"South Maui is open. Kihei, Wailea is open," said Maui County mayor Richard Bissen during a press conference over the weekend. "Maui is not closed."
When asked by a reporter to address "mixed messages" being put out around visitation and whether people should not go to Maui altogether or whether to go and support the tourism economy, Bissen reiterated on Monday that while visitors should not go to West Maui, which includes Lahaina, the rest of the island is open.
"Please don't go to the west side of Maui -- to West Maui," he said. "Obviously, there's so much going on with trying to rebuild it. But the rest of Maui is still open .... We've not shut down, we've not shipped anyone out, we've not asked anyone to leave. As far as tourism is concerned, that's a major driver of our economy here."
Hawaii Gov. Josh Green also said that the resorts and hotels staying open in other parts of Maui would help sustain jobs.
"The other consideration is all of our people will need to survive and can't afford to have jobs or no future for our children," Green said. "We wrestled with this during Covid and did a very good job, but we did have to balance the fact that when you restrict any travel to a region it's really devastating to all the locals, in many ways more than to anyone else."