The Kauai Planning Commission has given the green light to a California partnership to tear down the historic Coco Palms Resort in Wailua and replace it with a $60 million time-share complex using the same name and the same Polynesian themes of the original. The 396-room Coco Palms, located in a former coconut plantation, was once considered among the most beautiful hotels in Hawaii. It is best known for its lagoons where the wedding scene in the Elvis Presley movie "Blue Hawaii" was filmed in 1961. The hotel has been closed since Sept. 11, 1992, when Hurricane Iniki struck Kauai. The property currently belongs to a group of Hong Kong investors and has been sold to Lincoln Consulting Group of Newport Beach, Calif. Financing of the sale was contingent on approval of the series of permits issued by the planning commission yesterday.
The only original structure that will remain will be the cottage in which Elvis Presley stayed while filming "Blue Hawaii." The new owners plan to turn it into an Elvis museum.