Lā 187: DLNR. Just wow...You treat your own people like dirt for practicing their own traditional practices at their most sacred temple, and then you willingly with open arms, accommodate these international million dollar interests.

IRONMAN rent reduction gets nod   

Published September 26, 2015 - 1:31am by By Bret Yager West Hawaii Today byager@westhawaiitoday.com

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The body that oversees Kailua Pier, seen in this photo, agreed Friday to slash the price of IRONMAN’s use of that facility from $60,000 to $30,000. File photo

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources has agreed to cut IRONMAN’s rent in half.

The body that oversees Kailua Pier agreed Friday to slash the price of the event’s use of that facility from $60,000 to $30,000. West Hawaii Today was not able to reach board members for comment, as the meeting ran past deadline.

The IRONMAN World Championships has exclusive use of the pier for a continuous four days, culminating this year in the Oct. 10 race day. Athletes transition from the different stages of the swim-bike-run event at the pier and use the 60,000-square-foot area for bike and equipment storage.

The request seems to have touched a nerve in the West Hawaii community. Sounding off through online comments on a Thursday news story, many were indignant about the request, calling for rent to be paid in full or even raised.

Out of 66 comments, 50 strongly opposed any break in rent for IRONMAN. Another 16 remarks pointed to economic benefits of the race, when athletes, their companions and spectators fill hotel rooms and local food and entertainment venues.

In a submittal supporting the request, the state Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation’s Administrator Ed Underwood cited the event’s substantial boost to the local economy and the fact that the full rent could put undue hardship on the race.

The purported hardship is puzzling to some. IRONMAN has exploded across the global scene in recent years, now with 250 events and a compound annual growth in revenue of 21 percent over the past four years. The corporation projects it will generate $183 million in revenue this year, and the burgeoning popularity of triathlons was cited as one of the reason’s for the $650 million purchase of the IRONMAN World Triathlon Corp. in late August by China’s Dalian Wanda Group.

That purchase will bring “a top international competition to China for the first time,” the private conglomerate said at the time, in a press release.

Captain Cook resident John Rosner has joined the ranks of IRONMAN’s 5,000 volunteers on numerous championships. Considering the level of free labor and inconvenience to the public, the least the race could do is pay its rent, he said Friday.

“I support IRONMAN more than most, but enough is enough,” he said.

IRONMAN media relations did not respond to questions about the level of revenue generated by the Kona championships, why the corporation was seeking the reduction or whether it has sought to have other fees or rents lowered.