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Hirono Announces Investment of $3.8 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Cultural Tourism on Oahu

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) announced that the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $3.8 million grant to Hi‘ipaka, LLC, Haleiwa, Hawaii, to boost tourism through the renovation and expansion of an important Native Hawaiian cultural site and popular tourist attraction on Oahu. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan’s Indigenous Communities program.

“Democrats in Congress passed the American Rescue Plan to help every single community, including those historically left behind, recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Senator Hirono. “I’m glad to see this funding being used to support Native Hawaiian communities on Oahu while balancing support for tourism and our local economy. As we continue working to recover from COVID-19, I’ll keep working to secure federal funding to support our communities and economy.”

This project will support the renovation and expansion of the Waimea Valley Center by adding cover for the center’s luau area, constructing an outdoor native plant learning facility, and other improvements. This grant is expected to create or retain nearly 240 jobs and generate $1.2 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

This project is funded under EDA’s American Rescue Plan Indigenous Communities program, which allocates $100 million in American Rescue Plan funding specifically to support the needs of Tribal Governments and Indigenous communities. The program supports these partners to develop and execute economic development projects they need to recover from the pandemic and build economies for the future.