May 09, 2022

15th anniversary logo showing est. 2007 over an illustration of the shopping center.

Special Events, Music, Hula and Deals Will Mark the Occasion

So what were YOU doing 15 years ago? George W. Bush was president and Barack Obama a senator. Steve Jobs announced the first iPhone, Bob Barker hosted his final Price Is Right and the brand-new Hawaii Superferry arrived from a 7600-mile sail from the shipyard in Mobile, Alabama where it was built, ready to start transporting passengers, bikes, and cars various islands throughout Hawaii. The UH Warriors football team led by Colt Brennan built a school-record 13-game winning streak earning them an invitation to the Sugar Bowl.
And in the biggest news of 2007, Waikiki was about to be transformed with the opening of Waikiki Beach Walk.


Hula dance trope with a smaller photo of a woman in the corner
Kumu Hula Hiwa Vaughan with Hālau Hula Ka Lehua
Waikiki Beach Walk will celebrate its 15-year anniversary with a special event when Mele Hali‘a welcomes Kumu Hula Hiwa Vaughan-Darval, former Miss Aloha Hula, daughter of the legendary Palani Vaughan, and her Hālau Hula Ka Lehua Tuahine (hula school). 
  • They will perform along with music by members of The King's Own, comprising of musicians who performed with her father.  
  • This large performing group pays honor and respect to the renown Hawaiian musical artist, the late Palani Vaughan, who would’ve celebrated his birthday on May 27th. 
The schedule for May 15 is as follows:
  • 4-5P = ‘Ohe Kapala bamboo stamping
  • 4-5P = Kumu Hula Hiwa Vaughan with Hālau Hula Ka Lehua Tuahine and The King’s Own


 Collage of logos for Kahala, Honolulu Cookie Company, Sunshine Swimwear, Wyland Galleries. Carludovica, & Ruth's Chris Steak House
Honolulu Cookie Co: Free gift with $25 purchase
Ruth’s Chris: Complimentary appetizer with purchase of two entrees
Sunshine Swimwear: 10% off of purchases over $100
Kahala: Free gift with purchases over $125

Carludovica: 10% off all items in the shop including hats, bags, and accessories

Wyland Galleries: Get an extra discount of an additional 15% off any already discounted piece priced at $7500 or above, and 5% off artwork priced below $7500.
Please note: All offers are not combinable with others. Please contact stores for full details and conditions.


Artist rendering of Waikiki Beach Walk

By the mid-2000s, Waikiki was in dire need of some “freshening,” and the ambitious Waikiki Beach Walk project - the first redevelopment project in Waikiki since the 1970s - became the first step in transforming Waikiki and re-established Waikiki as the preeminent urban resort destination in the world. 
Outrigger Hotels had a high-profile presence in the Lewers Street neighborhood since the late 1940’s when Roy and Estelle Kelley acquired property to build the Edgewater Hotel. That presence grew with the Edgewater Lanais in 1955, Outrigger Reef in 1955 and 1965, Reef Towers in 1959, Coral Seas in 1960, Reef Lanai in 1962, Village Tower in 1974 and Waikiki Tower in 1978.  
Outrigger-Edgewater building & pool
The Outrigger Edgewater was an iconic hotel that opened the door for the middle class to visit Hawaii
Woven within these iconic Outrigger properties were the equally iconic and dearly loved bars and eateries Perry’s Smorgy, House of Hong (“One of the most beautiful Chinese restaurants in the world”), Trattoria, Red Lion, Irish Rose Saloon, Davey Jones, and Polynesian Palace. 
House of Hong logo & graphic

The planning began in 1998, and in 2002 the Honolulu City Council approved the plans to proceed with the largest project in Waikiki since the 1970’s. The official groundbreaking for project took place on April 1, 2005, with the demolition of the Ohana Edgewater, Ohana Coral Seas, Ohana Royal Islander and Ohana Reef Lanais hotels, as well as the complete overhaul and repositioning of several other hotels.
Piles of sand between buildings in Waikiki
The Waikiki Beach Walk development required the removal of several iconic hotels.

Just 18 months later, on December 18, 2006, the brand-new Embassy Suites-Waikiki Beach Walk (formerly the Ohana Waikiki Tower and Ohana Waikiki Village hotels) opened its doors. The new Wyndham Vacation Ownership (formerly the Ohana Reef Towers) had opened one month earlier. The first retailer to open at Waikiki Beach Walk in December 2006 was Freaky Tiki Tropical Optical with many retailers and restaurants to follow.

In March 2007, the grand opening was celebrated, with six restaurants and over 40 new shops and boutiques accompanying the new accommodations, bringing a rejuvenated sense of excitement and renewed life into the area. The project has long been considered the catalyst for the refurbishing and renaissance of all of Waikiki in the years that followed, reversing Oahu’s decline in visitor arrivals and welcoming local residents back to Waikiki.
Aerial shot of Waikiki hotels, the main focus being Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach Walk.

To date the largest redevelopment in the history of Waikiki, Waikiki Beach Walk has been an unmitigated success. The $535 million, 1.5 million square foot retail, dining, entertainment, and hotel development now includes the 95,000 square foot Waikiki Beach Walk retail center, anchored by the world class hotel, resort, and timeshare properties of the Hokulani Waikiki by Hilton Grand Vacations Club, Wyndham at Waikiki Beach Walk, Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach Walk, Trump International Hotel Waikiki, and the newly renovated Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort. 

Moreover, inspired by Hawaiian culture in its architecture, landscaping, tenant mix and an outdoor entertainment plaza for people to gather enjoy local entertainment, Waikiki Beach Walk’s continuing weekly presentations of Hawaiian music, hula, and cultural activities has made it a dedicated steward and advocate of the Hawaiian culture.
And at the end of it all, Outrigger’s vision for the redevelopment of Waikiki Beach Walk had been fulfilled:
  • Transforming an aging and deteriorating district into a vibrant neighborhood and destination for visitors and local residents.
  • Providing a catalyst for the revitalization of Waikiki which brought new energy and vitality to one of the world’s most beloved tourist destinations.
  • Creating a cornerstone to connect all the properties and serve as an iconic gathering place and entertainment venue for Hawaii’s musicians and cultural performances.
  • Supplying a shopping and dining destination unlike any other in Waikiki, with a unique emphasis on local businesses.