HONOLULU (KHON2) –Surf Lakes, a global wave pool company, has signed its largest project deal to date in Hawaii.
Developer Peter Savio bought the Hawaii franchise and is looking to expand the brand in the islands.
“By shaping the contour of the ground they can create a Banzai Pipeline wave or Waikiki wave or Makaha wave, any kind of wave you want,” said Peter Savio, a Hawaii real estate developer.
He plans to build four wave parks, one on each major island. He’s already identified Waimea, Kauai as a potential site. As well as Paia or Lahaina on Maui and either the Leeward coast or North Shore on Oahu. These parks won’t be small.
“We actually need about 30 acres, because the pool is nine acres,” Savio said. “Then you have to worry about the shoreline and then of course, the buildings. Then of course, the parking. So the parking takes up a lot of the space. Especially if you’re doing two, three, 400 people.”
However, not everyone is on board with the plans.
“It directly competes for land and water, which is counterproductive to us addressing our county’s priorities of affordable housing, food security, protecting our natural resources, and managing tourism,” said Keani Rawlins-Fernandez, a Maui County councilmember.
Rawlins-Fernandez says the only areas on Maui large enough for a project like this are already zoned for agricultural use.
“Residents are asking, where will this Surf Lake be drained?” Rawlins-Fernandez said. “Will it go into the municipal wastewater and then injected into the ocean? That’s like draining a real waterfall to create a fake waterfall.”
On Oahu, the North Shore neighborhood board chair says they have a lot of questions and concerns, including challenges with traffic and quality of life for locals. However, Savio says these parks could be a big economic win.
“I think this would be great, especially if they wanted to do surfing competitions,” said Savio. “We just got the franchise signed a few weeks ago. We’re getting the team together. We’re talking to people, but I’m very much excited.”
Savio’s plans have a long way to go. As with any major project, there will be opportunities for the public to weigh in during the permitting process.