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Maui Business Report

(page 4 of 6)

Game On

Eyeing the business of sports, Maui’s industry leaders seek to measure the rest of the iceberg.

The Plantation Course, 2012 Hyundai Tournament of Champions. (inset) Granger Larsen, currently ranked #40 on the ASP World Tour, has been sponsored by Hi-Tech since he was in grade school.

Photo: Courtesy of Stan Badz, PGA Tour

If you want to know how much the average visitor spends during a Maui stay, the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority can tell you—$203 daily. Curious to know how much the EA Sports Maui Invitational boosts the local economy? The basketball tournament’s organizers estimate $8.1 million. But if you’re keen to track the growth of one of the island’s major new industries, you’re out of luck for now.

“There are almost 100 businesses related to the surf, windsurf, kite and SUP business, whether they are retail, schools, manufacturers or repair,” says Kim Ball, of Hi-Tech and Shapers. “That does not include bike, dive, fishing, golf or tennis businesses.”

Nearly everyone agrees that having fun is big business on the Valley Isle, but most of what’s known about the sports industry is anecdotal.

Photo: Courtesy of Granger Larson

A 2010 economic development strategy report by the County of Maui proposed creating a Sports Sector Market Analysis and Strategic Plan, but no plan yet exists. The need for data has been urged by several organizations, says Brianne Savage, sports and entertainment specialist at Maui’s Office of Economic Development, a position created in 2011. “There’s a lot of money in the sports sector and we’re not tracking this money as its own thing. We need to get to where we can get these numbers.”

It’s clear the industry is a significant employer. With golf alone, “There’s a whole pipeline of suppliers, people growing turf grass, creating sand for bunkers,” says Mark Rolfing, NBC Sports commentator and host of TV’s “Golf Hawai‘i” program.

Now industry leaders are ready to start keeping score.



The Price of Paddling

Photo: Courtesy of Odeelo Dayondon

$100 to $200  Canoe club membership fees

$200  Your own paddle

$20 to $50  Club jersey

$3,000 to $4,000  One-man canoe



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