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State hotel revenues set to surpass 2019 levels by over $100M

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Local and national hotel executives held a press conference in Waikīkī to say they are hiring.

State hotel revenues are expected to surpass 2019 levels by more than $100 million this year. But properties are still understaffed.

There are more than 500 job openings in Honolulu-area hotels, according to the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

Jerry Gibson, president of the Hawaii Hotel Alliance, says many of the hotels offer great wages and benefits.

Some pay higher than Hawaiʻi’s minimum wage — which will go up to $12 an hour starting in October.

"Hotels pay an average of about $23 an hour for a barista. So with that $23 an hour, there’s a benefit load of about 60%. That’s medical, that’s dental, that’s vacation, etc. With that also, a barista will get tips," Gibson said.

"So this job keeps getting a little better and better with all the benefits. Usually, most hotels give their team members at least 12 nights free a year. A lot of the hotels offer a pension as well," he told HPR.

The state’s largest hospitality worker union Local 5 has extended its contracts with Hilton, Sheraton and Marriott hotels.

Union spokesperson Bryant de Venecia says many of the unfilled positions at hotels are part-time.

Casey Harlow is an HPR reporter and occasionally fills in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Contact him at charlow@hawaiipublicradio.org or on Twitter (@CaseyHarlow).
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