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  • Hilton Hotels & Resorts Marks Its 50th Year of Hospitality In Hawaii

    Published on April 25, 2011

    HONOLULU and MCLEAN, Va. – One man’s vision and a landmark business transaction in 1961 brought the global leader in hospitality to the Hawaiian Islands. Hilton Hotels & Resorts celebrates 50 years in Hawaii this year with festivities and consumer offers celebrating the iconic brand’s proud history in the Aloha State and its three Hawaiian properties: Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, Hilton Waikiki Beach (formerly Hilton Waikiki Prince Kuhio) and Hilton Waikoloa Village.

    “For generations we have welcomed travelers to Hawaii for authentic experiences and the best in hospitality. Hilton enjoys a rich history in many of the world’s most sought after destinations and we are proud to celebrate this milestone with our guests and the communities we serve across the Hawaiian islands,” said Dave Horton, global head, Hilton Hotels & Resorts.

    Hilton kicked off the celebration with cameo appearances in Hawaii Five-0, where viewers across North America, Asia Pacific, Australia and the UK can spot Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort as a backdrop throughout the first season of the hit television drama. Additionally, Hilton Hotels & Resorts is reinforcing its 50 years in Hawaii celebration and their official partnership with the series on AXN in Asia and Sky One in the UK and Ireland, by means of an extensive media and PR campaign.

    On Oahu, anniversary dining offers, merchant discounts and musical tributes highlight the anniversary at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa, the first Hilton property in Hawaii. Travelers can also take advantage of a special 50 Years of Aloha room package available at Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa and Hilton Waikiki Beach, as well as Hilton Waikoloa Village on Hawaii’s Big Island. The offer includes the fifth night at $50; a $50 credit on spa, dining or beach craft rentals; and an anniversary memento.

    The 50 Years of Aloha package is available for stays through December 20, 2011; a minimum five-night stay is required. Black-out dates do apply; rates are subject to local taxes and reservations are based on availability. For more details or to book 50 Years of Aloha, call 1-800-HILTONS (1-800-445-8667) and request rate code “OX.” Or, visit  www.hiltonhawaii.com/aloha.

    In 1954, Fritz Burns and his partner, Henry John Kaiser, purchased the Niumalu Hotel, which opened in 1928 on the site Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa now occupies. Together Burns and Kaiser began construction in 1955 on guest cottages and the Ocean Tower (now known as Ali’i Tower) at what was known then as Kaiser’s Hawaiian Village. In what was among the many firsts for the Hawaiian Village, Kaiser erected the first public dome in Honolulu with the 1957 construction of a geodesic dome showroom. The showroom opened on February 17, 1957 during a 2.5-hour gala broadcast by NBC to an estimated 20 million people. Over the next three years, two more towers were added, including the Ocean Tower (now known as Tapa Tower) and the Diamond Head Tower. Kaiser also developed the 5-acre man-made lagoon fronting the Hawaiian Village.

    On January 19, 1961, the late legendary hotelier Conrad Hilton agreed to buy most of what was then the Kaiser Hawaiian Village Hotel for $21.5 million in one of the biggest hotel transactions of the time. The purchase included close to 18 acres of property, plus another three acres of adjacent property. In addition, Hilton received a complex of nine buildings containing 1,100 rooms. Hilton Waikoloa Village, a Hilton Resort nestled on 62 acres of oceanfront property along the Kohala Coast and Hilton Waikiki Beach, a 601-room hotel with award winning restaurants, would later join the Hilton Hotels & Resorts portfolio.

    Hilton properties in Hawaii have been the site of many milestones throughout Hawaii’s history and popular culture, including:

    The world-renowned Blue Hawaii cocktail was invented at Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa in 1957 by legendary Hilton bartender Harry Yee.

    In 1968, Hilton Hawaiian Village’s famed Rainbow Tower opened with the world’s largest ceramic-tile mosaic spanning 286 feet high by 26 feet wide on each end of the tower. More than 16,000 colorful tiles were used to complete the mosaic that has appeared in multiple television shows and movies.

    Featured in the many television shows, including Hawaiian Eye, Wheel of Fortune, Baywatch Hawaii, SoapTalk, Magnum P.I. and Hawaii Five-0.