It’s a death of an institution. That’s what some say after learning the iconic Honolulu Club is permanently closed due to the pandemic. The announcement comes as Oahu businesses have been in Tier 1 under the mayor’s recovery plan for about three weeks. The honolulu club gave members a place to workout and network for more than 40 years. We’re told membership cancellations also contributed to the decision to permanently close.

“You know, for other people, you know, this is where they started their day and ended their day at the club. And that was a big, it’s a big part of all of our lives,” said Joe Flores who’s been a member for 36 years and was shocked to learn the club will no longer be in business.

In the beginning of the pandemic, the Honolulu Club had to close but reopened for a short time in the summer. The spread of the virus and government orders suspended operations again in late August.

“This is a domino effect and the big Domino just fell,” said Flores. “I thought that they had deep pockets to keep it open but, you know, you can only shovel so much money into a hole.”

The announcement comes as many industries supporting Hawaii’s economy continues to suffer.

“Hawaii”s 2nd quarter GDP fell by over 40-percent. We now have the distinction of having the weakest economy in the country,” said Carl Bonham, University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization Executive Director. “This isn’t going to turn around significantly until we get some resumption of safe trans-pacific travel.”

But the President of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii tells us there are concerns that businesses ready to go into Tier 2 of the mayor’s recovery plan could be impacted because cases will likely increase when tourism opens this week.

“And that’s why, again, we have been advocating for increased enforcement and penalty measures, so that those businesses that are not following some health and safety protocol will be the ones that will be penalized, rather than the majority of businesses who have followed the health and safety protocols,” said Sherry Menor-McNamara, President of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii.