What Small Business Owners Can Learn From This Major Hawaii Hotel Renovation

The Secret to Keeping Your Small Business Up to Date

One of Hawaii’s most iconic hotels just got a huge renovation and rebranding. And it’s something that travelers have been anticipating for quite awhile.

The renovations at the Grand Naniloa Hotel Hilo include upgrades to the hotel’s 388 rooms, two restaurants, lobby bar, nightclub and other public areas. Overall, the project cost $20 million. And it is now part of the Doubletree by Hilton brand.

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But in many cases, the changes weren’t just upgrades — they were an attempt to catch up to expectations of a changing tourist market. There was a time when Hawaii stood out among exotic destinations.

But today’s international tourists may travel to locations as distant as Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Cancun and Toronto. And even domestic destinations like San Francisco, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas have stepped up their games.

The changes made the hotel’s spaces hold up to national standards, which is important especially in such a popular tourist destination. Travelers want to stay in clean, contemporary settings that offer all the convenience and amenities they’ve come to expect elsewhere.

Yet the hotel had to also retain the unique flavor and character of Hawaii to make it stand out.  Hence the new tag “The Home of Hula” highlights the free hula shows and classes for which this destination is already famous.

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The Secret to Keeping Your Small Business Up to Date

Fortunately, there’s no reason to spend anywhere near $20 million on your small business — even if you had it — to keep up with changing customer tastes.

First, keep an eye on the competition. What are they doing you’re not? Once you figure it out, don’t simply copy. Instead, look for ways to incorporate new trends with your brand’s own distinctive style in mind.

Second, keep asking your customers for feedback and don’t be afraid to listen to what they have to say. This will give you the opportunity to stay ahead of the trends instead of just following them. You can create new products and services that anticipate changing customer tastes thus catching your competitors off guard and forcing them to try to catch up to you.

Image: Grand Naniloa Hotel Hilo


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

4 Reactions
  1. More than the competition, your customer tastes is of utmost importance. Listen to them and try to see what they need.

  2. The same is true for blogging and social updates. Don’t just leave it be. Always make sure that everything is updated.