Episode 109: West Maui Reopening…already? What to Know About the Phased Reopening

by | Oct 4, 2023

Planning a trip to Maui soon? With West Maui set to reopen, there’s a lot you need to know. Dive into the intricate balance between the needs of the local community and the demands of the tourism industry.

Discover the phased approach to reopening, the concerns of the Lahaina community, and how you can travel responsibly. By the end of this episode, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to make informed decisions and travel with true Aloha spirit.

Listen to the episode now to get the full scoop!

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As West Maui gears up for its phased reopening, the decision has sparked a myriad of emotions and concerns. In this episode, we delve deep into the heart of the matter, understanding the perspectives of both the local community and the tourism industry.

The Heart of the Controversy: West Maui’s reopening isn’t just about welcoming tourists back. It’s about the Lahaina community that’s still reeling from the tragic fires, the businesses that are struggling to stay afloat, and the delicate balance of economic recovery and emotional healing. The decision to reopen has been met with both anticipation and apprehension.

The Phased Reopening Approach: To address the myriad of concerns, a phased reopening approach has been proposed:

  • Phase One: Starting October 8th, focusing on the northern part of West Maui with properties like Ritz Carlton and Maui Kapalua set to reopen.
  • Phase Two: Based on feedback from Phase One, this phase will see the reopening of areas from Mahinahana to Ka’anapali.
  • Phase Three: The most sensitive phase, focusing on areas where most displaced residents are currently sheltered.

The Local Voice: The Lahaina community, still grappling with the aftermath of the fires, has voiced concerns about the rapid reopening. With petitions circling and grassroots movements like Lahaina Strong leading the charge, the community seeks more than just a delay. They’re asking for a voice in the decision-making process, a chance to grieve, and stability in housing and rent.


  • The tragic fires in Lahaina and their aftermath.
  • The controversy surrounding the reopening of West Maui.
  • Insights from Lahaina Strong and local leaders.
  • The structured phased reopening approach.
  • The importance of traveling responsibly and with Aloha.

Wrap-Up: The West Maui reopening is a testament to the resilience of the Hawaiian spirit. But it’s essential to approach it with understanding, respect, and aloha. As travelers, we have a responsibility to be informed and considerate. So, whether you’re planning your next trip or just dreaming about Hawaii, remember to travel responsibly.

For more insights, stories, and travel tips, don’t miss out on this episode. Listen now!

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Bryan Murphy

Bryan Murphy

Bryan Murphy, owner of Hawaii’s Best Travel, is a certified Hawaii destination expert from the Hawaii Visitors Bureau. He actively participates in the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau as a member and has a strong educational background focused on local culture and sustainability. As the host of “Hawaii’s Best Travel,” a top-30 US travel podcast, Bryan combines his years of experience with valuable insights. He connects with a broad online community, reaching nearly half a million people, and offers a richer, more responsible way to experience Hawaii.