Photo: Asa Mathat | All Things Digital
It’s been more than four months since Larry Ellison bought most of the Hawaiian island of Lanai, and residents say they still have qualms about the guy.They’re nervous because the billionaire CEO of tech giant Oracle has yet to speak with citizens or give an interview to the local newspaper, reports Dan Nakaso at the San Jose Mercury News.
The most locals have heard about his plans is what Ellison said during an interview with Maria Bartiromo on CNBC last month. He said he would turn the island into one big experiment in sustainable living, green energy, and organic farming.
He also caused a stir when he made plans to use Lanai’s only commercial harbor as a winter base for his fleet of America’s Cup sailboats without consulting residents.To his credit, he changed his mind when residents protested.
On the other hand, most admit that life under his rule has been way better, so far, than the last guy, David Murdock. Ellison reopened the island’s only community pool, Nakaso reports. Murdock had closed it years ago in an effort to cut his expenses on the island.
Ellison has also been upgrading the island’s two luxe resorts, which has led to lots of construction jobs and low unemployment.
But, with a population of 3,200 people, Lanai is more or less a small town, with small-town attitudes. And its people would like to meet their new landlord sooner rather than later.
Update: An earlier version of this story said the Mercury News had reported Ellison had not visited the island. The newspaper reported that Ellison had not spoken to residents.
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