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Crisis in short-term vacation rentals

The number of properties listed as short-term vacation rentals drops sharply as coronavirus pandemic continues.

Views expressed in this Hawaii State News summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.

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Accessed on 05 February 2021, 2230 UTC, Post 23,319.

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Short-term rental operators are exiting the market 
Vacation rentals are doing better than hotels, but occupancy rates were still down between 25% and 50% year-over-year, according to a tourism industry analyst. The number of properties listed as short-term vacation rentals also dropped sharply, though visitors may be staying longer. Hawai‘i Public Radio.

Hawai‘i businesses fear recovery is a long way off, according to survey
A new “Pulse of Business Survey” by the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii and Omnitrak shows businesses don’t expect to recover until April 2022. Nearly half of the 300 respondents laid off workers last year, and revenue fell nearly 50% on average. Hawaii News Now.

State lawmakers kill bill to improve care at veterans’ and nursing homes
Health care administrators argued the bill, drafted in response to the deadly outbreak last year at a Hilo facility, could make health care slower. Civil Beat.

Hearings set for gambling bills and inter-island cannabis transport
As the state scrambles for revenue, a pair of gambling-related bills — casino legislation and a proposed lottery — are scheduled for hearings. Another measure allowing patients to transport medical cannabis for personal use, which was vetoed earlier by Gov. David Ige, is back before lawmakers. Tribune-Herald. West Hawaii Today.

State auditor: Protect the agency’s independence
Les Kondo is questioning the authority of a task force created by House Speaker Scott Saiki to obtain confidential personnel and other records from the auditor’s office. In the growing public split, he also questions the scope of the task force’s work. Civil Beat.

State’s outdated unemployment computer system to get a $10M overhaul
The state plans to replace its dated and overwhelmed unemployment computer system, which has been blamed on payment delays throughout the pandemic. Hawaii News Now.

Unemployment tax shocks are hitting claimants
Some recipients of unemployment payments are facing sticker shock as they realize they now owe taxes on that money. In some cases, they owe money back to the state. KHON2.

Infections and hospitalizations are dropping in Hawai‘i as more people get inoculated
The state has distributed more than 180,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and that appears to be slowing infections, according to the head of the hospital association. Thirty sites are now administering the vaccine to seniors and essential workers. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

6 Marketing Principles for Hawaiʻi
Experts explain how to ensure your marketing campaigns are effective in the local market and for the particular audience you want to reach. “You do want to make sure the media you’re in has a good reputation and is aligning with you as a brand and what you’re trying to achieve… read more.
Bills aim to clarify Honolulu rail vote confusion
Currently, only nine of 14 HART directors are allowed to vote, which raises the question of how many votes are needed to pass or derail motions. Various bills moving through the Legislature are designed to resolve the issue. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Former Honolulu City Council member Joey Manahan joins HART
He will oversee a public relations program whose costs he sought to reduce as the council’s budget chairman. Civil Beat.

State Department of Health winds down hearings about Red Hill fuel tanks
Friday marks the end of a five-day contested case hearing that challenges the Navy’s permit application to operate the Red Hill fuel storage facility. Closing arguments will likely be held Monday. KHON2.

UH football games in Mānoa could cost $400K annually
That’s the estimate for temporarily moving Rainbow Warrior games to the university’s flagship campus from Aloha Stadium. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Voting still open for the 2021 HVCA People’s Choice of Startup Paradise

This award is for the startup that the Innovation Community believes best represents the interests of Startup Paradise. This company serves as an example for others to follow based on their successes, popularity, and the unwavering support of their fellow community members. Click here to vote now!

“Fight COVID with COVID” blood drive coming to Kona
The Blood Bank of Hawaii is planning a Big Island blood drive on Feb. 23-25 to replenish its stores of blood and COVID-19 convalescent plasma. Big Island Now.
Financing in a Time of Recovery

Many small businesses have been hurt by the pandemic. For those that are trying to launch new businesses and others who are struggling to stay afloat financially, the task can seem insurmountable. Register for this finance-focused session where our experts will dive into the various ways to get the money you need. Register today!
County finance director cites rent savings in possible building purchase
Scott Teruya made a case Wednesday for acquiring a 6.3-acre Wailuku parcel that includes the Maui News offices. By purchasing the parcel and moving county staff out of existing leases, the county would save about $50,000 to $60,000 per month, Teruya said. Maui News.

MCCC faces its first case of COVID-19
Thirteen Maui Community Correctional Center inmates have been placed in medical isolation and 90 are undergoing testing after an inmate tested positive for COVID-19 at the Wailuku jail, the state Department of Public Safety reported. Maui News. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Haleakalā reopens after winter storm brings snow to summit
The national park announced that the summit has been reopened following a temporary closure at 4 p.m. Wednesday due to wintry conditions. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

State bill addresses irrigation management
Management of the East Kaua‘i reservoir and ditch system, formerly operated by the Lihu‘e Plantation Company, may soon shift hands. Legislation has been proposed that would transfer duties from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to the Department of Agriculture. Garden Island.

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