Larry Ellison Bought an Island in Hawaii. Now What?
September 25, 2014 11:32 AM   Subscribe

All of Lanai's owners have sought, in one way or another, to refashion the island into a paradise on earth. Former Oracle CEO Larry Ellison hopes to transform it into the "first economically viable, 100% green community."
posted by ellieBOA (17 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
This definitely won't end with a burning island covered in rampaging genetically tweaked splicers AT ALL!
posted by selfnoise at 11:38 AM on September 25, 2014 [9 favorites]


BTW this Henry Jolicoeur sounds awesome and I'd now like to see a pie-chart showing which mega-billionaire accidentally owns the most cats.
posted by selfnoise at 11:45 AM on September 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


Next step, build a dome.
posted by Renoroc at 11:50 AM on September 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think I get it... it's like some sort of Experimental, Prototype Community Of Tomorrow, but for really, really wealthy people.
posted by mikelieman at 11:51 AM on September 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


after 100 million dollars, the health insurance exchange website oracle provided for oregon was utterly nonfunctional, and now they're in court, oracle is suing oregon for copyright infringement (?!). first, you pay your just debts before you become an island king. if oregon wins, maybe we can attach lanai and get free vacations there.
posted by bruce at 11:52 AM on September 25, 2014 [8 favorites]


Wait until everyone on the island finds out they just inadvertently agreed to have McAfee AntiVirus installed.
posted by srboisvert at 11:53 AM on September 25, 2014 [13 favorites]


Omnidroid. Period.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:53 AM on September 25, 2014


Anyone who has purchased products or services from Oracle knows that Larry Ellison is indeed the god of nightmares...
posted by sriracha at 12:09 PM on September 25, 2014 [6 favorites]


> "first economically viable, 100% green community."

It's in the middle of an ocean. How are the residents and supplies going to get there?
posted by ardgedee at 12:45 PM on September 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


This is where Bruce Lee enters, correct?
posted by jadepearl at 12:50 PM on September 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wait until everyone on the island finds out they just inadvertently agreed to have McAfee AntiVirus installed.

If it's an island paradise, it's more likely that you'll need to uninstall John McAfee.
posted by zippy at 1:21 PM on September 25, 2014 [7 favorites]


Can help but be skeptical. Hope it all ends well for the residents.
posted by TomDunn at 1:26 PM on September 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


My brother and sister-in-law just moved back from Lanai in part because the cost of living is high (and getting higher). I visited them two thanksgivings ago there, when the sale was recent and super-fresh - the people were cautiously optimistic at the time, hoping that there would be more opportunities and a community-focus, while recognizing that Ellison would need to run it at a business. In some ways, he's exceeded expectations (working on the historical sites, renovating and cleaning Club Lanai, which was an abandoned day-resort primarily accessed by boat from Maui, bringing over a veterinarian once a month, reopening the pool, building the football field, etc).

But there's a history of the residents on the island feeling disenfranchised, which is particularly acute for families with roots on the island, who have experienced similar things through multiple owners. Feeling like you are some sort of an experiment, as if your wants and needs and history are tertiary at best, feeling the constraints of an economy dependent on one company ... it's hard to live with. And when you see or experience things that may feel ham-handed (and covered in shiny sauce to mask it), or for the benefit now of the company without as much concern for the impact upon the community, or hear promises you just don't believe.

Lanai is such a beautiful island, but its isolation and resort tourism means it is expensive to live and build there, much less run a business where you need to import goods, components, or ingrediants. You fly in from one of the other islands (for less than $100, but still) or ferry over from Maui (for $50/one way, but can get a discount if you are a resident of Hawaii). There's a barge that will carry over goods and materials you can't carry onto a plane or ferry - it just started a second weekly trip to Lanai to deliver additional construction materials.

All of the construction has a downside for many of the workers at the resort sites though: fewer guests and more construction means fewer tips, and service industry salaries stretch even less on an island where gas is $6+/gallon, all groceries are imported from the mainland (limited supply and high prices), and rent has tripled or quadrupled in many of the rental homes. Even if you are very conservative with your electricity, you are still getting it from Maui, and your bill will be several hundred dollars - a month. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Lanai is one of the most beautiful places I've been. The Garden of the Gods is extraordinary and gorgeous, and should you ever have the opportunity (and the funds - if you don't have a friend with a 4WD, you'll have to rent one) to see it, I strongly recommend it. You can really see how why it had such an impact upon the Hawaiian people. I have never had an experience quite like the one I had walking there among the stones, wind rushing around me, the horizon of ocean and island stretching out before me, the rocks stacked and formed and standing all around ...
posted by julen at 1:44 PM on September 25, 2014 [22 favorites]


I'm suspicious that Larry read The Road and thought, oh, I don't fucking think so.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:08 PM on September 25, 2014


Wow, if you want to know what the future is going to look like, look no further.

The legacy of social and economic justice replaced by institutionalized inequality and straight up corporate serfdom.

And of course nobody ever sees Larry Ellison, they hear things and read books about him. The new invisible hand.

But it's just an eco-friendly island..
posted by phaedon at 5:12 PM on September 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


Apropos of nothing, has thgere ever been an Oracle project that was wildly successful? I've only ever heard of failure.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:46 AM on September 26, 2014


Apropos of nothing, has there ever been an Oracle project that was wildly successful?

Their database has done pretty well.
posted by zippy at 10:43 AM on September 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


« Older A Rant Against The Quantification Of Aesthetics   |   Phil Hartman: too talented to be pigeonholed Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments