We want to take this opportunity to share some of the economic impact Lahaina Divers and many businesses on Maui have faced due to COVID-19.
Tourism activities were among the first to be shut down by the State of Hawaii under COVID-19 in March of 2020. We were still required to pay all harbor, slip and mooring fees, in addition to facility operating costs and insurance. We were not allowed to commercially operate our two 46′ vessels, and our retail store was shuttered.
In addition, the Hawaii Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation put additional restrictions on our marine operations.
As authorities phased in a reopening of businesses, commercial recreational boats were limited to 10 passengers including crew, which made it unfeasible for us to operate our charters.
Finally, in the fall rules changed so that we could operate at 50% percent of our carrying capacity. However, with island quarantine restrictions, there were virtually no visitors on the island.
With the lifting of quarantine (and requirement of a negative COVID-19 test) as of October 15, 2020, we were finally able to start bringing our crew back after seven long months. Tourism numbers remain at a small fraction of 2019 numbers.
While we are taking every measure to trim costs without compromising safety and service, we have had to raise charter rates. This is not to address the very significant losses of being non-operational for 7 months, but is primarily because we are still operating at half-capacity. In addition, other business costs have gone up since the beginning of the pandemic. We were below a break-even point, even with great booking support from our customers.
The upside is, we are now enjoying welcoming back our long-time customers and new friends to do what we all love- go diving! Lahaina Divers has weathered many economic storms over the last 40 plus years, and we appreciate your support in sustaining our mission of taking you to more dive sites around Maui and the surrounding islands than any other operator, and exploring Hawaii’s amazing underwater realm.
Your Lahaina Divers Team