Tuesday, September 11, 2007

50 illegal Maui B&Bs & vacation rentals shut down

LA times says

Maui's long-established bed-and-breakfast industry has faltered since county officials cracked down on illegal vacation rentals, leaving the island with fewer accommodations for its many visitors, according to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

Maui County officials told more than 50 operators of vacation rentals in July that they couldn't continue operating without permits.

Many family-run vacation renters and small businesses have suffered, said David Dantes, president of the Maui Vacation Rentals Association, which represents more than 100 vacation rental owners.

Those with pending permits were allowed to honor reservations until the end of the year. Others were ordered to cease operations immediately.

Maui planners decided this year it was necessary to enforce permitting requirements because the bed-and-breakfast operations can bring noise and heavy traffic into neighborhoods. Other critics blame the illegal vacation rentals for contributing to rising real estate prices that have made owning a home in Hawaii too expensive for many residents.

The number of illegal vacation rentals on Maui is estimated to have grown to 1,200, Hunt said, up 14 percent a year between 2000 and 2005.

But business has noticeably declined since Maui County began enforcing laws requiring permits, said Donna Stafford, owner of Chameleon Travel LLC.


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