Reflections on a Celebration


Kukuiula’s Grand Opening week was a celebration of community that offered something for everyone, members and staff alike.

“I have learned that developing a new community is a strange mix of omnipotence and impotence,” says Brent Herrington, reflecting on the week of celebration. The Kukuiula Development Company president says, “As developers, we have the power to envision, plan, design and construct incredible new environments. But it is the residents themselves who bring a new community to life and ultimately define its character.”

During the grand opening, the character of Kukuiula began to reveal itself as celebrations went from the Plantation Clubhouse to the pools, from the golf course to the village and back. And everyone discovered that our community is turning into a wonderful place indeed.

by e-mail from Fia and Phil
Dear Brenda (Sameshima, director of member services): “Just wanted to write to you and tell you how great this last week was. Phil and I had such a good time seeing everyone, both staff, friends and members. Our times here are always memory builders that it’s getting harder and harder to leave. Everything was perfect from the moment we landed on the island to stepping into the club and seeing everyone’s smiling eyes and faces. We feel really blessed to be a part of the Kukuiula family. Please extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to everyone there. We love you all.”

Edie Hafdahl, the indomitable clubhouse manager at Kukuiula, looks back on the week fondly, very fondly. “The grand opening is a feather in our cap,” she says. “There were a lot of firsts.”

Among them was the Friday night gala, a full, plated sit-down dinner for more than a hundred people that filled the dining room and spilled out onto the lanai. With wine pairings. Another first was the 51 brunches for Fathers’ Day, when the club was full of beaming dads and offspring. And the live bands virtually every single night. And DJs. And cotton candy. Did we mention cotton candy?

And even when the weather didn’t play along, as was the case for the farm day, festivities were improvised closer to the clubhouse and went off without a hitch.

by e-mail from Genie and Bob
“Aloha Brenda
First I want to thank you and the entire staff, I mean Family, for a glorious opening. Bob and I appreciate every detail that you all have contributed to. From Brent and Thad, you and each and every person at Kukuiula, you are made it seem effortless and magical. Please express our love and gratitude to everyone. When I left, I cried. We loved everything at the club. Except Michelle’s kettle ball class. I can’t sit down today. Tell her thanks a lot. Wish I were at the spa. With much love, appreciation and gratitude.”

The Grand Opening was an event for whole families, and generations of them. From barbecues and dancing by the pool to craft events and pilates classes, everyone was made welcome.

by e-mail from Anna Clark
“THANK YOU for the most wonderful week of activities, parties and beautiful friendships. Please thank the staff from the Clark-Higgins family for making us feel so loved and welcome! Luke, Maggie and Gabe again moaned all the way home. Miss you all!”

For Kurt Matsumoto, general manager of the club, the highlight was “seeing members meet for the first time and start up new friendships.” The surprise? “How big a hit the spa was.” Even for kids. On Keiki Spa day, geared to 4-12 year olds, kids created skin treatments from common household products like cocoa powder, honey, oatmeal and yogurt. Once their treatments were mixed, they learned how to apply them to their face, arms and hands. “Lots of fingers were being licked,” says Kurt. Manicure station was a hit, as was making scented lotions to take home. “Keiki got to tour the locker area and massage rooms so they could see where their parents go to when they need some relaxation and TLC,” says Kurt.

Another first was the Full Moon Shoot Out, an activity members liked so much that Kukuiula will repeat it throughout the year. “On the night of the full moon, our Golf Clubhouse team created a neon light putting course and a par 3 course on the practice range,” says Brian Paul, Kukuiula’s head pro. “The full moon on the evening of the event was spectacular, and the neon lights throughout the practice range was a melange of bright colors, creating such a festive spirit amongst the participants.”

When the party moved to the Village at Kukuiula, the entire community got involved. Members and families mingled with locals and marveled at the quantity and quality of Kauai-made food, produce, flowers and artistry. The local paper, The Garden Island, was ecstatic. https://tinyurl.com/4xpvq92

“We have hoped that Kukuiula will never become an isolated enclave that stands apart from the warm and caring people of Kauai,” says Brent Herrington. “Our aspiration has been to create a strong and caring community that will be deeply meaningful to the families who choose to make it part of their lives. Based on the founding families I have come to know, I am confident our creation is in good hands.”

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See more photos from the Celebration at kukuiula.com/Pages/Media/

Click here to learn more about Kauai real estate and the grand opening celebration.

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