Larry Ellison Paying Workers On His Island Of Lanai Amid Shut Down
It’s so great to hear about the companies and bosses who continue to pay their employees when their companies are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Billionaire Larry Ellison is one such person, at least with regard to the Hawaiian island of Lanai, which he owns. In 2010, he bought 98% of the island for $ 300 million and has since been known as a caring owner for the people and businesses of Lanai. He strengthened this reputation by paying the full wages and benefits of workers on his island while many businesses were closed.
Lanai is the smallest inhabited island in Hawaii. It was formerly known as the “pineapple island” because of its origins in the pineapple plantation. In 1922, James Drummond Dole was a young Harvard graduate living in Oahu who ran his very young pineapple business. That year, Dole paid $ 1.1 million for the land and, like that, an entire island was taken over by Dole pineapple. Dole plowed the interior of the island in fields, built roads and a port, and developed a picturesque town in the center of the island with Dole Park in the middle. The park was surrounded by plantation style chalets to house workers in its pineapple fields. In 1930, almost every 3,000 people on the island were employees of Dole. The island exported 65,000 tonnes of pineapple each year. Dole had his employees’ lawns maintained by gardeners and built a golf course. Dole’s motto was “Have happy workers, grow better pineapples.”
Lanai is one of Hawaii’s most secluded spots with beautiful, quiet beaches, hiking towns and a small town – Lanai City – which is so small that it doesn’t even have a traffic light. The island is only 140 square miles and is home to 3,200 people. The island has two golf courses, three hotels, a school and a police station. Ellison owns the island’s hotels, the water company, the main supermarket, the cemetery, and about a third of Lanai’s accommodation. He is also negotiating the purchase of the island’s electrical network.
Ellison has also reduced or eliminated the rent for all businesses on the land he owns. He pays the wages of the employees who work for the companies he owns on the island. It is not known whether or not Ellison will extend the salary, benefits and rent canceled for May as well. Ellison owns the Lanai Hotel, the Four Seasons Resort Lanai and the Four Seasons Hotel Lanai in Koele, a Sensei Retreat, which are the only three hotels on the island. They are all temporarily closed and a skeleton security team keeps them somewhat operational. Of all the properties and businesses on the island, only a handful do not belong to Ellison and do not pay rent. This includes the gas station, two banks, a credit union, the car rental company and a cafe. It also has Dole Park – the central common art square of the city and all the buildings surrounding it. He is also the owner of the community center, the municipal swimming pool, the theater, the grocery store, two golf courses, the water company, a sewage treatment plant and the island cemetery. . He owns 87,000 acres of the total of Lanai’s 90,000 acres.
A Lanai resident tested positive for COVID-19 after being exposed to Maui. This person is hospitalized in Maui so the virus has not yet reached Lanai.