Airport lei stands say construction is impacting business

News

The lei the stands have been a staple at Honolulu’s airport for decades. However, some shop owners say business has been slow lately because of nearby construction projects.

Ku’ulei Ka’ae is the owner of Pua Melia lei stand. It’s a long time family business started by her grandmother.

“I think I like the happiness that flowers give people,” Ka’ae said about her job.

Pua Melia is open seven days a week. “When I start work, I start stringing,” she said.

Lately, business has been slow, and Ka’ae believes it is because of the nearby construction.

“There’s a big impact. Construction has been a very big impact. Traffic is horrible,” Ka’ae explained.

She said the lei business at the airport isn’t what it used to be.

“I think this barricade over here has been here so long that people forget that we have a lei stand here, and they won’t chance going around the airport again,” Ka’ae said.

Ka’ae said because customers have a hard time finding them, business has been down 20% – 30%. Regardless, she’s hopeful people won’t forget they’re there.

“Just know we’re here at the airport, and we’re still selling lei, and we’d be happy to help you,” Ka’ae added.

The Department of Transportation said access to and parking at the lei stands will remain the same as it has for decades. The airport construction projects are expected to be completed over the next two years.

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