui, LLC, for the property in 2015. In March 2019, Stillwater Equity Partners took over the property after Coco Palms Hui defaulted on more than $11 million in financing on a $22-million mortgage.

The 46-acre grounds were once home to Kauai’s last queen, Queen Deborah Kapule Kekaihaakulou. It’s the site of key scenes in “Blue Hawaii,” including the last one where Presley sings the “Hawaiian Wedding Song” and holds his bride’s hand while they board a raft to cross a lagoon.

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