Wednesday, June 27, 2012
JUNE 27 ORACLE CEO ELLISON BUYS HAWAIIAN ISLAND OF LANAI
Remember the 1982 movie "Caddyshack?" In those days, millionaires bought planes, yachts and mansions to show off their amazing wealth. Boy, have times changed. First of all it's multi-billionaires...not millionaires. Also, simple little things like boats and jets aren't nearly big enough to demonstrate one's astounding monetary value. Nope...these days, billionaires are buying islands. Last year, Virgin Atlantic's chairman RICHARD BRANSON bought Neckar Island in the Caribbean. So, it just came as no surprise last week when Oracle CEO LARRY ELLISON announced he had bought the Hawaiian island of Lanai.
The first question you must be asking yourself is: Does he really own the entire island of Lanai? The answer: Pretty darn close. The Public Utilities Commission has given "internal approval" for the plan which would give Ellison ownership of 98% of the island's 141 square miles. This includes two Four Seasons Resorts, two golf courses and fifty miles of beaches. The next thing you're asking yourself is: What is on Lanai anyhow? Anything other than pineapples? Well...it's true...Lanai was first purchased by JAMES DOLE in 1922 and used solely as a plantation. The tasty fruit still grows on the open fields, but the main economy is tourism. Today, most of the island's 3,200 residents work in this sector. So...aside from a store, post office and no traffic lights...there really isn't much on the island of Lanai.
Anyhow, back to Mr. Ellison. So far, he has not commented on what he wants to do with Lanai, but speculation is rampant. For starters, the MAUI NEWS is worried about expansion. See, the tiny island has trouble hosting the billionaire's ritzy and eccentric hobbies. For example, the runways at the airport are way too small for Ellison's Russian MIG fighter to land. Another problem is the mere thirty miles of paved roads. See...this is inadequate for Ellison's McLaren Formuala-1 Race Car to drive on. And the tiny harbor at Manele Bay? It simply cannot moor Larry's 453-foot yacht. Tough questions for the CEO indeed.