One of the world’s richest men already owns roughly 98% of this Hawaiian island and now he’s extending the runway of the only airport by 500 feet making it easier for larger planes to land here. It’s all part of his plan to build a playground for the rich.
Lanai is Hawaii’s 6th largest island and most of it is owned by billionaire Larry Ellison who purchased the land for around $300 million dollars a decade or so ago. The island’s only airport is primarily served by interisland traffic, general aviation, and private jets.
Ellison, the cranky founder of software juggernaut Oracle, and billionaire has been investing in the island since 2012 when he purchased most of the island from Castle & Cooke, the then owner of the Dole pineapple company. Ellison poured $450 million dollars into renovating the Four Seasons Resort & Hotel properties on the island along with renovations of the island’s old theater and even opened fancy restaurants like Nobu.
Using at times aggressive tactics, Ellison is slowly transforming the island into a playground for the rich. He is essentially everyone’s boss and landlord and easily forces residents into unusual lease terms or buys out their commercial properties.
Now, Ellison’s Lanai company is funding a $5 million runway expansion that will extend the island’s only airport by 500 feet opening the island up to larger planes and more traffic. The effort is being conducted in cooperation with the Department of Transportation but is being financed 100% by private funds according to KITV Island News.
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