Biz Wrap: Applegate Launches Tourism Consulting Firm

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There was good news on the business front this week when state officials announced that unemployment in Hawaii dropped to 4.9% last month, its lowest level since 2008.

In other positive economic news, Zippy’s started recruiting this week for its new location in Hilo, while Big Island Brewhaus in Waimea is expanding its distribution statewide.

Here’s a look at what else is happening in the business world around Hawai‘i Island.

Tourism Exec Forms Consulting Firm

The longtime executive director of the Big Island Visitors Bureau has created his own consulting business on the eve of stepping down from the bureau.

George Applegate has launched George Applegate Consulting LLC, according to a report in the Pacific Business News.

Applegate, 66, who retires from the BIVB at the end of the month, will continue to work on tourism issues affecting the state. The newspaper reports that Applegate’s clients will include the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau and its island chapters.


Ross Birch will replace Applegate as president of BIVB effective May 31. Birch was formerly the general manager of the Makalei Golf Club.

Roy Ishihara Joins Y. Hata

Y. Hata & Co., Ltd. announced that Roy Ishihara has joined the organization as general manager of its retail division. Prior to accepting this position, Ishihara was vice president of operations for Marukai Corporation.

The firm created this new position as a result of expanding business. 2013 marks the 100-year anniversary of the establishment of the Hilo-based food service distributor.

Waikoloa Grill’n Bar For Sale 

The owners of the Waikoloa Grill'n Bar have put the casual fine dining establishment on the market in order to retire. Photo Courtesy Waikoloa Grill'n Bar.

The owners of the Waikoloa Grill’n Bar have put the casual fine dining establishment on the market in order to retire. Photo Courtesy Waikoloa Grill’n Bar.

Waikoloa Grill’n Bar, located across from the Waikoloa Hilton Resort, is on the market.

Cindy and Dickie Furtado, who own the casual fine-dining restaurant, are selling the business in order to retire.


Located at the edge of the beach golf course, the stand-alone building is within walking distance of most Waikoloa resorts and condos.

The restaurant, which grosses over $1 million a year, is being offered turnkey at $225,000. Harold Meltzer, of Real Estate Consultants of Kona, is representing the couple in the sale.

Farm Supply Cooperative Moving

As of next Monday, the Farm Supply Cooperative will be operating from a new location in Hilo.

The cooperative, which provides fertilizer, herbicides and nursery products,  is moving to the former Machida Inc. building at 60 Holomua St.

Although a member-owned cooperative, the store’s advertised and store-special prices are available to the general public. The store will be closed tomorrow during the move and will reopen Monday in the new location.

2013 Consumer Action Handbook Now Available


Looking for more information on consumer rights or how to file a consumer complaint? has released the 2013 Consumer Action Handbook, which has been updated to include the latest information on banking, housing and protection of privacy. It also offers tips on the latest frauds and scams.

The Handbook’s Consumer Assistance Directory provides information needed to contact corporate consumer affairs departments, national consumer organizations, and local, state and federal government offices.

It also includes a sample letter for filing of complaints about a purchased product. Click here to order a free copy, or download a PDF file of the 160-page handbook.

If your business has an opening, closing, promotion, retirement, new product release, special event, award, new location, or expansion, please let us know. Email us at [email protected].


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